A successful company is a total sum of all its various successful departments and teams. There are very many ways or philosophies of nurturing a winning team according to Patrick Mbonye, the CEO of Q – Sourcing.
Mbonye, believes that a combination of hard work and the right coaching support are important for any person or group of people to be the best. He recommends an induction process where the manager shares their thought process with their team.
“Many people think that sharing their thought process is giving away their secrets which is not true. The people you are sharing with are your team members so they help you improve the secret into a workable plan for the company,” Mbonye notes. He also proposes choosing leaders based on their abilities and attitudes instead of experience.
“If there are people in the company with potential, then identify them and groom them to execute the company’s desired goals. These people generally possess attractive qualities that frequently move others to rally around them and want to help them win,” he says. These people might not be team leaders but they are champions.
“So you can imagine if you have a champion and competent leader then you will naturally have a winning team,” says Mbonye.
Start during the interview process
Sabiiti Bageine the managing director of Bageine and Company Limited, likens the interview process to a speed dating experience.
“You do not have much time to really get to know someone before you make a decision to continue the relationship or not. We do our best to listen between the lines to gauge whether candidates share those same values as those of the company. For example, when you ask a candidate how they handled a project that did not go well, listen carefully to how they respond.
Do they focus solely on themselves, or do they talk about working together as a team to overcome any challenges? Those kinds of subtle nuances can indicate how collaborative they are and whether you share similar values and goals,” says Bageine.
We all need recognition. It is especially important when someone goes above and beyond to get the job done well. People who consistently go above and beyond are the people you generally enjoy working with and certainly want to keep around. Even people who may seem to shy away from public recognition tend to appreciate that their hard work is noticed.
“Once you have decided someone is a good fit, it is important that you continue to foster and encourage those core values,” says Bageine. One way to do this is through public recognition.
It is really discouraging when an individual feels they have done a great job, and no one seems to notice or care. When anyone both personally and professionally does not feel valued, they are going to look elsewhere. And why would you want to work with someone who does not appreciate what you are bringing to the table?
A culture of honesty and respect
According to Mbonye, there is satisfaction in a work environment where the team is honest with each other. The team members will feel safe when they are able to be honest and open with one another without fear of retaliation.
“Sometimes you need to let a team member know that they need to improve in a particular area. That individual also needs to be receptive to your feedback. And that comes with honest, two-way communication. Conversely, if someone recognises something you or the organisation can do differently, be receptive and let them know they have a voice,” Mbonye notes.
And if someone on your team is not willing to put in the necessary quality and quantity of work expected of them, Mbonye advises not to let their negativity or lack of respect for others take everyone else down with them.
“This is the hardest part of the job. It really is. Some managers avoid it altogether because it makes them uncomfortable, but it is truly a disservice to the organisation. This is a partnership, and a partnership goes both ways,” he says.
He says honest, open communication is key and that not all conversations are going to be easy. It is the delivery and willingness to work together to get the team where it needs to be that matters.
Coach your team members
Mbonye reckons coaching is one of the most important aspects of nurturing a winning team that leads to a successful company.
“You need to offer professional development opportunities to help teams grow both within the company and in their career,” he advises.
We all have room for improvement, whether it is developing our skillset, improving our soft skills, or better supporting our clients.
Giving up on someone simply because they make a mistake, or because they have not mastered something yet, is not the right thing or very cost-effective to your organisation. It also instills fear in the rest of your team, which limits innovation and risk-taking. Therefore, Mbonye suggests coaching, helping and guiding the people you have.
“You have already invested in them, so take the time to coach them, both from a process standpoint and an overall understanding of where they want to go,” Mbonye advises.