How to create an environment where the team can flourish, and your people can thrive

Paul Slezak

Throughout my recruitment career spanning nearly 30 years and having lived and worked in many cities around Australia and internationally, I have been fortunate enough to have partnered with some of the world’s most recognisable brands, several game-changing startups, as well as hundreds of small to medium sized companies (SMEs).  

My fondest memories involve working with some incredibly switched on HR leaders and dynamic hiring managers who, regardless of the size of their organisation, brand recognition, funding status, or position in the market, were committed to creating a culture and business model that would have been the envy of most companies. A culture where the leaders propelled everyone to excellence and shaped all team members to become exceptional role models in the workplace. 

I will never forget on one occasion I was sitting with the Managing Director of a global media group when she looked me in the eye and said something that really took me by surprise. 

Actually, Paul. More than anything, it’s crucial that you find us a Scorpio. We need more bite around here to help lift our game”. 

I thought she was joking but she was being completely serious. 

Creating an effective team environment where the organisation can flourish while its people can thrive is vital for any business to succeed.  

Often there’s no opportunity for personality clashes, team members can’t be picky about which clients they prefer to deal with, and above all there’s no way that a team will achieve its targets if even one person is letting the side down. 

As a people leader, how can you ensure that you are engendering the right culture within your team? What can you do to guarantee that when someone new joins the business that the team dynamic and level of professionalism are maintained and that everyone is focused on a common goal? How can you measure the contribution that all your people are bringing to the business or the value they are adding to your organisation as well as to your clients? How can you ensure that you’re helping everyone reach their full potential in a job they love while building solid professional relationships with their peers, direct reports, and their own managers? 

These are all important questions to consider. 

Juggling diverse personalities, ambitions, and goals within any workplace can be demanding. Whilst most teams comprise of very different personality types – all of whom require sophisticated and delicate handling to ensure you maximise their full potential, it is a crucial part of the leadership process to ensure that you balance the right mix of skills, ability, and personality. After all, no two teams are the same and no two employees are the same. Nor are they facing the same challenges at the same time. 

For any organisation it’s also important to strike the right balance in terms of roles and responsibilities and playing to each of your individual team member’s strengths. In other words, try not to force those who are more service driven into having to generate sales; avoid getting those who may be more sales focused too bogged down in administration; and where possible keep those who actually enjoy administration in the office as opposed to encouraging them to become more client facing.  

Similarly, in leading a team you need to understand what motivates each of your team members.

Reward and recognition whether it be through financial incentives, providing them with upskilling through professional development, or potential promotion and career advancement, are all important considerations as you create (and maintain) a flourishing team. 

Should you find yourself in a position where you are bringing new people into your business, it is important that you take into consideration the personality and characteristic differences that may already exist within your team, as well as the existing allocation of roles and responsibilities, or else you may inadvertently create a situation ripe for conflict. And whilst workplace conflict is both common and inevitable, unnecessary tension inside any team can make life unpleasant for everyone. 

It's interesting to point out at this point, that two of most highly sought-after topics when it comes to professional development are ‘having difficult conversations’ and ‘working through conflict’. 

The same Managing Director who wanted me to search for a Scorpio would often use the phrase “on the bus” when determining whether all her teams were heading in the same direction. In my leadership days I personally used the phrase, “all aboard the northbound train”.  

The message is the same.

It’s about the importance of creating an environment where everyone feels empowered, equipped, and enlightened, where everyone is striving to achieve their own personal as well as the team’s goals, and each individual team member feels they are being recognised for their contribution and are given the opportunity to develop professionally. 

Whilst it’s certainly not about striving to have all your Virgos become more Scorpionic, or sending all your Leos on a course to develop more Taurean habits, nor attempting to force your Pisceans to communicate more like your Sagittarians, it is important to help your individual team members to find their focus, purpose, and confidence; to be equipped to tackle whatever comes their way; and to become better colleagues and leaders while thriving professionally and personally. 

hellomonday combines curated learning supported through the power of 1:1 coaching, to drive habit formation and meaningful growth to help everyone reach their full potential in a job they love.  

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