Today's article will introduce tools and frameworks to you that can help you to build a successful (project) team. While doing so, the overall objective is to find the ideal team composition with team members that complement each other in terms of professional skills and character attributes. That should lead to in this blog often mentioned increase in productivity and efficiency. The topic of an ideal team and work environment became more and more relevant for me over the past years. I realised the importance of a well-performing, reliably-working team in the past of working with a lot of different characters and skill sets on several music productions or other professional and academic projects. If you are in the lucky position to have the opportunity to select your team members on your own, I am sure you will not want to miss a well-performing team anymore if you had one once. In the following, you find my recommendations and tips to achieve exactly that.
TTI Success Insights®
The first time I came in contact with human resource analysis and development tools was in mid of 2016 when a financial services company was interested in my professional profile after finishing my bachelor's degree and invited me to do a "Leadership-Check Basic" by TTI Success Insights. The test's result led to the opportunity to start a professional career in the financial services sector, but I was more interested in continuing my journey in the creative industries and developing myself academically. However, the then obtained awareness about my mix of values, behaviours, competencies and emotional intelligence (in short: EQ) was worthwhile in retrospect.
One of the leadership's most important task is to recruit the right people and develop them according to their potential and the organisation's needs.
The above-mentioned analysis components are unique for every individual and constitute a challenge for leaders and human resource professionals, mainly because people tend not to be fully aware of themselves without analysis results like the ones by TTI Success Insights. Therefore, examining an individual's personality structure in great detail can help you with building the ideal teams, forecast potential interpersonal issues between each of the team members and how to prevent them not only as coworker interacting with your team members but also as a leader guiding the team. To obtain the needed data for the final personality analysis, the potential team member needs to go through an online survey answering several questions in approximately 30 minutes. The results can then be used for team-building activities or to develop the team's different characters by setting goals (e.g. biannual) for personal optimisations, supported and monitored by the leader. Based on the individual's analysis results, possible coachings - to name an example - can be about "Nonviolent Communication" (for further information search: Marshall Rosenberg) to reduce communication problems within the team and many more...
The INSIGHTS MDI® competency models consist of three components:
- (How?) Our natural as well as adjusted behavioural preferences
- (Why?) Our motivations and individual drivers
- (EQ) Our emotional competencies regarding empathy, social competency, self-perception and -regulation.
If this short introduction caught your attention, you can find their products with different analysis focus and report types here. I also embedded two videos of TTI Success Insights:
Skills Gap Analysis
After we have found the ideal team to work with, a skills gap analysis could be helpful over the time to solve performance issues that perhaps arose during the last project, even improve the team's work, or evaluate if a new upcoming project can be handled in the desired quality with the available human resources. The analysis can be conducted on the individual (job requirements vs team member's actual skill set) or team/company level (team's skill set vs required skill set for a project). As a result of the analysis, you should have identified the skill gaps and probably came up with solutions on how to close them with training, hiring additional team members or temporary mandate external workforce for instance.
Two questions should be in your focus while examining the skills requirements and available skill sets:
- What skills do we value as a company/team?
- What skills the team members/employees need to do their job well - now and in the future?
Measuring the skill levels can be done with surveys, face-to-face interviews, team workshops or feedback from performance reviews. Conducting a skills gap analysis can be time-consuming. But the results are worth it because they will help you to identify the skills that are needed to grow as a business/team and to hire and retain the right people.
Open Exchange & Feedback
Communication is the key! Allow and promote an open exchange of information and knowledge within your team and business. Also, do not forget that often a face-to-face dialogue or even a quick phone call is more efficient and error-free than all the fancy online communication tools we frequently use such as e-mail and chat clients. Especially a disagreement should never extend beyond two emails.
A good way is to tell the team members that they are going to receive frequent feedback. That way, they are more open to hearing it and acting on it. Do not wait long periods without giving your team members feedback or wait until performance issues arose. Ensure to give all team members a voice and not being the only one providing feedback as the team leader. Proactive feedback can act as a significant enabler for your team's continuous improvement.