5 Practices To Creating Dependable, Autonomous Teams

At the end of the day, all businesses want the same thing – happy and loyal customers. Building an audience’s trust begins with having a solid team that understands the vision of your business. Beyond this, they can operate independently towards that vision.

There is no ‘I’ in team. It’s impossible to do it all yourself.

You need to be able to trust the people around you, and they need to be able to trust you back. When people feel empowered to make decisions and feel that their leader is always right behind them, they are more willing to take chances that can pay off in HUGE ways.

So how do you build a trustworthy team? Here are 5 tips to get you started.

1. Employ for trust and culture fit over skills

Skills can be taught, but someone who can’t be trusted is a risk straight away. Make sure your interviews are structured so your company vision is in the centre, and questions which throw people in to ‘solving problems’ right on the spot should be asked. You will get a feel for how naturally aligned a potential staff member is to your company vision. You need to feel confident that the new employee will be able to make good decisions when you’re not around

2. Define company values

You need concrete values. And you need them on the wall in the office, in your Employee Handbook and internal systems. Beyond this, even provide examples of the kind of decisions which uphold company values.

If you need help getting your company values right, speak with your business advisor for help.

3. No hand-holding

If you’re an employee, you’re capable of being able to make good decisions. No business has time to babysit employees. Of course, your training program needs to be structured in a way that gives your new employees the right level of information on how to do their job, and where to go when they get stuck (which inevitably they will).

If you’re finding that staff are getting stuck more than they should, then there are gaps in your induction / training program which need filling.

4. Check in regularly (but not too regularly)

Ultimately you want your team to run with projects, but having regular check in times where you can look at the pain points and address concerns is crucial. You don’t want your team to be heading in the wrong direction.

5. Team trust

Spend time encouraging team members to trust one another. From the Managing Director to the Trainee, everyone must trust each other. Create times where people can get to know each other outside a work context. True autonomy speaks for itself when the people are passionate about what they do and work hard because they own their work.

It takes time and deliberate effort to build a dependable, autonomous team; but once the people are in place you’ll reap the benefits!