Your employees contribute their best when they’re aligned to and understand your business’ vision, values and purpose.
Executive coach Refilwe Khumalo says that in order to avoid hiring the wrong people, it’s important to consider the kind of people you want in your executive team by analysing their character, values, experience and way of thinking, and whether or not these are aligned to those of yourself and your business.
“Start first by critically understanding your own strengths and weakness, and then look for a team of people who balance your weaknesses and enhance your strengths so as to build a well-balanced team,” she says.
Here are a few strategies to help you build an executive dream team, particularly in the early stages of your business:
Once you’ve identified a person you want to work with, spend time analysing their personal and professional values. Values tell us a lot about a person’s moral standing and this is important because it helps to give us an idea of how they will make decisions within the business.
In the early stages of your business it’s important to be careful not to duplicate skills. Look for people who have experience in the areas that you don’t. This way you balance the skills and business capabilities.
We live in a country that is very diverse, which means that our target audience and potential investors are also diverse and all have different ways of thinking and doing. Therefore, it’s important to have within your team a diverse group of people from different racial, gender and professional backgrounds so that you are more likely to have a range of opinions and ideas that will strengthen your business.
Consider the purpose of the team, its function in relation to the business goals and whether or not the actual team goal is aligned to the purpose of the business. Ensure that the people you employ can help you achieve your business objectives.
It’s advisable to set performance targets upfront so as to establish people’s commitment to your business vision, mission and performance. The reason for this is that sometimes, especially in the early days, some people are great at talking, but when it comes to the actual doing they fail to deliver. Setting targets creates a culture of delivery.
As with any relationship, you will at some point encounter misunderstandings and conflicts, so it is important that in the very early stages of your business you collectively work on putting together a team charter that specifies performance guidelines and behavioural boundaries. This will help the team set expectations and clarify what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. Agree that the charter will evolve as the business grows and be sure to review the charter on a regular basis, and to go through it with any new team members you bring on board.