You can’t do it all on your own. If you think you can, get over yourself. But, if you’ve come to understand that particular little nugget of wisdom, the follow-up question is: “yeah, so how can I build the right team?”
Great question. One that many leaders pay lip service to, but don’t really understand how to pull off. It takes more than “happy” employees with high job satisfaction. You need people who know and understand how to best work with each other. Boil it all down and what you are really trying to distill is Team Chemistry.
This is more than simply hiring and/or firing the right people. It’s more than finding diamonds in the rough and training people up. It’s a goal and a process, and it’s a result anyone can achieve and enjoy.
There are a lot of dynamics at play. As a leader, you need to know which departments and people thrive in a more collaborative environment and which ones work better with more privacy. This is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some will tell you your workspace should be all one thing or all another. While that might be simpler, it’s not more effective. Why? Well, isolated people may not work together enough, and more open plans might backfire. You could end up with great communication about all the wrong things. Distracted employees are even less productive than lonely employees.
Next, you need to consider which skillsets complement and which supplement each other. Complementary skillsets and jobs should work more closely together, while supplementary skillsets or jobs need to be aware of their connection with other jobs, but can be less connected.
Personalities also matter. Sometimes you will have two awesome employees who simply can’t get along. You have three choices at this point: ignore it and hope it gets better, separate them or force them to work together. While the latter might make for a “fun” office sit-com and the former might make for the easiest decision, the middle choice may be the right one. Unless they absolutely must work together if two people are oil and water accept that and keep them separated. But, if you do see a group that seems to thrive when put together, make that happen as often as possible.
All of this may seem fairly basic, but it’s often not done. Many times leaders or managers will stick people together based on a simple job chart without any regard to human dynamics or unique workflow. This is your business. Get to know it better than that and achieve more every day.
David Milberg is a real estate investor from NYC.