Getting the Right Team


Getting the Right Team

If you take a look at the team in your business, if you were starting again would you re-hire them? If you were an investor would you hire yourself?

Recruiting, developing and retaining a great team is one of the biggest challenges. People are very complex, we are shaped by our life experiences, both from childhood and our time working in different companies. The expectations of how a task is completed and the way it is delivered are rarely clearly defined. This leads to a mis-match of expectations for both parties.

Here are some top tips to getting on the same page as your employee:

1. Create clear roles and responsibilities
2. List out the skills needed to complete the responsibilities
3. Have performance measures in place
4. Progress checks Mondays and Thursdays
5. Have one to ones with everyone at least once a month
6. Formal reviews at least annually
7. Clear reward and recognition


Getting clear on what you want someone to actually do sounds obvious, I often hear clients telling me they need help but they lack clarity initially on what they want that person to do, how many hours they need them and how much to pay.

Once you detail out the role, map in any skills/qualifications they need to have, the final step is to be clear on the values or attitude needed. Does the role require someone that is a creative thinker, very pro-active or do they need to have great attention to detail and follow established systems?

There are a couple of useful tools to help get the right person fit for the role, one is behavioural profiling – my favourite is DiSC, the other is Belbin’s team roles. A great team will need a mix of skills, some with great people skills, others that are great at creative thinking and others that are great implementers.  It is common for Managers to recruit people they have an instant rapport with – often similar to themselves, not necessarily what the company needs.

Once you know the skills, sketch out the working week and when they would complete each task – this will help identify how many hours they are needed and give a framework for them when they start.


Listing out the skills required make it much easier to hold the individual accountable for delivering effectively. I like to get some scoring in place to get clarity on where the person needs development or how that person can be used to develop others in the team. A scoring of 1-10 works well. Get them to score themselves and give justification as to why they think they are that score.

The skills matrix by role also makes it very transparent as your team grows and people may want to change roles.

Make sure the behaviours are in there too, if they score themselves as an 8 on time-keeping or accuracy and then start making mistakes you have something tangible to refer back to.

Here’s an example from a Joinery company I work with:


The more tangible measures of performance are, the easier it will be to hold people accountable. This could be client satisfaction scores, levels of snagging, value of debtors, number of calls made, % quotes turned around in 48 hours –there will always be a measure you can identify. If you get stuck ask them for ideas on how you will know when they are doing a great job.


Communication needs to be like a drum beat throughout your company. If there are problems, poor systems and lack of communication are normally at the core. Best practice is to have a quick meeting on a Monday to run through how last week went & what’s coming up. LION is a quick effective format:

  • Last week
  • Issues
  • Opportunities
  • Next week

Another quick meeting on a Thursday checks everything is on track and is an opportunity to tackle any challenges that have arisen before the end of the week.  Email, in my book, is to confirm decisions/progress/action rather than being the main communication method. Email is often used in companies to replace conversations, they are impersonal, are often misinterpreted and are not conducive to having a 2-way effective conversation.


First and fore-most people are social animals, they like to feel part of the pack, respected and listened to. I spent a lot of time in the corporate world and despite wanting to feel valued often felt I was just a cog in the wheel, just a number.  Every member of the team needs to have some time with their Manager to chat generally about how things are going for them. This isn’t about discussing specific progress on a task – this is looking at an overall picture of what is going well for them in work and outside of work and is an opportunity for them to open up about any challenges.

If you can schedule in some socials with the team it will build positive relationships and more of a sense of community/family which will improve performance and retention.


The reviews can be scored or not, that’s up to you, many companies link bonuses to individual performance, in which case they would have to be scored. This is where the skills matrix comes in really useful.

  • Looking at progression over time, improvement in scores
  • The desire to expand their skill set, training needs and skill gaps
  • Opportunities for them to mentor/support others

Make sure that both the appraiser and the employee prepare before the meeting – looking at the skills matrix, any objectives set and performance measures. The employee always puts their points across first backed up by evidence, the appraiser then talks through their view and then you can have a discussion about what’s working well and any areas for improvement. There should be no surprises in the meeting – the value is in the discussion and confirmation of their strengths and how the company can support their development – a positive meeting.

360 feedback is very powerful, getting feedback on that person from peers, customers, suppliers, other managers. If you are looking at 360 feedback, it helps to lead by example and have the 360 for you first as it is scary for some people.

Many people avoid giving any negative feedback and then complain like crazy to others about performance. The only way for someone to improve is to talk to them as quickly as possible about what happened – get their view first and then state your view and highlight the implications.

HEADINE                     EVIDENCE                   IMPACT

For example, I want to talk to you about time-keeping. How do you think you are doing?….. they state their thoughts…. Last week you were late every day, not ready to start work until 9.30am, the implication of this is… delays to quotes going out, meetings not starting on time effecting your colleagues and it provides a poor role model to younger members of the team. What do you think you can do to get to work on time?  Discuss the options and agree a way forward with a set time to review.


I have worked with some Business Owners that are exceptionally quick at confronting poor performance, in fact they can jump down throats and use language that isn’t ideal in the workplace. Note that I said they were quick to react not good!  It is important to be as non-emotional as possible and keep to the facts.

British people are very good at looking for things that need improving, not so good at recognising the positive. Most people will react more constructively with praise, try to find things that people are doing well – speak to them, put a post it note on their desk, text them or give them a thank you note. As long as the recognition is genuine it will be appreciated.

Depending on the individual, some would prefer a thank you in front of peers and others in private.

Bonuses and commissions are ways of rewarding performance, don’t underestimate the power of a thank you, taking the team out for breakfast or buying them cakes. It doesn’t have to be grand gestures, I know companies that give individuals a Friday off for going the extra mile – no actual cost but often more appreciated than a £100 bonus.

I hope you have found this useful, Team is a huge subject – get it right and your business will flourish.

If you need any help get in touch.

Have a successful week.