build a team

Build a Team that Wins: 8 Essential steps (With Examples)

Nov 21st, 2022

To succeed in business, it is critical to build a team and establish some ground rules. As a leader or manager, developing a team means hiring based not only on what individual skills each person brings. You also need to find people who bring different perspectives to the table, as well as identify people who can collaborate and cooperate. The ultimate goal of team building is creating chemistry and cohesion while also focusing on diversity. 

Building a strong team ensures that 1) the team’s individual goals are being met and 2) each worker is coming together to meet the overall goals of the company. 

Here is our guide for building a successful team, and some tips and tricks for growing your workforce. 

8 essential steps to building your team

The first challenge of recruiting for your team is finding people with the right experience or background. But finding people with the right skills is just part of the game. 

You also want to build a cohesive team that shares the CEO’s vision for the company. Your team needs to strike the perfect balance of respecting the business’s hierarchy and reporting structure, while also acknowledging the importance of pushing boundaries and challenging leadership and management when the opportunity arises. 

Here are some steps you can take to build a high-performing team.

  1. Define your vision and what makes a successful team. Every team is different, and it’s important that your vision reflects that. When you’re recruiting and hiring your team, have a set of personal qualities that you look for in candidates. Make sure to communicate these qualities to team leaders, recruiters, hiring managers, interview panelists, and other people across the organization. 

  2. Establish effective and clear communication. Successful team performance depends on individuals understanding each other. Be specific, as opposed to vague, about rules and expectations. 

  3. Create a clear roadmap. Your team needs to know what they’re working towards, and how their performance will help them get there.

  4. Delegate tasks to team members and specialists. When CEOs, managers, and other leaders micromanage, they slow down progress. Build a team with people who are self-starters, but will ask for help when they need it. 

  5. Cultivate a culture of shared responsibility. If each person on the team feels responsible for the project, then they will all do their part to ensure success for all goals. 

  6. Be sensitive to your team’s mental well being. Since the pandemic struck, every employee has faced mental health challenges. If one of your team members seems to be struggling, check in and set up time to talk and see how they’re doing.  

  7. Motivate with positivity. Celebrate wins and support each other through challenges so that you can make a positive impact and find areas to improve. Understand that you will have a different leadership style than your colleagues. 

  8. Diversify your team. Winning teams are composed of people from all different backgrounds and experiences, with a wide range of skill sets within the team itself. Don’t miss out on new talents and perspectives. 

As you expand your company across borders, building and scaling your team can start to become more complex. There are more opportunities for miscommunication, which can lead teams to spending more time putting out fires than innovating. Establishing a strong company culture early on can help prevent future issues, especially for remote companies.

With some effort, your team will develop its own style and begin to value their work. 

The 3 best and 3 worst team building exercises

Once you have successfully built the foundation of your team, as a leader, you will still need to continue encouraging collaboration and performance. Many companies opt to give their employees team building exercises to help them both learn to work together, as well as become comfortable with one another. 

Some of the best team building exercises are: 

  1. Scavenger Hunt. Having your employees break into teams and search for items in a scavenger hunt is an easy and lighthearted way to encourage them to solve problems as a team and become leaders. Plus, it gives you a chance to consider who works well together and learn what communication style each person has. 

  2. Business simulations. Break your employees into groups as if they were trying to solve the scenario. Each person will work on how they would complete a goal, solve a problem, or finish a deadline. Then, have them come back and compare their solutions. This gives them a sense of how they can have the mindset of completing tasks related to the job and seeing how their teammates would work on a solution. 

  3. Employee potlucks and lunches. Instead of having all of the focus on just work through meetings, try to host employee potlucks in the office, or for virtual employees, think about organizing happy hours and virtual hangouts. This gives team members a chance to bond outside of the work setting and build personal relationships. Remember that every single one of your team members is human. 

On the other hand, many team building exercises have proved to be ineffective and uncomfortable. Here are some examples of team building exercises to avoid: 

  1. Icebreaker/two truths and a lie. These exercises are designed to encourage employees to get to know each other better. But they have proven to make employees feel uneasy about sharing personal information that is not directly related to their jobs. 

  2. Trust falls. Although not entirely used anymore as a strategy in most office settings, this is considered one of the worst team building exercises. A co-worker catching you during a mandatory exercise has little to no correlation with how they will communicate and respond to your emails during the workday. It surely won’t help them become leaders. 

  3. Outdoor activities. Rope courses and other outdoor sports activities can make team members feel uncomfortable. Not everyone has the same level of competitiveness when it comes to sports. Putting your team members up against each other in this manner does little to measure how well they will work together in the office. 

Why companies partner with Via

While some major companies have the resources to set up entities in foreign countries or pay foreign contractors, many do not. 

Whether you’re hiring full-time employees or contractors around the world, you want to make sure that you’re doing so compliantly. Otherwise, you risk heavy fines and potential lawsuits.

By partnering with an EOR service like Via, you can hire full-time employees in another country without the cost or burden of opening an entity. We manage all of the local HR processes, including onboarding, benefits, offboarding, localized employment contracts, and payroll. We take on full liability for your team’s HR. You build and recruit your own team, and maintain full control over your team’s intellectual property. 

With Via, you can begin to build out strategic hubs in countries such as Mexico, Canada, and Colombia. You can start with as few as 1 employee and scale up at your own pace. Or you can start with a whole team of engineers or marketers and add new business units down the road. 

Need help building your global team?

Janelle Watson
Janelle Watson
My name is Janelle Watson and I'm a Colorado native. I have a BA in English from University of Colorado Colorado Springs and an MA in English from University of Colorado Denver. Before moving to blog and copywriting, I was an English teacher for 3 years at the University of Colorado in Denver. Prior to writing for Via, I wrote reviews and content for a local concert and promotion company in Denver.

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