If you want your project to succeed, you need to make sure that your team consists of the best people you can find, whether from within your organization or from outside partners. The days of assigning team members based on availability are over and unless you devote efforts to member selection, you may be dooming your project from the start. Do not treat the selection of team members lightly. They’re the lifeblood of your project and their performance will determine the degree of project success. You have to be intentional, detailed, and look beyond degrees and certifications, so with that in mind, here are six tips to help you with your team member selection.
Team Alignment & Skill Mapping
You understand the objectives of the project, but how will your team members approach it? Team alignment is critical to ensure that every member understands the final goals, approaches, and strategies being used to achieve them. Taking inventory of your team’s skills, personalities, and enthusiasm is a good way to estimate their performance, so it’s important to also consider these and ensure that there’s harmony among your team members. Above all, your team must not lose vision of the overall goal, so consider these attributes against the overall picture.
Unclear expectations are one of the top sources of frustration for employees, especially if there’s change happening within the organization. Setting expectations for your team can be uncomfortable, especially if you haven’t previously had a well-defined team structure in place, but they are absolutely essential in team dynamics. Not only do they eliminate or reduce confusion, but they increases the chances of team members being successful in achieving the project goals. Just as the saying goes, “fail to plan; plan to fail.”
Promote a Culture of Transparency
It’s difficult to overstate the significance of transparency in a project environment. Transparency helps managers and team members understand the functions of the entire team and the relationship between various tasks. If you sense a potential team member is hesitant to be transparent with his or her activities, then this is a red flag that should not be ignored. The lack of trust in the workplace directly correlates to the lack of transparency, and lack of trust is something that puts your entire project at risk of failure.
One of the best characteristics you can hope to find in team members is an interest in professional development. If you see that a potential team member is often attending seminars, active on LinkedIn, or tutoring others, for example, then you have found yourself a great asset. Even the simple act of reading is a good characteristic in a team member because “leaders are readers”. This emphasis on professional development is something that should be built on once you’ve assembled an exceptional team because that’s one of the best ways to attract top talent.
Good communication is of utmost importance within a team and in an organization as a whole. Not only must individuals share critical information at the right time, but they must also need to catch subtle hints and non-spoken communication… They need to embrace B.E.C.C.
What is B.E.C.C?
B=Bond, E=Empathize, C=Connect and C=Communicate. (B.E.C.C.)
At its most basic, this philosophy highlights the more humane aspect of team dynamics. It fosters and encourages directive, supportive, and participative dynamics that can do wonders to a team’s cohesion. If you identify individuals that naturally embrace B.E.C.C., then you’ve surely found a good addition to your team.
Recognize and Reward
This is not necessarily a criteria for selecting team members, but if you have a reputation of gratitude, top talent will be eager to join your future project teams. I’m not talking about dangling a carrot for your team members, but celebrating successes together makes the entire team feel valued and appreciated. This develops trust in each other and motivates them to continue working effectively as a team. So make sure to recognize your team’s effort at the end of the project to end on a particularly good note.
With a large percentage of projects failing in all industries year after year, it’s important to get the best team members you can. This will guarantee that your projects are completed on time and in full, the team members will feel satisfied and motivated, and good interpersonal relationships lead to a better work environment. At Valens Project Consulting, we’ve been curating team members for years. Feel free to reach out to us to learn how the tips above can make your organization more effective and profitable by booking your free operational efficiency assessment with us!
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