February 22nd, 2016
To grow your small business effectively, you need to have the right elements in place. Finding office rental space in a good location, together with the right facilities and good communications, are all essentials. It is equally important to recruit members of staff with the skills your business needs, and for them to work together well as a team.
Finding Team Members
As many small business owners know all too well, it can be hard to recruit the right people. Continuing skill shortages in many fields have led to competition for qualified staff, so you need to think about strategies for finding the talent you want.
As a starting point, work out what skills you need to continue growing your business and what level of experience and other qualities you are ideally seeking. Once you have drawn up specifications for the job, it’s increasingly necessary to explore different ways of recruiting. This often means not just placing traditional job ads, but also asking contacts if they know of anybody who might be suitable. Social media sites can offer another channel for finding people.
It’s a good idea to think flexibly. If you find someone who isn’t quite what you were looking for but has valuable skills and talents, is there any way in which your company can benefit from their input? This could involve getting them to do some work for you on a freelance basis, or reorganising some responsibilities within your company.
Another way forward is often to develop the expertise of the staff members you already have. For instance, you may decide you want someone who is already a key member of your team to learn new skills, while taking on a new trainee to take over part of their existing workload.
Getting Staff to Work Together as a Team
Finding the members of staff you need is only part of the story when it comes to team building. The next step to make sure that your staff can work with you as an effective team. Key to achieving this is to get your team members engaged and enthused. A big advantage for a small company is that an employee can feel their contribution makes more of a difference than it would in a larger operation.
However, for each individual to feel they have a stake in your success, you need to get across the message about the company’s culture and aims, and make the staff feel they are part of it. Communication is obviously of key importance here, and holding informal meetings can help, giving everyone a chance to have their say and contribute ideas.
An element of “internal networking” is essential even within small companies. When there is a project under way, it’s obviously vital to ensure everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing, so there is no doubling up and no tasks are left undone. However, it’s also essential that different members of staff have a good understanding of what the other people involved are doing, to get a picture of the project as a whole. Encouraging existing staff to be involved in training and mentoring newcomers is another way to help to build good working relationships and effective teamwork.
Keeping Your Team in Good Shape
Company team building is an ongoing process. After finding the right staff, you need to work to retain them, developing their abilities and ensuring they are working well together. This is all about communication, encouragement and being available if any problems develop.
Social activities and events can also help to create a feeling of team spirit. Major team building exercises such as away days could well be impractical for small businesses, because of the cost and the amount of time which will be lost to the business. But smaller initiatives, such as an occasional lunch out for your team, can also help to foster a feeling of community.
Other ways to make staff feel valued are to take interest in families and activities outside work, and to make the time to praise small successes. While you obviously need to pick up on any problems affecting the workforce, it is equally important to be positive. This can help to engage people and again encourage them to work well together. It also contributes to staff retention if people feel appreciated.
If you need help with any challenges which arise in staff management, it can help to be mentored by other small business people or undergo training. Licensees taking on office rental space within Basepoint’s centres have many opportunities for networking and exchanging ideas. Mentoring is also available via the MiBase support service, which is one of the many advantages of our office space solutions for small companies.
Office Rental Space – Follow the link to find out more about Basepoint business centres, in locations including Southampton, Romsey and Exeter.