WordPress powers 43.3% of all websites on the internet! Furthermore, 14.7% of the world’s top websites use WordPress.
This, of course, is great. However, it also means that the WordPress industry is highly competitive and filled with a plethora of agencies and freelancers that offer development and maintenance services.
The only way to stand out in such raving competition is to be a strong leader who knows how to build an effective team.
In this article, we’re going to introduce 9 essential steps to follow in order to create a successful and effective team.
But before we delve into the details, let’s apprehend the issues and challenges the WordPress industry poses.
WordPress Industry Challenges
To make it in any industry, you need to overcome specific challenges and problems that come with the job, and WordPress doesn’t fall behind.
For starters, you need to have good developers in your team, and a good developer is not always easy to find.
Working with WordPress on a high-end level, also requires constant plugin development as per your customers needs.
Building an effective team in the WordPress industry also requires a particular set of skills, including business insight, people skills, strong analytical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, adaptability, and reliability.
In terms of operations and management, running a WordPress agency comes with a lot of challenges as well. You need to find enough reliable clients, in order to maintain and grow your organization, and provide top-notch development and customer services in order to retain them.
To that end, you have to demonstrate knowledge, communication skills, responsibility, and the ability to work fast.
Now, without further ado, let’s find out how to build a successful team and turn your WordPress agency into a well-oiled machine.
How to Build an Effective Team
Developing an effective team is not an easy task and requires hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, when it comes to working with people, it’s not always easy to make the right choices – only time can show whether you’ve found a rare gem or completely misplaced your trust.
However, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk, and ensure that you provide the best environment to allow your teammates to shine:
1. Hire the Right People
Building an effective team starts with hiring the right people. First, you need to establish what you’re looking for in a candidate, and set your own expectations depending on the job position.
This means that you need to assess your company culture and cross-reference it with the candidate’s profile, otherwise you won’t know if the person will fit in.
Prepare well-structured interviews that cover all topics you’re interested in. Don’t hesitate to ask people about previous job experiences, and what makes them think that they are the right fit for the position.
In addition, a resume, portfolio, or CV could be really impressive, but the candidate’s personality may not be, so try not, to judge the book by its cover. Don’t focus too much on what’s written down, instead, try to understand the way your candidate thinks and who they are, ask about their interests and ambitions.
After all, the perfect person for the job might not be the best candidate on paper.
2. Ensure Clear and Effective Communication
If you are wondering how to build an effective team, strong communication is key to establishing an effective team, and the same applies to most aspects of life. Your role as a leader requires you to ensure that communication within your company is efficient and effective.
This applies not only to how people communicate between each other, but to how you talk to them. Let them know exactly what ideas you’re trying to express, and make sure that you are being clear, concise, and respectful.
Keep in mind what vocabulary you use – judgmental phrases will probably do you no good. Rather, try to maintain a friendly tone to keep team morale high and motivate them.
Also, make sure to conduct a dialog, instead of performing monologues. By doing this, you will not only allow workers to express their voice, but they will also encourage them to share their thoughts with one another, and, ultimately, reach better levels of teamwork.
On top of that, be aware that any communication failures and misunderstandings are your own fault, you should take responsibility and lead by example.
Last but not least, note that ITs and technical people in general, are not always great at communicating. Be proactive and learn how to talk to developers in a way that will inspire and encourage them to share their know-how.
And when it comes to client communication, consider assembling a project management team that liaison, all the while ensuring work runs smoothly.
3. Create a Friendly Working Environment
It’s only common sense. Would you want to work in a company with a toxic atmosphere and constant internal problems?
Your duty as a leader is to incorporate a positive culture within your organization.
Creating a friendly working environment is proven to have a positive effect on employees, and result in higher productivity levels.
Getting your employees to feel like a part of the team will certainly affect their attitude, and they will feel more comfortable, as the atmosphere will be more casual and less stressful.
Thus, their job satisfaction will be greater and, chances are, they will stay in the organization longer, even if they’re approached by other companies.
Keep in mind that, most IT companies, for example, already have a well-developed work culture, and positive work environment. This means that you’re likely to fall behind, in case you choose to ignore this aspect.
Here’s a brief summary of why a friendly working environment is beneficial for both employers and employees:
- Increased job satisfaction
- Less stress
- Higher productivity
- Better employee retention
- Lower turnover
4. Reward Good Work
Simply creating a positive work environment is not sufficient. You need to also pay attention to performance, and reward the good work your employees do.
