If I was to ask you what it takes to make a really great team, what would your answer be? Lots of ping pong tables? Probably not. What makes people want to both join and then stay with your team is something that is much more difficult to create: workplace culture. You need to understand how to use your IT manager skills to create a workplace that people will want to participate in. Now the big question is just exactly how do you go about doing this?
Why Human Resources Is Important
If you were tasked with building a team from the ground up, how would you go about doing it? I think that a lot of us would act like startups do and jump in and attempt to grow our team at all costs – nothing else matters. All too often, teams are built by scaling hastily. A better way to go about doing this is to find ways to avoid hidden hiring biases and instead use the interview process to determine if a candidate is really a team player.
As you start to build your team, you are going to have to use your IT manager training to find the time to clearly communicate to everyone on your team all of those critical human resources issues like parental leave, how to deal with harassment and other company policies. While you are doing this you are going to have to routinely provide the members of your team with reviews and take the time to reward good employee performance.
The news has been filled with stories about teams that have gone bad at a number of startups including Zenefits, Uber, and others. In order to avoid having the same problems that these teams ran into, you need to formalize your team’s workplace culture just like your firm formalizes how they build products. If you can find a way to do this correctly, then you’ll have a chance to build a well-oiled and motivated workforce that others will want to join.
How To Build A Desirable Workplace Culture
As an IT manager, what you are going to want to do is to attract the right kind of talent to join your team while at the same time trying to avoid running into troubles down the line. The rule is that if you don’t take the time to get your team’s culture right early on, then you’d going to discover that it will be almost impossible to get it right later on.
When we are putting together a team, we’d like to do what the HR people tell us to do: avoid hiring biases and make our team as diverse as possible. Studies have been conducted that show that ethnically diverse teams are 35% more likely to financially outperform their industry peers. If you are willing to take the time to design your workplace culture and create your team’s employment practices then you will have boosted the chances of your team being a success.
There will, of course, be challenges to investing so much time into human resource related tasks. In order to correctly execute the hiring process, you are going to end up making the process that much longer. When you do this, high quality candidates may lose interest as the process drags on and will elect to no longer be considered for the position. Despite this, doing your hiring the right way should result in the people that you do hire sticking with your team for long periods of time.
What All Of This Means For You
One of the most important tasks that any IT manager has is to create their team. If they start to do this from the ground up, they are going to have to make several decisions about how they’d like to go about doing it. Do it right and you’ll be able to use IT team building to create a strong team that can be highly productive. Do it wrong, and nobody is going to stick around to work on your team.
One thing that every IT manager needs to realize from the start when they are building a team is that they need to get some guidance from the human resources team. This means that you need to avoid hiring biases and you are going to be responsible for covering all of the human resource issues with your team. Providing frequent reviews and feedback can help to avoid some of the issues that have plagued statups that tried to build their teams too quickly. You are going to want to take the time to build the right kind of team. You’d like it to end up being as diverse as possible. However, you need to be aware that slowing down the hiring process may cause some candidates to drop out of the running.
As an IT manager, the team that you are able to put together is what is going to determine just how successful you can be. If you follow what the human resources staff tell you to do in terms of how you build your team and what kind of team you build, your team will be successful. Take the time to do it right and then you’ll experience the benefits for a long time to come.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: What do you think is the best way to create a team that is truly diverse?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
I think that it would probably be safe to say that despite the arrival of social media tools, email is still the #1 tool that IT managers use to both get and distribute information. Email has so many different things working in its favor: everyone has an email address so everyone can be reached, we can send someone anything that they need including pictures and entire documents, and email provides a fairly fast turnaround – people generally get back to us the same day that we send them an email. Oh wait, that last one doesn’t always work out. What’s an IT manager to do when despite using all of your IT manager skills your emails aren’t answered?