Building a great team: your most important investment

At some point in business, you will be faced with the need to grow your team from in order to provide your product or service to clients. If you are like me, and rely on a variety of skillsets to provide services to clients, then you will need to build a team to do this.

In my experience Human Resources is the hardest part of business. I will work tirelessly to bring in sales to keep us in business, I will stay all night to finish a presentation or RFP, and do whatever is required to maintain a profitable business.

The right team can help you see business success

What I can't do is design. I can't program. I can't (won't) do QA. I am no longer interested in doing PM. All of these skills are required for Fenix to stay in business. That means I have to build a team to do this work. And that isn't always easy.

Finding the right talent, with the right skill set, and mindset, who want to work in our atmosphere can be a tricky endeavour. But it is necessary to find loyal, reliable, skilled and passionate employees to help you provide services to your clients and grow your company, whether in profit or capacity. With the right team, your business will flourish. So investing in the right team is a critical component to success. 

The right team does not need to be micromanaged

I have been fortunate to build a team of people I can rely on, who do great work, who collaborate with each other and who always give me their best. I give my employees autonomy and decision making freedom. I ask them to provide resolutions, insight and opinions on our work, our success, the tools we deploy, the areas we could improve.I give them full reign to make decisions, make mistakes, always knowing they are giving me the best they have at any moment, and growing together as a team.

The most important feature of a good team is that they allow you, the business owner, to focus on building and growing the company. If you spend your time micromanaging your team, lost in the details everyday, and essentially doing what I call "busy work", then your company can suffer. The right team will do the jobs assigned, and let you go about the business of being in business; growing the business, running the business. 

As the CEO, it is my responsibility to build the experience and capabilities of my employees. It is not about building my own ego, or my own accomplishments. It is about investing in building and bettering a team, thanking them for their contributions to Fenix, and helping them grow their careers and then promoting their success. The success of fenix is based on this team, not on one individual, particularly not me. I need this team to offer the services we provide, and by virtue of that it is my job to make sure the team receives this recognition and accolades.

Give employees autonomy and decision making responsibilities

I often tell my team that I can "sleep well at night" knowing I have them on board. This is not an exaggeration; in my 16 years I have had many sleepless nights. But the right team will allow you, the business owner, to relax, focus on your tasks, take a vacation and have overall peace of mind about the day-to-day running of the company. And that is immensely powerful.

Not everyone will find Fenix a place to call home. Not everyone wants to work in an open space collaborative environment or be pushed out of their comfort zone on an ongoing basis. But those who do are well represented here at Fenix. 

My job is to build the careers & experience of my team; it's not about my ego

Hiring isn't something I have successfully overcome. Even with 16 years of practice I still have missteps. But these experiences have taught me to look beyond the experience and skill sets listed on a resume, and look at the person applying. Are they eager, motivated, reliable and looking to contribute to a team? Do they want to work at Fenix? Do they want to make a meaningful contribution? 

I couldn't do it without my team

That is what I look at initially. My my team can teach the right person the duties and internal processes we use.  But, if the applicant's heart is in the right place, and they want to make a difference and help out, these traits are more important to me than their past experience.