When looking to build a team for your department, business or startup, your goal is to try and assemble and grow the strongest team you can.
Most great leaders and entrepreneurs are only able to do what they do because of the people they hire. It’s the reason Google, Apple and Facebook are constantly battling to attract the best hires – a good team makes a difference.
Here are 10 best practices for building and maintaining a great team:
1. Hire great people
Don’t hire the people that you think will listen the best, or won’t cause trouble – hire those that will be creative and push the limits. Your team will only be as ambitious as the people you put on it. Hire people smarter than you. Don’t be afraid of those people, make them part of your team.
2. Trust the team
You have to trust that you’ve hired the right people, and let them do their jobs. Don’t micromanage and constantly stand over their shoulder. It annoys the employee, and you have better things to do. Trust the team to do the job. Be there to support them and only check in from time to time.
3. Nurture talent
If you have talented people on your team, let them be talented. Nurture them. Help them grow. Let them be outside the box part of the time. It’s part of the reason for the Google 20 rule. Google allows employees to spend 20% of their time working on whatever it is they think will benefit the company most – no matter how farfetched it is. Nurture your team’s talent and it will benefit the business.
“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” – Mary Kay Ash
4. Value all ideas
Listen to everyone on the team. Include them in brainstorming processes and make sure you value all contributions. Encourage them to share and feel like they’re helping to build the company. When you value all ideas, you’ll find the team is much stronger.
5. Lead by example
Leading by example will help set the standard for the team. It pushes team members to better themselves, to meet your standard. It also shows them you’re not just leading the team, but that you’re part of the team. You’re helping move things forward. By setting the work ethic of the team yourself, you’re able to show the team what it takes on a day-to-day basis.
6. Teambuilding exercises
Teambuilding exercises have been around since the dawn of teams. They work. They help teams become more comfortable outside the work environment, so they can be more comfortable inside the work environment. When a team knows each other, understands each other, and communicates better, the team will function more as one unit, than several individuals.
7. Non-work communication
Recent studies have shown that teams do better when they’re allowed to have non-work related communication. This plays into the idea that as teams get more comfortable, and get to know each other better, there’s less friction as they understand where they’re coming from. Don’t shut down non-work talk. It can be mini team building that happens every day.
8. Create a diverse team
Hiring a diverse team makes for a stronger team. Don’t think that everyone on the team should have things in common or be cut from the same cloth. Diverse teams tend to do better. It brings different perspectives, ideas and solutions together that can really help make team really strong.
9. Trust the resume
When looking for new team members, trust the resume. If you can spot mistakes, that’s a bad sign. Mistakes are really easy prevent with so many articles that have resume tips for first time writers. A poorly designed or written resume is a sign they’ll make the same mistakes on the team. The resume should be the best they have to offer. If there are problems with it, expect problems when you hire them.
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs
10. Show appreciation
Let the team know when they are performing well. Let them know they’re valuable. You’ll find a little appreciation can go a long way. Celebrate the little victories every day that team members think you don’t notice. This will go a long way to growing trust and making members feel like they’re a vital part of the team.
Hiring and nurturing teams isn’t always easy, but following the above practices will help you avoid costly mistakes. Don’t be afraid to tweak things as you go along. The worst thing you can do is double down on poor decisions. Hire a good team, treat them well, and you’ll be on your way.
Which practice do you think is the most important to building a great team? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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5 Hacks to Improve Your Writing Skills in English for ESL Learners
Studying in college is hard for everyone, but ESL learners arguably suffer the most. Moving to a foreign country, learning a new language, and keeping pace with the rest of the class may seem like an unbearable burden. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but you have to pull through and not give up.
In moments like this, it’s always a good idea to seek help. Whether you go to WriteMyPaper to order an essay or just talk to a friend, admitting vulnerability is an important step towards improvement. In this article, you will find some tips on how to get better at essay writing, even if English is not your native language.
Control Your Environment
Improving your language skills is all about constant practice. Living in an English-speaking community is the first thing you should do to start your practice. It might be tempting to surround yourself with people who already speak a familiar language. However, this way, you won’t be practicing English on a daily basis.
You need to make those lessons almost intuitive in a way that you don’t have to do anything to learn the language. If you live in an English-speaking community, for example, if your roommate speaks English, you will have to practice the language, whether you want it or not.
Still, make sure you don’t take it too far. Taking care of yourself is still as important as ever. Feeling like an alien for the sake of education is not worth it. Remember to keep in touch with your friends and family, talk to them as often as necessary.
Practicing language is not just about doing your homework. You can make practicing English a normal part of your daily routine by watching TV, listening to music, and reading books in this language.
Yet, this is a bit tricky. When being surrounded by white noise, people tend to learn not to notice it. You need to ensure this doesn’t happen. As you watch movies or read books, maintain your attention on what you’re doing. If you hear or see a word that you don’t understand – translate it and write it down. Be mindful and remember what you’re doing this for.
Writing Is The Answer
If you want to specifically learn to write, you need to do one thing, and that is to write. Continuous practice will help you understand what mistakes you often make and, in time, eliminate them. Focus on your goal, and don’t get discouraged when something’s not working. After all, even Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Get a journal and write in it daily. Pick a new topic every time and note everything you can think of. It’s also important that you write by hand, a spelling checker in your computer is tempting, but it will not help you remember how to spell words correctly.
Besides, journaling as a habit has multiple health benefits, and it can be therapeutic. It can help you get in touch with yourself and process your emotions better.
Learn In a Group
It’s proven that learning in a group is more efficient due to the sense of competition. Find a bunch of like-minded people who want to study with you or join an already existing one, like a speaking club.
The benefit of such activities is that you get all these people from entirely different backgrounds who are all good at various things. This will help you exchange experiences, which is impossible if you’re alone.
Schedule regular meetings, come up with topics to discuss and activities to do. You could watch videos or movies together, or talk about common things. Having assignments like describing an event can also be beneficial for the entire group. This way, while one person speaks, the rest think about how they would say the same things differently.
This will help you feel more confident in your skills and, consequently, speak and write better.
The most important thing about learning a language is not to be afraid of making mistakes. It’s inevitable; you just have to take it as a natural part of a learning process.
A child that is learning how to walk doesn’t give up after falling once, and you shouldn’t either. It’s most likely that your friends understand that you’re just learning a language, and they won’t laugh at you for misusing a word or a few.
Get over that fear of error and make as many mistakes as it will take. Treat it lightly, and don’t beat yourself up for it. On the other hand, try to attend as many events as you can that will expose you to the foreign language. Not only will it boost your English skills, but also improve your social confidence!
Learning a language is hard; there’s no arguing about that. However, it’s going to get easier with time. Take every hard thing that life throws at you and turn it into a lesson.
Watch your favorite movies in English, converse with native speakers, and you’ll see the improvement very soon!
Remember to be patient about it. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up over something that you have so little control of. Good luck!
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