This will provide them with a sense of accomplishment and motivate them to keep doing the great job they’re doing.
Additionally, it will boost their engagement and loyalty towards your company.
You can reward your team in multiple ways. It can be a verbal or written praise, recognition, such as employee of the month incentive, gifts, or plain old cash.
Using the power of gamification is always a good method of keeping your workers motivated and eager to do their best.
5. Set Goals and Evaluate Performance
Setting goals is a crucial part of proper work organization, as they outline the expectations and duties of every team member.
Goals provide people with targets to achieve. It could be learning a new tool, improving communication skills, or becoming better at time management. Setting professional goals can help individuals stand out from their colleagues, and bring them a sense of accomplishment once they achieve them.
When you define each member’s objectives, you can measure and evaluate performance based upon them. This could help you establish the productivity of employees and their progress, both within the organization and on a personal level.
Most companies prefer to set up a performance evaluation once every 3 or 6 months, which is logical, as having these evaluations too frequently could have the opposite effect, since your workers might start to feel pressured and anxious.
6. Listen to Your Employees, and Brainstorm
As mentioned, effective communication is a two-way street. Hear what your employees have to say, but avoid being too pushy. Your employees might not feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns with you immediately. Give them some time to feel that their opinion matters, and let them know that your door is always open.
You can start by applying a survey to comprehend the bigger picture and understand if your workers feel okay to share their concerns and ideas.
It’s also important to take actions following any feedback you receive, even if it’s simply speaking to the person in private.
The thing is.
If you ask people for feedback, but then just ignore it, chances are, next time they will just keep it to themselves.
Another good practice to consider is to gather different teams and brainstorm together. This way, everyone can share their ideas, and feel more significant. Plus, you never know when and where a great idea can come from. After all, two heads are better than one, three heads are better than two, and so on.
7. Avoid Micromanagement
You’ve delegated work to your employees, what do you do from thereon?
Do you let them do their job, synchronizing with them on the important points, or do you keep on dropping by their desk to check what they’re doing?
If it’s the latter, you might want to re-think your strategy. After all, who likes to be constantly monitored and to non-stop receive emails to report on their progress?
Just leave your workers to their job. Constantly checking on them is a sign of little trust and doubt in their ability to deliver. I mean, you’ve hired them, so you should have enough belief in them to be able to do their work properly without anyone nagging. Use your time for more productive work and planning instead.
There is a possibility that you are micromanaging without even realizing it?
Here are some signs of micromanagement:
- You supervise every project
- Every task needs your approval
- You truly believe no one is capable of doing the task better than you
- Correcting tiny details and not looking at the big picture is what you do on a daily basis
- You demand constant updates on tasks
- Not letting others make decisions without consulting them
- The instructions you give are overcomplicated
8. Establish Strong Leadership
People don’t usually want a boss who only tells them what to do, they want a leader who can support, advise them, and lead by example.
Establishing strong leadership doesn’t mean you have to be a tyrant. Au contraire, strong leadership is more about empathy, collaboration, and adaptation.
There are a lot of leadership skills you need to develop, and, naturally, some of them will require you to learn from failures, and adopt new approaches. Don’t be afraid to experiment and progress alongside your employees. We are all human, after all.
Once you manage to establish yourself as a manager who people can rely on, employees will be much more likely to trust you, and will be motivated to follow you.
Strong leadership can create a good business culture and encourage workers to be more committed and happy at the workplace.
What are the characteristics of a great leader?
- Can motivate
- Has a sense of humor
- Inspires loyalty
- Not afraid of failure
- Creative and confident
- Has a positive attitude
- Honest and transparent
- Leads by example
- Confident and emphatic
- Sees the bigger picture
9. Use the Strengths of Team Members
Evolving and adapting is what makes an effective team. You should be aware that your employees have their own unique personalities, therefore their own strengths and weaknesses.
Some are better mentors than others, some have more developed analytical skills, others are good at organization and planning. The point is, you need to try and assess each individual’s strengths and use them for the sake of business, and their personal development.
As a leader, you need to have good observation skills, in order to notice who’s good at what and engage them to help the organization.
Keep in mind that this may be a skill that’s totally different from what the team member usually does, so it’s up to you to think of a way to utilize that skill into their daily workflow.
Congratulations, you now know how to build an effective team!
However, applying the steps in practice will take time and effort, so be prepared to try and fail a couple of times before you get it right.
Stay positive and learn from your mistakes, it’s the only way to achieve personal growth and help your team flourish.