And I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do….

Managing people is one of the hardest things we encounter in life – especially when you also have to also handle the exponential growth of your company or organization. Not only does there need to be a shift in mindset when it comes to growing and expanding your business model, but also when you have to start filling gaps with new people and skillsets to match your growth. Having to manage different personality types and expertise is something that not many of us who manage a business have been trained to do. In this blog post, we review some of the main takeaways from the Frontier Incubators Masterclass Series: Building and Managing Strong Teams. 

Growing Your Team As Well As Your Organization

As you grow your business/organization, you have to keep creating opportunities for people to learn and keep them engaged while building their skillsets to be invested in the team and the overall mission/work of your organization. Many people don’t realize that this is an ever-evolving, long-term type of investment that involves the group as a whole as well as individual team members. As the organization grows, so should the people within the organization – having people see a path for growth and take on more responsibilities as time goes on, gives them a sense of longevity both for their personal and professional development. A majority of people leave their jobs because they don’t see a future for themselves in the organization or they didn’t feel like there were opportunities for growth and advancement. 

Building interpersonal relationships is key to keeping a team strong and healthy over the long-term. This can be done in a variety of ways that don’t necessarily require vast resources and investment from the organization. Anything from brown bag lunches, where employees can share on a topic of interest to them to having an annual team retreat that is focused on leadership development and team building, can create new opportunities for growth and development of the team and individual employees.   Creating ways for giving and receiving feedback from people on your team and for them to share with one another helps to create a healthy team culture focused on positive growth and continual self-improvement, without any judgment involved. Team stability is a key thing to focus on which helps with keeping team turnover rates low.

Creating Consistency and Structure Within Your Organization

Managing the growth of your internal organizational structure as you grow means shifting your focus on different areas of your business needs. This has to do with new leadership positions that might need to be developed or creating entirely new teams to handle new aspects of the business like marketing or human resources, and all of these new changes come with new staff responsibilities. Having an evolving frame of mind when it comes to organizational development and growth, especially when looking at roles, responsibilities, communication, and decision-making will help your team get over growing pains quickly and reduce burnout. Constantly re-evaluating is key to making sure your team is on the right course for growth and you have the necessary players on your team with the knowledge and skills needed. There are different types of organizational structures so be sure to pick the one that works best with the stage where your organization is at each level of growth. 

Clearly Defining Roles, Responsibilities, and Communication Flows

Not only having clarity on a team/individual level but also having clarity of leadership roles, flows of communication, and decision-making from the leadership team is key for creating a strong team. The leadership team is in charge of defining and maintaining the overall team culture and also for creating stability and consistency for the team as a whole. If leadership members are not on the same page as to who is responsible for what and how different people on the team report back and receive feedback for their work, this can create a sense of instability and frustration for the entire team. Making sure that all leadership members have been trained in the management of their individual teams and having regular leadership meetings to discuss key wins and obstacles for management can help put out fires before they are started. 

Oldies but Goodies – Tools That are still Relevant Today

There are a lot of tools out there that can be great resources for your leadership team to keep in mind and implement when thinking about how to keep your employees engaged, satisfied, and constantly learning. We have placed a few examples below. 

Personality Tests that Can Help Identify Strengths and Challenges on a Team

Herzberg 1958 

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Level 5 leadership (Jim Collins, Good to Great)