What is the difference between a team and a group of people taking up space in an office? The former is aligned with and engaged in the vision for the company, while the latter is probably more interested in their phones than in anything you have to say.
If your company is going to grow, you need a team, not a collection of people. But it’s not as simple as snapping your fingers and making it happen. There are pitfalls along the way, sins of commission and omission that can derail your efforts to build a team.
Here are some of the common culture-destroying traps of business and how to avoid them.
Failing to define your vision
Where do you want your company to go? How do you want it to grow? If you can’t answer those questions, your team can’t, either. Without crystal-clear communication around your vision and goals, there is no action. You end up with a company that resembles a video game when you take a bathroom break and forget to hit the “pause” button – just a bunch of characters standing around looking at each other, waiting for someone to move the joystick.
Failing to address your people issues
If you’ve clearly communicated around your vision, goals and core values, and someone still isn’t buying in, you have a potential grenade in your palm. If you keep that person around without changing his or her mindset and actions, you’re showing everyone else in the company that all of your prior communication was just talk – you don’t really believe what you were saying. Before you know it, you have a company full of demotivated people who aren’t buying in. Lean on your core values to guide you through the difficult conversations and people decisions that must occur.
Authenticity is critical. If you don’t follow up your words with actions, particularly around the fundamental building blocks of your company, your people will notice very quickly, and you will have a much larger problem on your hands.
Failing to promote accountability
Want to know a dirty little secret? Growing, profitable companies and stagnant companies experience employee turnover at roughly the same rate. The difference is, the high-performing companies mostly turn over their low-performing employees – their B and C players. Stagnant, shrinking and low-performing companies turn over their A players.
Why? High performers want to know what is expected of them and how they are performing against those expectations. In other words, they crave accountability. If you don’t create a system of accountability set to the tune of well-defined expectations, your top people will seek that structure elsewhere.
If you’re going to turn over people at the same rate, regardless of how you perform as a company, it’s far better to be the type of company that weeds out low performers who don’t measure up than the type that loses high performers looking for better opportunities.
Ron Kaminski is the founder at CultureShoc. If you need assistance on how to groom better leaders, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.