Growing a team can be a challenge for even the most savvy business owner. You need to be ready to delegate and feel like you are losing a piece of control over this business that you’ve poured your heart into.
How do you know if it’s the right time to hire?
Sometimes, hiring is a better option than DIYing something; other times, you’re better off doing it yourself. First, ask yourself what can’t you do that needs to get done in your business. It’s much less expensive (and more efficient) to hire an expert than try to learn it yourself.
Then ask yourself what you hate doing in your business, or what takes up more time than you’re willing to spend? What’s the opportunity cost of spending time on one thing—is it actually costing you money because you can’t get to a more important task?
1. Attract the right people.
Finding the right person the first time around can be a challenge. But if you’re ready to scale, you need people. First, you need a really good handle on your mission, vision, and values so you can hire someone who aligns with them. It’s easy to teach someone a skill, but not so easy to work with someone who has different values than you.
Company owners may default to hiring people who have similar strengths or styles because they understand or identify with them. Instead, identify the skills your company needs to grow, but your current team doesn’t have. Look for those skills in new hires. Figure out the qualities that you want common in all your team members before you create detailed job descriptions for every position to be filled.
2. Avoid onboarding mistakes.
Be explicitly clear on your expectations for the new hire and communicate those expectations—both in writing and ongoing. Teams need structure and clarity to perform at their best. That means giving them clear roles, plans, and goals so they can work on their designated roles and tasks without hesitation.
3. Adopt a team mentality and a culture of “psychological safety”
Create an environment built on trust, or “psychological safety.” Teams are most effective when individuals feel comfortable taking risks and being vulnerable around each other. Focus on creating a culture where team members support each other and are empowered to take moderate risks to help your company find new and better ways of doing things.
As the CEO, make it clear that just because you are the CEO that doesn’t mean you know everything. You are depending on your team to be the experts in their key areas.
4. Create Effective and Repeatable Processes
When you have a small team, you are able to work quickly with little process in place. However, the bigger the team gets, the more important processes become because you don’t want people overlapping what they are working on. You need to start creating clear goals for everyone and select important processes that are crucial for efficiency but won’t slow down your business growth.
5. Embrace change
When bringing new team members on, it’s important to focus on the positive while still allowing opportunities for challenges and concerns to be aired. Be sure to talk to your colleagues about the changes, and how they present opportunities. Talk to the team about who is being brought on and what skills these new team members bring to the table.
Make sure the entire team is informed enough about your company’s overall strategic vision that they understand the decision to bring new members into the project. Ask for questions or concerns, and be sure to address them. Transparency goes a long way toward reassurance. Create opportunities for the new and existing team members to get to know each other.
Above all, be patient throughout the implementation process. Growth means all of your hard work is paying off!
Growing a team is an exciting time for business owners. It allows you to grow and scale your business much faster than if you were in it alone. But it’s not without some stressors—stressors you can avoid when you grow the right way.