Success, Designed & Built by People
As an advocate of the Design Build model, we’ve utilized collaborative design methodology on our own internal operations. Design-thinking has been an essential tool towards building our business and brand but most importantly, it has cast a spotlight on the most important aspect of our success – our team.
The team sets the tone for culture, performance and client satisfaction. In an environment where every project requires a custom solution, our team must be flexible, agile and focused on the details. With a company-wide average tenure of 13 years, our success has come from the following five strategies:
Hire For Cultural Fit and Work Ethic
Consider skills and general aptitude a given to meet job requirements. A real key component to the team’s success should revolve around cultural fit. Our own insights have proven that team dynamics improve when each team member feels a sense of community and comfort among their peers rather than competition. Additionally, work ethic should be weighed equally with cultural fit. Hire individuals who are deadline oriented and strive to do it right. Skill sets can always be trained and improved upon, cultural fit and work ethic are much harder to change.
Establish a Vision
A team without direction is the equivalent of a crew rowing a boat in different directions. It’s important to support the overall company’s vision, but understanding how your individual team members contribute to that vision is essential to the execution of your strategy. Vision planning should be a team effort as it helps enforce the importance and creates inclusivity.
Imagine an environment where everyone thinks like you because all they know is what you know. How would you innovate beyond your own conclusions? The benefits of working in an environment of diverse people is the variety of perspectives that help develop new solutions. Sometimes varying creativity flourishes best when you have diversity of people, genders, experiences, education, culture, etc.
Empower Everyone to be a Teacher
Along with diversity, it is vital to allow everyone to be the teacher. If you’ve done the preceding points well, you’ll find that you will be rewarded with team members that can offer much more than just work. Host regular open air discussions to allow team members to share ideas, concerns and feedback. The most innovative ideas are developed in an environment that promotes collaboration as well as empowers individual creativity.
Leverage Individual Strengths
Having a clear understanding of your team’s individual strengths is extremely valuable to creating harmony within the team. We’ve invested in strengths assessments as a way to help leaders and individuals interact better and work to each other’s strengths; often times pairing team members up on projects where their skill sets and personality types are complimentary. Areas for improvement are always opportunities. Gain an understanding of the different ways people learn and adjust your training to match individual needs for the best results.
By no means are these the only factors to building a successful team and it is important to identify what works best for you and the goals you are trying to achieve. The common pattern among the points is the idea of building success through empathy, diversity, collaboration and education. The end result will be an increase in productivity, efficiency in processes, solid cultural foundation and most importantly; customer satisfaction.