Most business owners don’t start their journey with a team intact. In fact, I have yet to meet anyone who starts out with team members out of the gate. It takes time to nurture and grow your business to the point where you need some help.
When you do start building a team, it’s important to do so with your business culture in mind. You should have your mission, vision and values laid out already, so you know what your business stands for and where you’re going. This helps you hire the right people, with the right values.
But once hired, how do you make 1099 contractors and virtual employees feel like they’re part of a team? How do you ensure that each team member loves your business like you do?
4 Tips to Create a Team Mentality in Your Business
- Start with contractors
When hiring, I always recommend that business owners start with employees in a contractor role. This is a good way to test out a new role or a new person in a role. It helps you to build a relationship with your new team members to make sure that they’re a good fit. Then, if you’re in love with your contractors and your business model allows for it, hire them on as regular employees. Just be sure to work with a human resources professional so you can dot all the “i’s” and cross all the “t’s.”Hiring contractors before employees lets you give them a test drive before making it more permanent.Click To Tweet
- Have regular team meetings
Having a regular, standing team meeting is one of the biggest changes for business owners. Maybe it’s because it feels “corporate” or because it makes them feel too much like “the boss.” But the highest functioning teams are those that meet regularly and have an internal bond, even if team members’ work never intersects with one another.
Have an agenda and respect everyone’s time, keeping the meeting as much to business as possible. And once a quarter, have a meeting just to chat about non-work items. This allows everyone to cross-communicate and really get to know one another.
- Share your mission, vision and values statements
The more involved your team members are in your business, the more they’ll buy into it. Have a meeting to talk about your mission, vision and values, and ask for input when you’re revising them. Give team members the document and ask them for input or discuss it on the fly–whatever works for your situation. When your team is more aware of the direction you’re going, they’ll do a better job and have more of a vested interest in your success.Your team should have a voice in your mission, vision & values--even if they’re contractors.Click To Tweet
Need help defining or refining your mission, vision & values? Grab my free guide here:
- Stay in touch
There are a lot of ways to communicate with your team. I prefer to use Voxer, a voice messaging tool that works a lot like a walkie-talkie. It allows me to have both private and group conversations with team members so we’re all on the same page, all the time. Plus, it’s quick and fun!
We also have multiple Trello boards that help us stay on top of projects and make notes about different tasks. The key here is to make it easy for team members to reach you so they’re never having to guess when they have a question. And having communication channels set up allows your team members to communicate with one another–so you never have to be the middleman.
In my business, I couldn’t do it without my team. They’ve helped me more than they’ll ever know, even though I tell them regularly. We have fun, but we get the work done–and we’re all in different time zones. Even better, I know some of my team members have hired one another because their rapport and expertise fits one another’s needs too. It’s a win-win-win for us all.
If you need help identifying business roles for your business, grab the Trello board that I use to keep jobs and tasks organized!