When structuring your company’s management team—especially in the early phases—you want to choose those employees that truly bring something to the table. Yes, you may like certain staff members more so than others, but this doesn’t make them management material. In fact, the process of choosing a management team should be just that—a process. It may take a while, but if done right, you will end up with a team that really is poised to take your company to the next level. So what are some of the elements you need to consider when structuring such a team…
1. It’s Okay to Be Selective
Remember those whom you choose will lead others in the company; they will thus in a sense be influencers, they will be sources of inspiration and motivation. Plus, in their management roles, they will be responsible for steering your company in a given direction. Being selective really does pay off when it comes to finding and recruiting such management candidates.
If you make the wrong choice because you are clouded by the fact that you might like someone, this could have disastrous consequences. Not to mention, once you do realize they are a bad fit, you are stuck having to fire and then replace them—never a fun process.
Choosing the right people is everything. They impact morale, productivity and the general attitude of the workplace. Those who work under them—if they are indeed effective—will feel that they are truly part of a positive environment and this inevitably leads to a happier, professionally fulfilled team. Beyond things such as experience and education, some characteristics you should look for in potential management team members include:
- They are okay with criticism and know how to intuit feedback.
- They listen to those who work for them.
- They are truly honest and possess integrity.
- They remain calm under pressure.
- They clearly express empathy for both subordinates and co-workers.
- They have great communication skills.
- They are good teachers.
While interviewing, go beyond the CV and bio. Pose questions in which they are asked to describe how they’d cope with a situation. Getting a handle on someone’s personality is just as important if not more so when interviewing for your management team.
2. They Care About Company Culture
“Company culture” may be seen as a trending buzz word at times, but it definitely is important in terms of how a company functions and how the various pieces of the machine so to speak all work fluidly together. Not only is it critical that there is harmony among the ranks, but this also affects customer relations as well.
Your company culture and all around vibe will largely depend on your industry. Some, of course, is more formal. There is a stringent hierarchy, formal dress, a very business worthy tone. While there are other companies that have a more laid back and casual company culture. More and more companies are actually moving to this way of doing business as employees tend to feel more comfortable in their work environment; some companies even keep job titles and responsibilities rather fluid. And thus, collaboration really is stressed at just about every level of the company.
You determine what type of culture your company has and accordingly, you want to hire those who represent a good fit with this feeling that you’re striving to cultivate.
3. Focus on Key Management Positions
The way in which your management team will be set up will largely be dictated by your needs. Some have a few executives whose roles are less rigidly defined. Some companies have only a single leader. And some have even done away with a management team per se. Again, this will be influenced by industry, culture, and need.
There are going to be specific roles though that do need to be attended to, especially if you wish to operate smoothly and ultimately grow the business.
Some of the key positions that you need to think about filling as you look down the road and consider your company’s big picture are the following:
CEO (Chief Executive Officer)
This would be the senior most member of the team in as much as he/she will be the main decision maker for the brand. Sometimes this will be the president, for other companies the CEO may operate under another title. It’s important that this person be decisive, organized and creative when it comes to problem-solving.
COO (Chief Operations Officer)
The chief operations officer (also called the chief operating officer) usually will report to the CEO—they are more of a day to day operations kind of person and one of the core leaders for your company. The COO may also be responsible for starting new projects and making sure that the team stays on task.
CFO (Chief Financial Officer)
The chief financial officer is as the name suggests, the person responsible for overseeing finances. So basically any financial move that you intend to make is spearheaded by the CFO. From taking care of the cash flow to overseeing new purchases to staying on top of all financials, their role is a critical one.
CTO (Chief Technology Officer)
At times, this type of role may be outsourced, depending again on the size and needs of your business. But if you do have a CTO, that person will essentially be in charge of the company’s technological infrastructure, dealing with everything from hardware/software needs and issues to new digital/technological development efforts.
4. Give Your Team the Freedom It Needs/Asks for Their Input
It is tempting to micromanage, particularly if you’re the entrepreneur who had a vision and implemented it and built this great new company. However, you need help, plain and simple. The team you assemble is that guiding force designed to help you steer the ship.
A great thing to do is to offer continuing education and training courses for your management team to foster constant professional growth and development. This may increase your confidence level in them so that you do in fact come to trust them to make decisions on their own more and more often. At First Union, we offer many loan products that can better your business. Call today and find out how we can help you!