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You’re only as good as the people behind you

A business is like football team; it makes or breaks based on the people behind it. Yes being quick and agile, innovative and edgy is important in the world of today, but ultimately, what the customers see is dependent on team who built it. For start up’s and scale up’s, this is even more important; with limited funds and greater demand on skills and speed, you have to get it right.

So, how do you build a great team?

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First, know exactly what you’re looking for in an employee, and what the role entails, but be willing to flex a little for the right person. If you find a great prospective hire, who partly fits the role, but can bring a wealth of new skills and talents to a business, redefine the position, or expand the responsibilities. If necessary, hire them and build a new role that can leverage their skills for the good of the business. If you find good people, grab them, and enable them.

Second, develop a people first culture. Richard Branson famously once said that “clients do not come first. Employees come first. This from the mouth of one of the world’s most recognised serial entrepreneurs. While a lot of his success can be attributed to clever planning and innovative businesses, it still ultimately boils down to having the right people behind him, and empowering them to succeed.

Third, be human. Your team has a life outside of work. They’re fathers and mothers, they play sports and like to explore, so enable this. The best example we can think of here is Netflix, who offers unlimited days off to their staff. We’re not suggesting you implement a scheme like this, but it is something to think about. Sometimes people just need some extra time away, especially if they work in a fast-paced scale-up environment. So give this flex. Perhaps you add in a contract clause on top of leave and sick days for self-care or self-appreciation. If people decide they want to go hiking in the middle of the week and get away from technology, or that there is a great swell coming in and they want to pitch a tent and surf the week while they can. These sort of plans not only ensure a strong and loyal staff, but also keep people happy and reinvigorated for work. It keeps your team sane and happy. What could be more important than that?

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Finally, empower your team. Create an environment and culture where people are able to experiment and learn. Fear of failure stifles creativity and innovation, thus negatively impacting company growth. Allowing people to test their ideas, trial their hunches and develop their own innovations will keep them engaged and passionate about their job, ultimately pushing your own business forward. Google is a great example of this. The owner of western internet – if we’re being honest – has long encouraged their staff to devote up to 20% of their working time to side projects. That’s one whole day a week. And before you question the productivity of the initiative, it has birthed key innovations such as Google Maps and Gmail.

Building the correct team is important, but empowering them is critical. For more advice or help finding the right people, get in touch with us at One. and we’ll help make it happen.

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