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By Michael Cowley
Maintenance & Operations Article Use Policy
Anyone who has spent time in leadership and management positions has struggled with this question: How do I build a better team? Even if your team is good to start, all maintenance and engineering managers understand the need for their departments to work more efficiently. With a more skilled and qualified team, you can accomplish things faster, more safely, at a lower cost, and with greater customer service.
The process of analyzing your existing team and making improvements is difficult. We are busy with the daily tasks, problems, and responsibilities. At the same time, we face challenges related to improving the performance and productivity of your management team. It is a daunting task and probably the reason many managers decide to allow things to continue as they always have.
The obvious problem with this tactic is that if we are not moving forward and getting better, more than likely we are moving backward. If we continue down that path, it leads to program and process stagnation and ultimate failure.
How do we improve the management team so it performs at the highest possible level? At least 10 key steps can help develop a best-in-class management team, but here are three secrets that are essential to teambuilding.
The first secret involves the hiring process. Many of you might think hiring is not that important. Maybe you feel you do not have control of the process. In reality, hiring is the most important component in improving your management team.
A successful hiring process has many pieces. Before even starting the hiring process, you need to rethink the interviewing process. To interview well, first understand the kind of individual you want — the type of worker that can meet the department’s needs. Establish detailed job descriptions and responsibilities, which are the foundations of the hiring process. Without these, you have no idea what you are looking for. Once you have a very good idea of the desired skills and personality traits, you can create the interview process. Here are the key steps in successful interviewing:
If the job is technical in nature, you need to validate the candidate’s skill level. Consider aptitude and or skill testing where appropriate.
Keep in mind that the hiring process can be done only once. Do over’s don’t happen. So be prepared, take time to do it right, and involve others in the interviewing process. Using potential peers to assist in the process can be a big advantage. Make sure anyone involved in the interview process is properly trained and prepared to handle such a sensitive issue.
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