8 Tips to Build a Successful Business Team

How to build a successful team that crushes your business goals


While hiring employees based on the skills on their resume is important, it’s not enough. A successful business team consists not only of highly qualified employees, but also of people who trust each other, lean on one another and share a common goal. It is up to the leaders in power to really lean into what makes their business team successful. 

Lalah Delia, owner of Vibrate Higher Daily, summed up empowerment as a series of successful and unsuccessful learning opportunities. “Once you do it, you’re going to start feeling empowered. You’re going to start meeting your team...and even the people who are going to come into your life being courageous are going to empower you as well.” It’s so important to surround yourself with people who will make your team a success.

Read on for eight tips to build a highly productive and effective team to support your business goals. 

Share a Common Goal & Culture

A successful business team is usually aligned by shared goals and culture. Eighty-eight percent of employees believe a strong company culture is the key to business success, motivating teams to be more engaged and productive when these common values are shared. These behaviors may be created and agreed upon subconsciously, or written and shared as a code of conduct. Values that are connected to your company's vision statement often create a more powerful and authentic team culture. 

Delia shared her advice on creating company culture: “Create a culture and decide what the culture of your business represents and ensure that whoever you do allow in, they are comfortable with [it], because they will represent [it] when they’re in the world.”

What’s your team’s core mission? What values tie into this mission or the vision statement of your business?

Related: How to Build and Improve Company Culture

Understand Your Team’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Each person on your team has a unique skill set. A successful team usually includes different strengths and weaknesses that cohesively work together, with the members relying on one another to achieve goals. It’s important to identify and understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses so you can pair people up for specific tasks and projects. The strength of one teammate can negate the weakness of another—which provides leadership with the opportunity to enhance each team member for success. 

Embrace Diversity

When we look at the benefits of workplace diversity, it becomes clear how much representation really matters. Not every member of the team will have the exact same personality, skill set, age, gender or race—thus there are many different backgrounds and unique points of view. By welcoming diverse views, your team can contribute alternative ways of thinking and cater to a diverse group of customers. 

A 2019 analysis found that companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity on executive teams were 36% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability.

People in positions of power need to prioritize diversity as they continue building successful business teams. Applying diversity standards to organizations can help businesses become stronger—and smarter. 

Show Your Team You Value Them

In general, people appreciate feeling valued. Here are just a few ways you can show your business team that you value them: 

  • Show interest in their life outside of work. Ask about things like family and hobbies. Provide adequate paid time off for employees to have a healthy work-life balance. 

  • Be involved in their personal and professional growth. Know and understand their personal and professional goals, and provide advice to help them succeed. 

  • Invest in their day-to-day. Provide your employees with the tools and resources they need to succeed at work. This may include investing in their work environments or investing in software or equipment that make their workdays easier and more efficient.

  • Celebrate and reward your employees. Celebrate all accomplishments, from work anniversaries to sales victories. Your employees will feel appreciated and stay motivated. 

Be Transparent & Communicate Needs Effectively

Communicate the state of the business frequently and transparently. Allowing employees a glimpse into what the organization is going through financially or otherwise will help build employee trust. A team that trusts not only each other but also leadership is bound for success. 

In addition to communicating business needs, leaders should feel empowered to be transparent about their personal and professional needs as those relate directly to the business itself. 

For Krystal Duhaney, CEO of Milky Mama, being transparent with her team and communicating her needs allowed her to refocus her priorities—and, in turn, the business’s priorities. “When I was able to make myself a priority and delegate some work and really take some of my time back is when my business grew exponentially, because I could focus on me and really kind of clear my mind and have the time to focus on growing my business.”

Encourage Learning & Knowledge Sharing

Embrace change makers in your organization. Encourage your employees to learn new things and share them with others. Here are a few ways to encourage knowledge sharing and learning in your company: 

  • Invite guest speakers. Research professionals in your industry and invite them in to talk with your team. This may be someone who is influential in your industry, a life coach, or anyone who can inform your team and work with them on their career goals. 
  • Encourage your team to attend webinars and conferences. Provide your team with a budget to attend industry meetups. Encourage them to share their learnings with the greater team. 
  • Provide a space for knowledge sharing. Invite your team to weekly or monthly fireside chats and brainstorming sessions. Create chat groups on Slack or Google Meets dedicated to knowledge sharing and industry learnings. 

Consider Team Building Exercises

The best team-building exercises build trust among team members and give them a chance to get to know one another and their unique skills. Sometimes, the best team-building exercises are those that take place outside of work.

  • Team yoga sessions and happy hours. Provide opportunities for co-workers to mingle outside of the workspace, or inside without doing work. Provide free yoga and meditation classes after work, happy hours, or quarterly dinners for your team. 

  • Weekly or monthly lunch-and-learn meetings. Provide an hour per month for your teams to connect and play team-building games like trivia, discuss roadblocks, and ask questions over lunch.

The information contained herein is shared for educational purposes only and it does not provide a comprehensive list of all financial operations considerations or best practices. This information does not represent any opinion, guidance or recommendation, whether formal or informal, of Capital One, National Association, or any of its officers, directors, employees, advisors, attorneys, consultants, affiliates or subsidiaries (collectively, “Capital One”). Nothing contained herein shall give rise to, or be construed to give rise to, any obligations or liability whatsoever on the part of Capital One.

Products and services are offered by Capital One, N.A., Member FDIC. © 2020 Capital One.

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