Guide

Skills and training for directors and owners

Building a management team

A single director or manager rarely has the combination of skills that are required to run a business successfully.

Therefore, for your business to succeed, you will have to build a successful management team.

Skills a management team requires

Before recruiting managers, you must first analyse what skills the business requires and consider your own strengths and weaknesses.

It's important that the skills in any management team complement rather than duplicate each other. Therefore, you should aim to recruit managers whose strengths are in areas of the business where you think you are weakest. Recruiting directors and managers.

You may need to recruit managers who have expertise in, for example:

  • finance
  • production
  • administration
  • sales and marketing
  • procurement and buying

The exact skills mix will vary from business to business. While all businesses need sales and administration skills, for some production will be critical, while in others buying ability will be more important.

However, whatever the skills mix, the business will benefit from having its overall direction and goals viewed from different perspectives.

Note that you might only need certain types of expertise from time to time. In these circumstances, it may be better to:

  • use outside directors or non-executive directors
  • outsource, eg use a financial consultant on a short-term basis during a capital expansion phase

It is worth remembering that management teams can also operate at different levels. Consider establishing teams to help run particular locations or divisions. This provides additional opportunities for staff development and involvement and will benefit your business.

Building a management team: key considerations

When building a management team, you should:

  • Review your business' progress to date and decide what direction you want it to go in - measure performance and set targets.
  • Measure your performance in the market against your competitors. Analyse any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats - commonly known as a SWOT analysis - to identify what gaps there are between where the business is and where you would like it to go. SWOT, PESTLE and other models for strategic analysis.
  • Discover what skills, potential and ambitions your existing staff have and consider less-defined skills such as leadership qualities.
  • Establish if any existing staff - perhaps with some training and development - could fill skills gaps. Consider reallocating responsibilities to create a genuine team, rather than a group of individual managers. Staff training and development.
  • If you conclude that you do need to recruit an employee, find people who are team players, who trust each other and will interact well.
  • Define everybody's role and responsibilities within the team clearly. Relate these roles back to your business strategy.
  • Ensure the new members of your management team are in tune with the goals of your business and the way in which these will be achieved.
  • Re-examine any skills gaps and take steps to fill them.