Ensuring that your team has the right people is critical to achieving your goals. If your team has what it takes and is motivated, then you’re on the way to getting it right. I’ve seen many instances throughout my career where teams don’t have the right people. If a team doesn’t have the right skills or the motivation to learn them, everything grinds to a halt.
How to know if your team has the right people
Does your team have the right people? Answer the following questions to find out.
1. What skills does your team currently have?
Sometimes known as a skills inventory, this simply means understanding what skills each of your team members has. To have the right people, your team needs to have the skills required to do the work.
The first step is documenting each of the main skills and experience that your team members bring. Now you know what you’re dealing with.
2. What skills does your team need?
Now we need to understand what skills your team requires in order to succeed. There are a few things to consider here. What type of work is coming your way? Are there any projects on the horizon that will require specific skills? How much of each skill do you need?
Does 80% of your work require Skill A and 20% Skill B?
Your team is only going to have the right people if that ratio is roughly correct amongst the team members.
3. What would your team members like to be working on?
One of the often overlooked parts of team leadership is matching skills with the enthusiasm to use them. If there is one person in your team who has Skill A, but they dislike performing the work, then it usually isn’t wise to make them spend all their time using Skill A.
When this happens, it may be a good idea to think about distributing the least attractive work amongst the team more evenly. Or better yet, to find somebody who loves using Skill A!
Having the right skills in your team is just the starting point. You need to have motivation and enthusiasm as well. Otherwise, you will see poor performance and low morale.
Alternatively, are there opportunities to up-skill people who would like to develop in a certain area? Looking for ways to motivate team members through learning new skills is an important aspect of team leadership.
4. How are you planning to address the skill gaps?
There are a number of ways to address skills gaps in your team to make sure it has the right people. Having a plan to do this is important.
Try to up-skill team members by having someone within the team teach them.
You could also up-skill team members by sending them on formal training courses.
Another avenue is to up-skill team members by learning on the job. It may take slightly longer than using an experienced person, but learning on the job can be the best way to learn.
You can also up-skill the team by hiring someone with the skills you need.
It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
Work out where you are now. Work out where you need to be. Understand what your team members want. Make a plan to get from where you are now to where you need to be, then implement it. That’s how you make sure your team has the right people.