11 Tips for Building and Managing a Team

If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re hiring employees for your business, give yourself a pat on the back. This is a major milestone for any company – and one that millions of entrepreneurs never achieve. Now your challenge is finding the right employee and putting them to work in a way that will help propel your company’s continued growth.

tip advice

We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs, this question:

“What one employee management tip would you give entrepreneurs who are building their team?”

Here’s what the YEC community had to say:

1. Train Them

“Many entrepreneurs have the deluded expectation that an employee should show up able to do their job. No matter how competent they are, an employee will require train up and integration time. An added upshot, thinking about employee training cycles and growth paths really gets you thinking about how to grow your company.” ~ Charlie Gilkey, Productive Flourishing

2. Create an Entrance Interview

“We’ve created some documents for new employees to fill out right when they start about how they like to work, be rewarded, have meetings, etc. By having this written down it gives our whole team an understanding of how new team members might fit in and creates a better work culture.” ~ Caitlin McCabe, Real Bullets Branding

3. Get a Good Project Management System

“Entrepreneurs can keep the big picture in their head, but employees need to have the details in front of them. A good project management software (Manymoon is free) is a great way to keep the team focused and on task. Efficiency and productivity increase when you measure accountability with project management software.” ~ Lucas Sommer, Audimated

4. Teach Employees to Never Need a Manager

“Teach and empower your employees by giving them parameters to help them do their job autonomously. A sales rep doesn’t need a script, she must understand what makes a product valuable to a customer, and the many ways to point out those benefits. A service rep does not need a “company policy” to refer to, but rather a strategy for solving problems so the client is satisfied.” ~ Vanessa Nornberg, Metal Mafia

5. Set a Quarterly Theme and Vision

“Our first year in business we just did business day to day. But we found that even though we were doing awesome things, sometimes we got stuck in a groove because we weren’t shooting for a big goal. So we started setting a quarterly theme for our company. This theme goes into everything we do those three months, and everyone is focused on making that goal a reality. It helps focus efforts.” ~ Trevor Mauch, Automize, LLC

6. Open Door Policy

“Employees (especially new ones) are bound to make more mistakes than necessary if they feel they can’t ask you questions or get your feedback. Make sure you are accessible and available as much as possible. Literally, keep your door open to give the impression that anyone can visit to bounce an idea or ask a question of you.” ~ Benjamin Leis, Sweat EquiTees

7. Culture Is King

“Put your employees first, and they will take better care of your customers. As you are building your team, you must define what the inside of your company is going to look like. Your internal brand ultimately dictates how the company is represented on the outside. If you try to design the customer experience first, it will be forced and unnatural. Try to design the employee experience first.” ~ Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk

8. Hire for the Ability to Get Stuff Done

“A small company cannot tolerate people who are lazy, procrastinate or are unable to use limited resources to push forward projects. You need people who can follow-through, find clever solutions and workarounds with a sense of urgency, and can take charge of a problem and drive it to a successful solution.” ~ Matt Mickiewicz, 99designs

9. Practice Transparency

“I’m always very honest with my team regarding financials and clients. In this economy, it’s important to be upfront with folks in every aspect of the business — particularly when you’re first getting started. Young professionals enjoy being an integral part of the planning and decision-making process, and it can also help them better understand how the business is run.” ~ Heather Huhman, Come Recommended

10. Tell Them How To Kick Butt

“I’m working on this, but it’s become obvious that letting someone know how to kick butt increases the likelihood that they will do so. Smart, talented people want to feel smart and talented, and that’s on you as a business leader. Entrepreneurs are often self-motivated and we forget that getting the most out of people means showing them how to succeed.” ~ Derek Shanahan, Foodtree

11. Encourage Openness and Honesty

“You never want your employees to be afraid to tell you the truth. You can encourage openness and honesty by: 1) Responding calmly when they tell you something has not gone as you expected 2) Talking through a plan for moving forward 3) Agreeing on follow up and accountability.” ~ Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®

Tips Photo via Shutterstock


The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

21 Reactions
  1. I’m especially fond of #7. A friendly, caring culture will translate over to the customer nine times out of ten.

    Great article!

  2. All interesting tips. I particularly agree with number three, since new employees might not know where they are most efficient within a company or on a project. It is therefore essential to track time and resources on a per-person basis to establish where a given employee’s strength is best allocated. My company produced a free white paper covering this topic and many others related to maximizing project success. If you are interested check it out here: http://go.journyx.com/projectcostingmaxprofitability

  3. I’m a big fan of #8 from Matt. Getting stuff done is a key element that I’m surprised how few employees possess.

  4. Nice list of tips. I like #4. You need to aim for the end-results and not expect everyone to work the same way to get to the same goal. The best teams are made up of individuals with there own unique talents all working together.

  5. Wonderful Tips, I really like point 11

  6. All points are very well-said. I really like point 4 where employees should be put first. That is a good strategy in gaining employee confidence resulting in exceptional performance. It is a win-win situation for both, the manager and the team.

  7. I’d like to add something to 3. Get a Good Project Management System. I’ve been working with one and I must say that it’s increased efficiency of my team rapidly. Everybody knows what to do. Project manager knows if his workers have problem with anything. Everything is available just by internet.

  8. Love #11! Promoting an environment of honesty and free speech will expedite company transparency and increase employee engagement. Great post!

  9. Amazing and motivational tips! Definitely a fan of 3 and 4. However, I prefer using screenish.com for my project management. Helps us organize and distribute the work more efficiently.

  10. Amazing tips on team management. I’d like to add on point no. 3 here is the ability to know what new technology & tools to use when and how to use them is one skill a manager must have. Like using a project management tool could really help a manager manage & collaborate much more easily & efficiently. We use proofhub at work and it’s an amazing tool. From tasks & team to time, it manages it all!

  11. My fiance is looking into creating a team-building exercise for his work. He needs some tips to ensure that this will be a helpful event for the office. I will be sure to let him know that encouraging openness and honesty will make it better.