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Updated 24 Sep 2020

Making the A-team: developing your staff

Your business isn’t the same as when it started, so why do you assume your employees’ roles haven’t changed? If you want your business to grow, you need engaged and productive staff — and that’s on you. 

Tracy Lee-Nicol, Entrepreneur, 23 August 2013  Share  0 comments  Print

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As companies grow, so do their operational requiremnets and core functions. Team dynamics, job descriptions and accountability can make or break this growth trajectory.

So how do you make sure your staff’s responsibilities are evolving with the business, and that your business is as efficient as possible? You do what Nyameka Mqikela, founder of management and development consultancy, Nyameka & Associates, does: Streamline internal functionality.

Team mechanics and dynamics:

“When you’re dealing with a core group of people, it’s important that they’re working together toward the same outcome — whether that’s profit, sales or quality of work for more business,” says Mqikela.

“This means you have to put people together with desired outcomes in mind. Consider individual strengths and limitations and clearly define each team member’s role and how they will contribute to the overall outcomes, and then put measures in place so that they hold each other accountable for outputs.”

When teams go wrong:

“If a team is not clear about their individual and combined responsibilities, you end up with job discrepancies: People will mistake who is responsible for which tasks, some tasks might get duplicated, others might not get done at all, sometimes toes can get stepped on if someone encroaches on responsibilities that aren’t theirs, and if an eager employee takes on too much, they might find themselves being distracted from their key responsibilities.”

The result? Frustration, finger-pointing, loss of enthusiasm, poor customer service, ineffective businesses and ultimately a drain on resources.

At Nyameka & Associates:

“To avoid these kinds of problems at my company, I’ve made sure that every employee knows their responsibilities and descriptions. Staff have weekly meetings where they compile their monthly goals and report on their progress.

This helps me guide them where neccessary in our monthly meetings, but more importantly it keeps them completely focused on what they’re doing, and when each task needs to be completed by.

This also creates accountability because each team member answers for their time, activities and output. The dual effect is making the team efficient and independent of me, and helping keep the business and customer experience efficient.”

What to do in your business:

“Leadership is essential in high growth businesses. Make sure you communicate where the business is at, whether it’s good or bad. Remember, each employee’s job description evolves with the business.

The greater their understanding of the business, the better they will be at fulfilling the roles you need them to play. When people are knowledgeable, they can give feedback and ideas for the business and their roles. And when people feel empowered to voice their concerns and roles, they become much more active in making the business successful.”

Vital Stats

  • Player: Nyameka Mqikela
  • Company: Nyameka & Associates
  • Est: 1998
  • X-Factor: Take your business to the next level by having every single employee aware of and engaged with their job descriptions.
  •; +27 (0)21 418 5155

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About the author

Tracy Lee-Nicol, Entrepreneur

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