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Building a Dream Team: How to Restructure Your Staff

Group of work colleagues having meeting in an office lobby

So many business owners are waiting for their dream team to appear. They are waiting for the right candidate to walk through the doors—that person who just “gets it.” This is also the biggest lie owners tell themselves, because that dream team is not going to magically appear. You are going to have to build it yourself, person by person. So let’s get to work!

Let’s start with acknowledging the main three constructs of your team inside your business. Those three pieces are:

Sales: Administration

Service: Teachers

Support: Leadership

These three pieces often overlap, which can confuse your team as to which position they are in and what they are responsible for. The overlap happens because many of your team players sit in multiple seats, and job descriptions and roles need to be clearly defined for a team to see advancement. Oftentimes leaders begin placing people into positions because the work needs to get done and in the chaos, the full job description never becomes realized. This “throwing bodies at jobs” almost always ends in disappointment for everyone involved. A company on a growth trajectory needs a better plan and a formula for success!

Consider this: It’s common for leaders to wait too long to hire someone, leading to a rushed hire that ends up with fragmented and incomplete training, which in turn frustrates both you and them.

This is a cycle too, one that you can easily find yourself in without even realizing the harmful outcomes to your team morale and the bottom line. Bad hires are expensive, but what is even more costly is a poor hiring system that perpetuates bad hiring. Break the cycle and build a triumphant dream team who will sell, serve, and support with clear roles and expectations.

When is it Time to Restructure Your Team?

When what you’re doing doesn’t work anymore.
This is the most common reason business owners make changes!

In anticipation of growth.
This is the least common reason, but the best choice for a healthy organization.

When what you’re doing doesn’t work anymore

There are multiple reasons why staffing and job descriptions no longer work; the most common are listed below. Once you identify your situation, the solution becomes clearer.

A

Problem: Too much work and not enough people.
Solution: Hire from the outside.

When there is too much work and not enough people, you need to hire from outside the organization to solve the problem instead of overloading your staff. You decide what the position is, what skills are needed, and then advertise and fill the role

B

Problem: Blurry lines across positions.
Solution: Redefine job descriptions.

When there are blurry lines and people on your team are not sure who’s in charge of what, you need to redefine their job descriptions. Your team deserves to know exactly what their job entails and what success in their position looks like. That starts with understanding exactly what is expected of them.

C

Problem: Right bus, wrong seat.
Solution: Redistribute the workload.

If someone’s on the right bus (they have the right character traits for your company) but in the wrong seat (they’re in a position that’s not the best fit) then that means you can redistribute work to the right people. To do this you’re going to evaluate your team’s skills and interests and raise up current people who already are inside your culture. The bonus of this is that you already have great people who want to grow with you—so use them!

D

Problem: Wrong bus, wrong seat.
Solution:  It’s time to part ways.

If someone is on the wrong bus altogether, meaning they are simply not a good fit for your company, then you need to release them to the competition. When should you fire someone? The first time you think of it. If you wait, the cost to your business can be catastrophic.

The COVID Effect

COVID business shutdowns showed many business owners who the “ride-or-die” people were inside their organizations. Your people may have shown new skills or hidden talents, and now it’s time to shuffle the cabinet, so to speak, and take advantage of the newfound superstars you may have uncovered over the past nine months. Be sure to take the lessons learned and the superstars who stepped forward into account as you work through your next steps.

In Anticipation Of Growth

When possible, the best time to hire or move people on your team is when you are anticipating growth. Healthy things grow and you should always be looking for the next level of growth that your company can sustain. When setting growth goals, you should also be mindful of what has to happen to the roles in your organizational structure to sustain that achievement.

To plan for growth there are a few steps you can follow to set your team up for success:

Outline your growth goals: they should be clear, concise, measurable, and time-stamped. A growth goal might consist of specific enrollment milestones, revenue percentages, or an increase in units (classes) per student.

Assess what structure is needed inside your organization to support that growth. The structure includes your organizational chart and how many hours a week each person works on which task. You might ask yourself questions like: Are there people who have room for more work inside their available hours? Who does each person report to? Are there cross-training opportunities?

Take measure of your hiring protocol to ensure you are bringing in the best candidates. Review the protocol to ensure you don’t waste time with inappropriate applications or candidates who aren’t a good culture fit. Build an interview procedure that weeds those people out before too much time is spent.

Evaluate your training procedures to ensure your training budget is spent wisely. Are procedures clearly written for your new hire so they know what successful training looks like?  Have a plan to bring them into your company culture, and develop 30, 60, and 90 day goals for training milestones.

If you want to sustain longevity and healthy growth inside your organization, you need to plan for the growth and grow each position before it’s in crisis. 

Building a dream team takes planning, consideration, and most of all a growth mindset. Dream teams don’t just happen, they grow. Plan for growth, then work the plan!

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