There’s no “I” in team

It can be argued that the success of a business isn’t necessarily ensured by an outstanding Chief Executive or even the work of some all-star employees — it’s all about the team.

Companies everywhere should be considering how their business would function if such people weren’t around. Would you “keep calm and carry on” as usual, or would your company take an irreversible slide? One thing’s for sure: a strong team will keep you afloat in all circumstances.

The future of your company shouldn’t depend on you–whether you’re the manager, CEO, or unanimous company superstar. It depends on a well-rounded, resilient team. Working for your team, rather than having them work for you, isn’t easy in the heavily structured, management-focused settings companies have come to thrive in today.

Kick your bad habits and put your team first. Let’s explore seven ways to ensure every employee is able to step up without hesitation:

1. Build a strong foundation. Set the teamwork bar high from the start. If your company culture and mission doesn’t encompass the power of team-focused efforts, there’s no way to ensure your company’s strength will lie in the team. Your employees need to know that you work for them, and not the other way around.

2. Empower your employees. Every one of your employees has something of value. Since you work for your team, it’s your job to find out where your employees excel individually. Highlight their strengths and challenge to act as a Role Model. This will increase their interest in staying on top of their game and motivate them to live up to their reputation. Even when not in the office, they’re still going to want to retain their image.

3. Establish goals. You can’t have a team without a vision. Discard the idea of your employees acting as task-doers and let them collectively achieve goals within teams. Establish your company’s teams and give each one a target to achieve in a short timeframe. This allows your employees to focus on the big picture, rather than accomplishing smaller tasks. Working toward team goals will develop the sense of ownership and responsibility — positively impacting your company from all sides.

4. Learn to delegate. Trust your employees. If you’re a micromanaging perfectionist, you can kiss your team-focused culture and project ownership goodbye. Set your teams on the right path by delivering the big picture and measurable outcomes. Your delegation efforts will allow them to work creatively to achieve, and they may even surprise you in the process.

5. Let them figure it out. If you step in every time there’s a problem, how can your employees ever solve things on their own? Giving orders to your employees may seem easy, but it excludes them from the decision-making process. Stop telling your employees what to do and start asking them how they would do it. You will immediately increase team autonomy, responsibility, motivation, and create a powerful change in the employees’ decision making.

6. Recognize their efforts. Praise is the key ingredient for boosting motivation and engagement. Tell them what they’re doing right and encourage them to continue onward. Too many employees think of their manager or CEO as the most critical member of the company. Remove this stereotype and be the one who pats on the backs. This also makes the occasional call for improvement easier to take.

7. Remove hierarchy. “All for one, one for all” should be your employees’ new motto. Your employees will want to go the extra mile for the good of the entire team and the accomplishment of a goal. Why? Because there’s nothing worse than letting down your entire team.

If you let the power of your business lie in the hands of one or two people, you’ll be certain to fail in their absence. Build a team-focused business to keep you afloat under any circumstance.

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