How to build the right team to support growth

How to build the right team to support growth

When you are growing a business it is vital to recruit a team that will continue to help you to achieve success, says Hannah-Jane Dobbie, Head of HR Consultancy at Azets, the UK's largest regional SME Accounting and Advisory firm.

Hannah-Jane Dobbie of Azets explains how to do it in the right way.

1. Identify the skills and attitudes you need to take your business forward

As a business leader you need to decide what success looks like to you as you grow your business further, and identify what you need to achieve that. It is not just about finding people with the right skills - the most important thing is to find people with the right attitude and commitment, people with ‘potential’ who have a positive can-do attitude. You can teach somebody the skills they need to do a job, but what you can’t do is make them fit in. You need to identify people who fit with your vision and what you are trying to achieve, and who are genuinely interested in what you are doing beyond the salary and benefits you can provide.

2. Be prepared to put the effort in to finding the right people for the next stage of your journey

You could have 20 CVs from people who have all got the same experience and qualifications, but you need to identify the person you are happy to spend 75% of your week working and collaborating with, so take the time to get it right. If you get the right team in place with the right skill set, you will have better engagement, increased morale, better productivity, and better retention of your employees. The sum of this will be greater than the individual elements.

3. Place a high priority on trust

The most important thing is to find people you can trust as you take your business to the next level, because you are entrusting a huge amount of yourself in them; therefore you really need to know that you are investing your time - and ultimately your finances and your business and its potential success - in the right people.

4. Find people who can challenge you in a constructive way

As you grow your business, hiring someone who is just going to say ‘yes yes yes’ all the way through isn’t necessarily going to help you; but neither do you want someone who is going to be too obtuse or controversial. You want someone who is able to challenge you constructively and ask the right questions, but who is not a threat to you. You need somebody who believes in what you are doing and shares your level of interest, who can complement you.

5. Lead by example to create the right culture

As the business leader you need to set out your expectations for the business as it grows and make sure that you are always leading by example. Make sure that everything you do reflects the tone and culture that you want to have for the business; from the language you use to how you dress. If you want to have a formal culture, for example, then make sure your language is appropriate and that the way that you conduct yourself in meetings supports this.

Don’t expect things of others that you are not doing yourself - and also make sure that people in your team are being rewarded for adopting the values you have established, and not for doing the complete opposite. The worst thing is when an employee does not adhere to the values and culture of the business and yet is still rewarded with a promotion or pay rise. That undoes all the good work that you are trying to do.

6. Be prepared to make tweaks and changes to your team as the business grows

You need to be prepared to change or refresh your team if needed as the business progresses. We see many businesses which are expanding very quickly and achieving great success, but it is clear that not all of their team are still on that journey with them as they move forward. They have perhaps become too complacent in their job or the role has outgrown their skills. In this situation it is important to look for new people to join you at the next stage of your journey. Building the right team is not just for right now, it is about continually ensuring that it is fit for purpose for the next steps in your growth plan, and can provide the right skills, attitudes and behaviours not just for now, but for two or five years’ time.

Top tips

1. Identify people with potential who can come on the next stage of your journey with you.

2. Always get someone else to be part of your selection process. Don’t be the only person making the decision; there are significant risks in populating your team with people who are very similar to you.

3. Ensure that there is always two-way open and honest communication with your team.

For more information on how to build the right team to support growth contact H-J Dobbie today.

Azets is the UK’s largest regional SME Accounting and Business Advisory firm delivering accounting, tax, audit, business and advisory services in the UK and internationally. With over 6,500 people across our global office network, we are committed to delivering a personal service both digitally and at your door.

Growing Business Intelligence, together with Azets, has launched a brand new league table, giving you the opportunity to showcase your innovation and growth in the SME market on a national stage. SME Leaders 20 celebrates your leadership, courage, innovation and entrepreneurial stories across the UK. You are the backbone of the UK economy and we have your back.

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