One of the keys to being really successful in business is having the right people in your team, and I think that goes without saying. The three resources in business that you need to be really good managing and understanding: one of them is time, the other is money or cash, the other is team. I think people really undervalue understanding what a good team member is and how to identify them, keep them, and look after them.
I've got a check-list here or a sheet of 20 plus attributes of a great team member. I'm just going to read out 5 or 6 of these that I think are really, really important that may help you understand what it is you’re looking for when you’re looking for a great team member.
Tips for picking a great team member
1. They are passionate about your businesses success:
The first thing you’re looking for, that I think is vitally important, is that they want to see the business grow. They’re actually excited, just as excited as you are about having the business grow. It goes without saying that as a leader, you have to let the team know what your goals are, where you’re heading. Let them know the challenges you’re having. Let them know exactly what it is you’re trying to achieve. Because if anyone’s going to help you do it, they need to know what you're trying to achieve, otherwise, they’re not going to be able to help you. In fact, you’re not going to be able to help yourself.
2. They are positive about new ideas:
The second thing is then they agree to new ideas and strategies in a positive way. You've probably had times where you've had a new idea or a new product or service or something you've thought about, and you've tried it to discuss it with the team, but you've been shot down and people are being negative about it. You want people, not so much that are just fluffy optimistic people but you want people who are going to be positive about trying new things and understand not everything is going to work. So a team member needs to be resilient to knowing not everything’s going to work. You've probably heard that quote before, I think it was Henry Ford, ‘Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, whichever way, you’re right.’ And it’s sort of like that train that thought he could, ‘I think I can, I think I can.’ Well if a team member is negative about an idea from the get-go, it’s definitely not going to work.
3. They want to become better:
Another one I've got here is they work harder on themselves than they do in their job. Now you'll find team members that will. They'll listen to podcasts, they'll go to training sessions, they'll read books, they'll subscribe to magazines that are about being successful. They'll just put a lot more effort in on their own personal development than another person.
You'll find those team members are the best people, because really at the end of the day, you want people who are willing to grow not just inside your business, but in their life. So you want to encourage them to go to external workshops, I would even encourage you to pay for external workshops, even if they’re not 100% related to your business or your industry. But if it’s going to help that team member lift and rise and be a better team member, then it’s a great thing!
4. They go above and beyond:
They do more than they’re asked to do, they go the extra mile! This is a real, true indicator if someone is loving their job. If you find people aren’t getting their job done, and they’re running out the door at 5 to 5, and you find they’re doing all the distractive avoidance behavior possible, then they’re probably struggling. They’re not inspired. And there’s a couple of reasons for that...
One of them is you haven’t inspired them or the business is not inspiring and you will have to have a look at that first. Or you might just have the wrong person in the wrong position on the field. I'm a big one in thinking that way... If I was running a football team, would I have my big blokes on the front row or the wings and my runners on the front row, no. I'm going to put people in the right place on the field. And the same thing applies to your business... If you want people to be happy, put them in a position they enjoy. It’s not different than you put an accountant and say, ‘Hey, we need extra sales this month. I know you’re an accountant, but I need to get you to do some telemarketing this month.’ They’re going to be miserable, and you don’t want them to be miserable. So if you want people to do more than they’re asked, put them in a position that they love, and you’ll find people will go home and will work home at night, not because you expect it, but because they love what they do!
5. They treat your business like their own:
I'm going to finish on this last point here. I have 20 odd points, but I just picked a few out. And this is that they think of the business like their own. When you see that people are starting to make decisions, are starting to make decisions where you can almost confuse them for the owners of the business, you know you've got a fantastic team member.
That’s an attitude that you want to reward, it’s an attitude that you want to recognize, and it’s one that you want to encourage. I think that a good way to do that is for you to be a great leader. Open up to your team and get them involved in everything that you do. Get them involved in the direction of the company. Share with them the vision that you’d like to achieve. Give them feedback on what you feel is working and what is not. Have regular meetings where you'll ask for feedback and say, ‘Hey team, what do you think we can do better to achieve these goals? What are the things I'm doing right now that aren't helping you achieve your goals?’ Etc, etc, etc.
Hopefully that has helped you choose a great team member
If you’re looking to work out what are the best attributes or attitudes of a great team member, hopefully that’s helped you. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think a great team member is in the comments section down below. Go for it. Write like crazy. Write in as many as you can think, and we’ll come up with a list together of all the attributes of a good team member.
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.