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Have you ever watched a heist movie like “The Italian Job” or “Oceans Eleven”?  For all of these heist movies, the main character builds a “team” for the job.  As a business owner, you may not be trying to steal priceless art or rob a casino, but the same principle, of building a team to get a task done, still stands.  You need to choose your employees, then shape them into a team.  But how do you do that?

Understand everybody’s strengths: Think of the team in your favorite heist movie: there’s the explosions expert, the tech person, the driver, etc.  They all come from different backgrounds, with various personalities and ideas about how to do their jobs.  The leader of the heist can recognize the abilities of each employee, and is able to channel each of their strengths so they can be successful.  That’s exactly what a business leader has to do as well.

Explain your vision: As a business leader, you want to let your team know what they’re aiming for and then help them understand your overall goals.  Share your culture, future plans, and the overall vision for your company.  Since this is a “team”, use “we” instead of “I”.

Get everybody involved: You want your employees involved in the day-to-day running of your business.  Give them tasks, challenge them, mentor them, and acknowledge their successes.  Make sure that employees feel invested in the company, and will be rewarded for their effort.  

Set roles: In a heist movie, every member of a team has a clearly defined role: the computer genius isn’t supposed to drive the getaway car, while the pretty-boy isn’t supposed to hack the mainframe.  The same goes for building a business team: everybody needs to know their job and what’s expected of them.  If this isn’t made clear, then morale can suffer.  

Team-building exercises: Okay, this one isn’t typically in a lot of heist movies, but team-building exercises are important for, well, building teams.  These can help your team navigate a fast-paced work environment and collaborate better.  

Make people feel appreciated: People will be more likely to stay on a team if they feel appreciated.  Show them that you care about them beyond 9 to 5, focus on personal growth, offer them what they need to succeed, celebrate victories, and stay positive.  

Identify problems: People in a team won’t always get along well, and you may have people in your team that are causing problems within your organization.  It might be somebody bringing their personal problems to work, people feeling unappreciated, or maybe two people who are constantly fighting with each other.  If there’s a problem, identify it sooner rather than later, and get it fixed.