New leadership represents change across the organization at every level. Typically, a new leader will settle into their role in the first few months and observe firsthand the responsibilities of the role and the wider team. A good leader knows how to lead, but a great leader knows and acknowledges their shortcomings and weaknesses and plans for these gaps. Here are a few ways in which newly onboarded leaders can build a better team for the future.
Assess Your Team’s Skills and Behaviors
Within the first few months, a new leader should assess and examine what changes need to be made within the team. Assessing internal team members will help a new leader understand more about the core team such as:
- Preferred Communication And Feedback Methods
- Working Style and Behavior
- Overlaps In Knowledge or Responsibilities
- Skills Gaps
- Key Motivators and Performance Drivers
Taking all of this into consideration, a new leader can identify the strongest and weakest team members, redundancies, and areas for growth. When building out a new team, conducting this initial assessment is critical because you may discover an utterly untapped skillset, identify new pathways of success for team members, and pinpoint individuals that need to be upskilled, mentored, and developed.
Plan With Your Existing Team
Once you have assessed the wider team, it is time to create a roadmap for internal reorganization and the criteria needed to hire for missing skillsets. First, start by examining your and the team’s shortcomings and identify any team members that are high performers and possess the right skillsets to fill this gap. Ask yourself:
- Should this person report to a different manager or be on a different team?
- What blind spots can they fill in for the organization?
- What are their aspirations?
- What is their current path to success within the organization?
This will lay the foundation for building out your team with the talent immediately available. Create a plan for where these individuals can contribute more effectively, help support your leadership goals, and drive success. In some cases, these stakeholders may need to be promoted or placed on a different team to deliver better results.
Support Individuals That May Be At Risk.
Part of the process beyond promoting or reorganizing teams is supporting employees that may no longer be a good fit. Many new leaders will quickly uncover team members that have exhausted their potential or the value they bring to the position. Set this individual up for success by having transparent and open conversations with them. Try to find ways in which you can reskill, train, develop or repurpose their contributions to the company. A good leader will quickly identify who is not performing, while a great leader will figure out a new or better way to support this employee and create more value. But in some cases, it is time for an employee to move on to a new company. A great leader will maintain a positive relationship with employees that leave for several reasons, including:
- They will be responsible for knowledge transfer and an efficient handover process
- Your company’s reputation is at stake
- You can be seen as an industry resource or mentor instead of an enemy to them
If an employee begins to look elsewhere for work, start planning for who can fit into the role in the interim, support their transition and be a resource during offboarding. This is one of the most complex parts of being a great leader but is critical to building a solid team around you.
Hiring And Recruiting
Whether you need to replace a terminated team member or backfill for a promotion, there is always an opportunity for improvement. Good leaders will quickly recruit to replace, but great leaders will recruit to reinvent. Sometimes the process, reporting structures, projects, and skills around a role change over time and require a new set of attributes. Before beginning the recruitment process, look at the wider team and ask:
- Are there others already doing this work or can or want to do this work?
- Is there an opportunity or need to create more collaboration across departments?
- What skills are lacking across the entire team?
- What future products or services can this role evolve and grow with?
- Do you need to hire for this role at all?
All these steps are part of the journey a great leader should take when building out a strong team. Some internal talent acquisition and talent management teams support these steps; however, engaging an objective third party can yield more insights, better results, and broader access to talent in the marketplace.
About The Author.
Jeff Raymond (firstname.lastname@example.org), President and Founder of Raymond Search Group (RaymondSearchGroup.com), is an industry-leading recruiter specializing in Construction and Real Estate, Engineering, Architecture, HVACR/R, Building Automation Systems, MEPF, and Manufacturing. Jeff is known for delivering the top 5% of industry talent to his clients with unrivaled efficiency and network. Clients and candidates alike rely on Jeff as a trusted advisor through his recruiting expertise and industry insight.
Jeff earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Management, and Operations from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is experienced in the construction industry and is Procore certified in multiple areas. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, ASHRAE, the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR), and The OSHA Education Center Association.