Hiring and inspiring a great team to care as much as you do about your business is no easy task. As entrepreneurs we want them to be as passionate, invested and committed to our business success as we are. We can’t comprehend why they may not be so keen to work weekends or late nights… because we have no concept of ‘working hours’ (or often, of work-life balance 😆). But clearly, they’re *not* invested. They haven’t taken the same risks, they probably don’t stand to reap the same rewards. It’s their job. We must respect their time, their motivations and their priorities.
So how can we ensure job satisfaction and drive for productivity and business success, within agreed working hours and peoples’ tolerance levels for the boss’s crazy ideas and vision… and build a team that really, really cares? The MUTU System team consists of 17 incredible humans. From customers to suppliers to professionals to consultants, everyone notices. ‘Your Team are SO GOOD’. Yup. It’s true. They are.
Of course, I have made bad hiring decisions and costly mistakes. The person, the supplier, the partner was just.. not right. *They* are not wrong, but we need, as Gino Wickman in his book ‘Traction’ says, ‘The right people in the right seats’. So I will attempt to save you some grief… and give you my hard-earned guide to hiring and inspiring an entirely epic team.
Hire the best you can afford
This doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. But it probably means the very best you can afford. Because generally in life, we get what we pay for. ‘Cut your cloth’ as the saying goes, but upgrade when you need to and when you can afford to. Don’t skimp on good people and then…
Pay them well
Not every business owner agrees with me on this, but I don’t haggle on salaries or freelancer fees. If you convince me you’re worth £XYZ, fine. But you’d better deliver. When we have been beaten down on price from our self-perceived worth, none of us gives our best. And know that there’s no tolerance for less than your best when we’re paid that worth.
Give every team member autonomy and creative space in their area of expertise. Did you hire this person because you truly value their technical/creative/organizational / writing skills… or not? Hiring and inspiring for innate abilities and characteristics in line with your core values, and not just experience, means you’ve got the right person. So give them the training and resources they need and a clear brief and vision of what success looks like… then back the hell off and let them do their job. If you don’t, you’re going to waste your time trying to do it (badly) for them, and it’s your fault when they mess up.
Hold effective weekly meetings
As a rapidly growing, and remote, team, we freshen up both the schedule and the agenda of all our regular meetings at least every 6 months. High energy, positive, accountable and open team- or project-focused time to move us forward every seven days.
Ask them what they need to do their best work
Talk to your team regularly and individually about their personal, professional and happiness goals. What resources or support do they need to meet those? It may be improved team communication or support, sometimes it’s extra training or new systems. Sometimes they want to be heard, to know they are valued, to be appropriately rewarded or motivated. Maybe they’re the right person… in the wrong seat. It may need a little more planning, maybe they want to flex their creative muscle or take on new responsibility – such as copywriting, or project management. Listen, discuss and commit to a plan to deliver, with agreed timelines and criteria.
Accept mistakes but expect accountability
Everyone screws up sometimes, and when they do, being humiliated or scolded serves nobody. But when you screw up, STEP UP. Every time. I’m zero-tolerance on this one – own it.
Know and align on, your Core Values and Goals
We use Gino Wickman’s Vision/Traction Organiser to document these. You may call it your Mission, Core Focus… whatever the names you use, make sure everyone knows and everyone is aligned. Regularly and consistently reference these values and goals. They are your filter for every decision, every hire, keeping everyone on track and heading in the same direction with total clarity on their vital role in that Visions’ success.
Have extremely high standards
Because when I know I’ve done all of the above, I know I can hold my team to my very high standards. Even more important, they’re not shooting for and achieving them just to keep me happy, they genuinely share them.
What would you add to this list? What’s worked for you and your business? I’d love to learn from you.