A Leadership Coach’s Expert Advice for Building Strong Teams in the New Year

Building Strong Teams
3 min read

As we step into the new year with great expectations for what’s to come, it’s also an excellent moment for leaders to look back, think about what worked and what didn’t, and plan for a future where their teams can grow, work efficiently, and achieve success. For leaders, starting the new year well requires careful planning and strategy. In this installment of Get REAAL®, we’ll share the steps some of our most successful leadership clients take to make their teams better, help individuals grow, and foster an effective workplace.

Hire the Right People

The foundation of a successful team begins with the right people. As a leader, your first resolution should be to refine your hiring process. It’s not just about filling positions; it’s about finding individuals whose skills, values, and aspirations align with your organization’s mission. Begin by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities for each position. Craft detailed job descriptions that go beyond mere qualifications, focusing on the qualities and characteristics that will contribute to the team’s success. During interviews, ask questions that reveal not just technical skills but also problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and cultural fit.

Consider incorporating team-based assessments, like the Harrison Assessment, to evaluate how candidates collaborate with others, and how they work on their own. This holistic approach ensures that you not only fill positions but create a team that complements and elevates each other.

Create a Plan to Develop and Engage Your Talent

The next step is to invest in your employees’ continuous development. A proactive approach to talent development not only boosts employee morale but also enhances their capabilities, directly impacting the overall performance of your team. Develop a comprehensive training program that addresses both technical skills and soft skills. Leverage online courses, in-person workshops, and mentorship programs to provide a well-rounded learning experience. Remember, development is an ongoing process. Regularly assess the skills within your team and identify areas for improvement. By creating a customized in-house training program, the leaders are engaging the people who love to learn, and want self-improvement, as well as the people who want advancement in their career.

Aim to Understand Your Employees’ Strengths and Weaknesses

To unlock the full potential of your team, it’s crucial to have a deep understanding of each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. This involves more than just an annual performance review; it requires regular and open communication. Implement regular one-on-one meetings to discuss individual goals, challenges, and aspirations. Use tools like behavioral-based assessments and strengths-based evaluations to gain insights into your team members’ unique qualities. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, you can strategically allocate tasks, creating a collaborative environment where everyone plays to their strengths. This not only enhances efficiency but also fosters a sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction.

Match Employee Preferences to Suitable Jobs and Tasks

One size does not fit all, especially when it comes to assigning tasks and projects. It is incredibly important to acknowledge and respect the unique preferences and strengths of your team members. Engage in open conversations about individual preferences, career aspirations, and the type of work that energizes each team member. Use this information to tailor assignments, ensuring that each team member is working on projects that align with their passions and strengths. Encourage a culture of flexibility and empowerment, allowing employees to take ownership of projects that resonate with them. This not only boosts morale but also results in a more engaged and productive team.

In conclusion, starting the new year off on a strong foot as a leader involves a multi-faceted approach. From hiring the right people to nurturing talent, understanding individual strengths and weaknesses, and aligning tasks with employee preferences, these strategies form the cornerstone of effective leadership. As we embark on this journey, let’s commit to fostering an environment where every team member can thrive, contribute their best, and collectively propel the organization toward unprecedented success. Here’s to a year of growth, learning, and unparalleled achievement!

LEADERSHIP TAKEAWAY:  Lean on your partners at Rainey Leadership Learning to support your teams by conducting assessments or training your HR department to utilize tools that can help the team-building process.


Are you working on your leadership skills? Contact us about leadership training that can advance your career and business.

Dr. Cheri Rainey is the CEO/Founder of Rainey Leadership Learning, partnering with leaders to support the entire employee life cycle.