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Great workplaces

I seem to be spending a lot of my time in planes lately, which has the advantage of allowing me to catch up on reading articles of more general interest. Last week I read a couple of articles that particularly attracted my attention from the point of view of team development for any small business. Team development is a key part of the success of small business and typically is an area that small business owners struggle with. Therefore any knowledge that helps small business owners improve their recruitment and team development process is worth considering.

Evaluating the right intelligences

The first article was a discussion of Howard Gardener’s 1983 book “Frames of Mind; the theory of multiple intelligences.” He suggests that there are nine intelligences that we should consider when evaluating (in the context of this article) potential team members.

Now I’m not convinced that these intelligences are not just natural inclinations, but the point he is making is valid to the extent that everyone has some “intelligence” in each of the nine areas he has identified.

The key point is that most roles for team members are rarely going to require the use of only one or two intelligences. Thinking more generally will help develop a role that is more satisfying to whichever team member is undertaking that role at any point in time. Applied across the organisation, this will increase the job satisfaction of your team leading to a better performing team and higher retention levels.

Developing the right team

So having defined broadly satisfying roles, the next challenge is to find the right people to fill those roles. This brings me to the second article I read, which was a discussion of the use of specifically designed video games to analyse a range of abilities to allow the small business owner to identify a suitable candidate to join the team.

More importantly perhaps, it will identify “left-field abilities” that may or may not affect the candidate’s wider suitability for fitting in with your existing organisational culture. How many times have you recruited someone who can perform the actual job role brilliantly but struggles with the less obvious aspects of participation with your team?

Knowing the psychometric makeup of potential and existing team members (and yourself) will help you build a successful team and understand the behavior of your team.

Never underestimate the value of continual team development when it comes to the success of your business. Your efforts to design roles for your team members and the matching of those roles with abilities will pay dividends for you in terms of profitability and less HR hassles – and that’s got to be a good thing.