Business Team

A great team makes a great business!

February 25, 2022

Learn the qualities of the best teams and how to develop them. Build a team that works cohesively, communicates effectively, and delivers solutions.

Build a Great Team for Your Business

At TAG Accountants Group, as a professional and well renowned accountancy practice, we recognise the importance of having an effective and well managed team to ensure your business flourishes. This area may need to be worked upon following the impact of the pandemic which may have left some people feeling isolated. 

This month, our business advisors have provided some guidance and tips on how to achieve this in your business.

Setting SMART team objectives

All good businesses have a set of goals that have been agreed upon by the management team and these must filter down throughout the organisation to have any chance of being achieved. If you want your people to pull in the same direction towards a common goal, you need to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives for each member of the team which align with the overall goals for the business.

The best way to set realistic objectives for your team is to start small with bite-size chunks rather than an objective that appears too difficult to achieve. For example, rather than asking your customer facing team to sign up 120 new clients this year, break that goal down into smaller monthly chunks and set an objective to sign up ten new clients per month. Laying out small, attainable stepping-stones each month can have a much more positive effect on motivating your team. 

Ensure that you and your team write down your objectives as this helps to commit them to memory. Objectives need to be revisited regularly and having them written down keeps them visible and so at the top of people’s minds. If a goal is in your eye line because it is on your computer desktop, you will be much more likely to do something about it.

Ensure that set objectives are measurable. Agree on metrics at the start of the year and ensure that a monthly reporting system is in place to record them. Whether you measure – sales, headcount, revenue, or production levels, will depend on the objective – the key is being able to accurately measure progress on a regular basis so there is no doubt about whether the objective has been met.

It is also important to put in place the right reward structure to motivate your team to drive forward and achieve their objectives. There are many potential incentive structures, and it is a case of finding one that would work well in your business and prove motivating for your team members – not everyone is turned on by financial incentives e.g., earning an extra day of holiday may be more appropriate.

Managing stress within your team

The Covid pandemic exacerbated work-related stress as many people had to shift to new ways of working as well as balancing family responsibilities with home-working and home schooling, etc, stretching the resilience of many well beyond what was previously thought to be the norm. Stress can have an extremely negative effect on physical and mental health, thereby impacting behaviour, performance, and relationships with colleagues.

Work-related stress is a major cause of long-term absence from work, so knowing how to manage work-related stress is vital for businesses. In an ideal world, employers should approach stress management proactively, focusing on prevention and early intervention. 

Managers should lead by example by promoting healthy working habits, such as taking regular breaks, encouraging employees to take all their annual leave, and avoiding sending emails outside of working hours as much as possible.

Managers should monitor individuals’ workloads and discuss them with their teams regularly. It is important to try and ensure that work is being shared equally and try to identify any people who may be overworked. If someone is showing signs of stress, try to delegate some of their workload elsewhere, or extend a couple of deadlines so pressure can be eased.

Investing time in building relationships with your team will prove a profitable one. If you know your team better, you will be more attuned to their stress levels. This can be achieved by positive communication, celebrating successes, and encouraging your team to switch off after work or at weekends. 

Another good tip is to hold regular team meetings and one-to-one meetings, particularly if your people are working from home. Positive interactions with colleagues can help give people a boost if they are feeling under pressure. It is vital to encourage feedback and let your team know that asking for help if they feel stressed will not be viewed in a negative way.

Other top management tips

a) A goal without a plan is just a wish

Good managers create a business plan every year and communicate that plan with their team and ideally, get them involved in developing it. Keeping your team informed of project goals, priorities and deadlines pays dividends as people who feel uninformed can become anxious and can lose trust in their manager and employer.

b) Be hungry to learn

Good managers are open to learning and growing, whereas poor managers are closed to learning and are set in their ways. You need to be prepared to learn from others, including team members who report to you. Managers must be willing to adapt to change and embrace new technology. A culture of “lifelong learning” in an organisation is important.

c) Leading by example

Team members will look to managers to set the standard. Managers need to lead by example by exhibiting a high level of professionalism and dedication – this inspires others to behave in the same way. Managers should create an environment where the energy is positive, and ideas are welcomed. 

d)Recognition breeds confidence

Publicly recognising the achievements and efforts of your team, breeds confidence and encourages future contributions and effort from your team. 

Recognition can be given on an informal basis too; in fact, praising team members can be part of a daily routine. Recognising the achievements of team members can be done during team meetings, one to one catch ups or during an informal chat. 

Poor managers cancel monthly meetings and catch ups when time is limited but this should be avoided at all costs as it can make team members feel undervalued.

e) Decisiveness is key

A good manager does not procrastinate but makes decisions in a timely fashion and sticks to them. Team members will feel uncomfortable with someone who backtracks or changes their mind all the time, whereas decisive managers build stronger trust among their team members. Building trust with your team members can be achieved by asking for their views and including them in the decision-making process.

TAG Accountants is here to help – remember, we are not just accountants!

An organisation’s people are often its biggest asset and a key to success and by creating effective and well-managed teams, a business gives itself the best chance to maximise its potential. 

So, if this is an area you feel could do with a boost in your business, please give us a call at TAG Accountants Group, Wolverhampton on 01902 783172 or alternatively, just complete our contact form HERE. Our expert team can provide you with an independent view of the current situation within your business and then, where applicable, give recommendations on how best to make some improvements. 

We look forward to helping you.