It’s a business owner’s (elusive) dream: building up and maintaining a team of motivated experts who look forward to coming to work and delivering their best every day. The “A-Player” at work can be described by a few universal qualities: responsibility, passion, skill, and leadership (to name a few). That being said, someone who is a perfect fit for one company may not be for another, and this nuance can make finding an A-Player – let alone an entire team of them – quite challenging for company leaders. Luckily, recruiting top players is completely doable – and so is encouraging high performance within your current team. All it takes is implementing the right strategies. To see our expert tips on how to create more A-Players on your team, keep on reading…

Know What It Means to You

Before doing anything else, it’s crucial that you know specifically what being an A-Player means for your industry as a whole – and for your company specifically. Create a broad list of industry-related experience, certifications, and educational landmarks you’d like incoming team members to have. Then, write down the personality traits and habits that will equip someone for success at your company. Rate these traits in terms of their importance to you, coming up with a short-list of 3-5 non-negotiable qualities that all new hires must display in order to get an offer. The first step to helping you create more A-Players on your team is to get specific about what qualities your ideal team members have, and to invest in candidates who display these qualities.

Revamp Your Interview Process

Of course, the easiest way to guarantee top performers on your team is to recruit them – and it’s never too late to give your interview process a boost. Consider putting interview candidates through several steps before seeing them in person. These can include questionnaires, phone interviews, and personality/cognitive tests. These steps don’t just save you time that could otherwise be wasted on candidates who aren’t a right fit. They also weed out those who aren’t willing to go the extra mile and work hard to get a face-to-face meeting. A longer, more nuanced interview process is a fantastic way to determine which candidates have persistence and grit.

Instill Motivators that Work

When it comes to motivating those already on your team to deliver their best work, it’s crucial to understand which motivators are actually effective based on your company culture. For example, more and more modern businesses are including perks like foosball tables, decked-out break rooms, and team bonding events. While these perks are an excellent way to boost morale, they’re unlikely to incentivize your team members to perform at the top of their game.

On the other hand, providing plenty of opportunity for upward mobility within your company, an excellent benefits program, and flexible work hours for top performers are all great ways to not only inspire your team members, but to make them feel genuinely appreciated.

Trust Your Team

Micromanaging your team will only limit their potential. When team members show you their potential, invest in it with rewards that encourage them to asset their leadership and take risks. These kinds of rewards are hardly material. Rewards as simple as asking a team member’s opinion, implementing their ideas, and giving them a leading role in an upcoming project or initiative can do wonders for motivation.

When your team feels trusted to take the reins and do work that truly impacts your company, they’re more likely to thrive – and you’re likely to create more A-Players on your team.

Know When (and How) to Let Go

Building a team of A-Players means taking a chance on the team members who prove themselves worthy, but it can also mean knowing when to let go of someone who’s just not a good fit. Do monthly and quarterly reviews of the people on your team to help determine who’s growing, who’s in need of encouragement, and who’s just stagnant.

If you’ve given a member of your team the opportunity to grow and take initiative, only to see no results over time, then you should consider letting them go. Though this is never easy, it’s necessary for two big reasons: it opens up that spot within your company for someone who’s a better fit, and it allows that team member to pursue other opportunities that may be more inspiring to them.

The journey to create more A-Players on your team doesn’t have to be particularly long or difficult: it’s just about defining the qualities that matter most to you, and then setting clear strategies to help you both seek out those traits in your recruitment and cultivate them internally. When you align your goals with a clear, well-defined strategy, you set up your business for success. To learn more about how to inspire your team to deliver their best work and take your company to the next level, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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