Tips for Emerging Leaders: Building a Team

This is part nine of a 12-part series.

Successfully leading a team can be one of the most rewarding aspects of a professional’s career. However, addressing a diverse group effectively can be difficult for new leaders. From open communication and recognition to delegation and empowerment to self-awareness and empathy, there are a plethora of leadership arrows professionals must carry in their quivers to be successful. So during this series, we will examine 12 areas of focus and reveal practical tips to help new leaders in some of the most important aspects of leadership. Ninth up: building the right team.

Building a Team

Building and cultivating the right team may be the most important thing a new leader will do to be successful in the future. And while it may go without saying, it all starts—but doesn’t end—with hiring the right people. A study out of Queens University of Charlotte found that nearly 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as very important. The study also found that that 73% of business leaders feel soft skills are more important than job-specific skills, with 44% saying that soft skills are the biggest part of the skills gap. So building the right team includes many facets.

Create a Clear Culture

Before you know what to hire for, you need to know what type of team you need for your goals. This is where a strong and clear company culture is important. Your organizational culture is the shared beliefs and values established by the employer to help unite your team. According to Cultureiq, 94% of entrepreneurs and 88% of job seekers say a healthy work culture is vital for success. Moreover, companies that cultivate a strong and positive culture can see up to 400% growth in revenue.

Hire for Specifics, Diversity

While hiring for job-specific skills is important, you also have to keep in mind the culture and who can help drive your overall goals and purpose. Just as if you were building the perfect sports team, it’s important to have people who fit specific roles. You can’t have a team of all MVPs. You need support, you need chemistry through diversity. A well-rounded team includes people of all creeds and backgrounds who bring unique skills and perspectives to accomplish a goal.

Delegate for Autonomy

Once you have hired employees who fit your company’s vision, cultivating the team to be its best is essential. This begins with allowing your employees to utilize their own skills and expertise to be more efficient and productive through delegation. Giving employees the autonomy to do the job you hired them for not only helps with engagement and motivation on the front end of an assignment, but also helps cultivate a team that can be coached instead of managed.

Establish Accountability and Feedback

Finally, building a successful team requires overall accountability through open communication. This includes two-way feedback. It’s important for employees to have open lines of communication with their leader to voice ideas and suggestions, as well as concerns and constructive criticism. When an employee feels they are heard and understood, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and helpful to other employees.

What important tips have you learned during your career for building the right team? How has a focus on cultivating employees helped you lead a successful team? Let us know in the comments section below!

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