Building the Right Team To Scale: 4 Ways to Succeed
If you follow Silicon Valley leaders on Twitter you’ve definitely heard in some form or another that building the right team for your company is the most important thing. Too often do startups fail or never scale because of poor management and hiring decisions. In fact, 23% of startup employees believe that this is the top reason why startups fail.
If you are solid on your personal vision and value real authenticity with your employees, you can build a team that will scale along with you. Here are 4 tips to help make this happen:
Set the Right Drumbeat
Setting the tone of the company and being the beating heart of its values is one of the strongest ways you can promote teamwork and success throughout the scaling process. According to Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, “Wisdom without compassion is ruthlessness, and compassion without wisdom is folly. To this day, my personal vision statement is to help expand the world’s collective wisdom and compassion.” He is reiterating the point that by holding true and living out your personal vision, you will set the beat that the rest of your company will resonate with.
Establish Clear and Effective Communication Channels
As you scale, it is easy to lose the personal touch of direct communication with your employees. This can result in miscommunication and resentment towards upper management – both of which can cause chaos in any organization. Cynthia Johnson, Co-founder of Bell+Ivy, puts it like this: “It’s difficult to feel like you are part of a team when everybody has information that hasn’t been shared with you yet or when team members don’t fill each other in on what they’re working on. Keep a level of transparency whenever possible with all team members, even if the information doesn’t directly pertain to every person on your team.”
She recommends utilizing modern workflow apps such Slack to help keep an open line of communication for everyone on your team. Throughout the companies I work with, we use Slack across the organizations to stay connected in real-time, avoiding unnecessary meetings and time-sucking activities. Try to have discussions outside of weekly check-ins and strive to keep a personal touch with as many employees as you can!
Organize Teams of Like-Minded Individuals
Promoting close-knit teams for different tasks can help you create hyper-effective workflows. Make sure to get feedback from the teams you are adding to before making a decision on the new hire. For example, before bringing on a new developer to add to your front-end design team, you may want to get your existing developers opinions first, or probe to see if the team can utilize their networks. If their style’s do not matchup and end up clashing you will just end up doing more harm than good. This goes beyond the core team and extends to investors, advisors and board members as well, which I’ve covered previously.
Building the Right Team for the Long Term
Remember, you aren’t just building a team for a startup. Your goal is to build a scalable and enduring company. In order to do this, you will want to understand where your business is heading and what its structure will look like 5 years down the road. According to startup expert Neil Patel, “Consider the long-term vision for your business. Write down all the different departments that you will need to bring that vision to reality. Bear in mind that you don’t need a team member to represent every possible function. At least, not in the beginning.
Think about the functions that are necessary to give life to a minimally viable version of your business. When you have that laid out, hire people who would be leaders for each of these functions. This way, when you’re ready to scale your business, there’s far less friction.”
By following this credo, you will be able to seamlessly start building out the different teams you have envisioned because you have a strong foundation of leadership already laid out.
Vision, Communication, and Compassion
There is no blueprint for success for scaling a company. It is a stressful and overall difficult process that must be weathered in order to find success. By holding true to your vision and setting the tone, ensuring stellar and authentic communication channels, and keeping your long-term plans in mind, you will have surrounded yourself with a hardworking and durable team that will help you thrive during turbulent times.
Are you ready to start building the right team?