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A company is only as good as the staff it hires. Regardless of the industry, a winning team is the key to success. You need to hire the right people willing to cooperate with all team members.

Work environments are challenging. There are threats and opportunities every day. When hiring staff, avoid hiring negative people as they undermine the business. We have all worked this type of person and it is a nightmare. It often turns into a disaster and affects team dynamics. This is frustrating, depressing and demotivates everyone else. Everyone needs to fully commit to the objectives of the organisation.

Team leaders need specific common goals with aims and objectives for the team. As a leader, you also need to understand the interests and needs of individual team members. They all have something to contribute.

Here are some ideas to help lead a winning team to ensure your company has a great culture. A happy team means happy customers who keep coming back.

Share your vision with the team

Let your team know the vision for the organisation. Inspire them with the future possibilities this presents. Ask for their input and opinions to give them ownership of the work they do.

Team members want to know the plans for the business they rely on for earning a living. It helps them understand the decisions made. Talk about what success of the organisation looks like and what it will take to achieve it. Motivate them with the possibilities of exciting opportunities as the business achieves its vision. And, lead by example. When your team see you setting a great example it inspires them to do the same.

Assign individual responsibilities

Your team needs to know that every individual plays an important part in the organisation’s success. Assign individual’s responsibilities that match their skills and play to their strengths. Then trust them to get on with the job with regular reporting on progress at team meetings. This gives team members a sense of responsibility and they will work harder to achieve success.

Workplace culture

Workplace culture is an important factor that influences how teams work together. Recognise people’s achievements and be honest with your team members.

A company must set realistic goals that are achievable or staff will feel negative and hard done by. Be open about the company’s achievements and progress, and be consistent in how you deal with your people. Make the workplace a fun place to be that gets work done on target.

An organisation that has a good culture is visible to everyone and has positive results.

Reward individual and team achievements

People have no choice but to work to make a living. They want to work in a good environment and feel appreciated for their successes. Reward individual and team performance. Have a strategy in place that rewards them for successful achievements. When team members feel appreciated it encourages them to do better for the company.

Hold regular team meetings

It is important to get regular updates on progress from team members so hold weekly team meetings. Look back over the previous week’s progress. This gives everyone opportunity to report on their progress, what worked and any issues. Encourage all team members to have input and give new perspectives. It sets everyone up well to move forward with what they need to do.

It is also important to hold performance reviews at least every 12 months. This allows discussion about each team member’s performance and how well they have met their targets. It is an opportunity to have a discussion about areas of improvement. It also sets up targets for the coming year.

Go the extra mile

Companies want their staff to go the extra mile, but what do you do to go the extra mile for your team? When you are serious about leading a winning team, offer incentives to reward loyalty and hard work. Here are some suggestions:

  • Setup an employee of the month program to recognise exceptional work and any achievements.
  • Hold social nights or lunches to thank the team for their work. This encourages team bonding and a positive culture.
  • Give team members an extra day off to celebrate their birthdays as long as it does not affect the goals of the team.
  • Pick a great cause and let the team work for the charity one day a year.

When you lead a winning team to success, the whole company succeeds.


Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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