A well-trained team with deep experience strongly positions any business to thrive. Capable teams are those able to, not only meet the challenges of today, but to also respond to shifting conditions and demands over time. While the need to build a team’s capabilities is generally well understood, few leaders place enough significance on learning and development.
The opportunity to learn and grow is essential to each member of your team’s success, but is also required to retain them in your business. Gaining experience and developing capabilities are among the most commonly stated reasons people give for choosing to join, stay or leave an organisation.
The ultimate indicator of success is the ability to access talent from within your business when you need to. In other words, having the capabilities needed to achieve your strategic objectives at every step along your organisation’s journey.
6 essential steps you can take to grow your team:
1. Adopt a ‘grow-your-own’ strategy
Focus on developing your existing team’s capabilities in preference to hiring new talent. Start with your organisation’s strategic plan, identify capabilities that will enable success and competitiveness, and develop learning solutions to deliberately foster these competencies over time.
2. Create a learning culture
Lead by example and place value on ongoing learning. Ensure policies and programs support the people on your team to develop the capabilities they need to succeed in their current roles as well as take future career steps. Create an environment where people feel safe to ask for help and where every person is committed to the team’s success. Teams should feel comfortable sharing their knowledge and supporting their colleagues.
3. Share accountability
Dedicate the time and resources needed to effectively train and develop your people, and in turn, hold each member of your team accountable to being open to, and actively pursuing, learning. Expect and inspire people to strive to keep growing throughout their employment, and their careers.
4. Hire well
Let’s face it, not everyone is looking to make more than a compliant contribution. Some people are simply interested in collecting a salary and doing only as much as they have to keep their job. However, teams that thrive are those in which people are motivated to grow. Look for people who value the opportunity to gain experience and want to keep learning.
5. Understand learning priorities
Every supervisor, up through the senior leadership team, must understand what knowledge, skills and experience is required by each role in their team. It is every people manager’s job to understand which skills are mission critical and which, while valuable, are less likely to make a significant difference to success.
6. Leverage people managers
Success depends on every manager deliberately growing the capabilities of their people. Expect that they take a hands-on approach to coaching, guide people to identify the capabilities they need to acquire or improve, and create opportunities for learning.