While trolling through Pinterest the other day I came across a very thought-provoking quote. It read, “You don’t build a business, you build people, and then people build the business.” I don’t own a business. Heck, I couldn’t even run a lemonade stand by myself when I was a kid, but I do know a thing or two about working with people. Prior to Roundpeg I worked extensively in retail sales. If that doesn’t prepare you to work with various types of people, I don’t know what job will. Through sales, I learned the success of a business relies on the training provided to its employees.

Taking the time to properly train and develop your employees is vital. After all, these are the people who are managing accounts, projects and clients. Your employees are your brand. They represent your company and what it stands for. While your teammates aren’t technically the face of your business, they might as well be. Their work is a reflection of your training. Since I am still very new to Roundpeg, like I haven’t even worked a full month yet, I thought now would be as good a time as any to share some tips for building your team, so your team can build your business.

Constructive Criticism is Key: Constructive criticism is crucial to building the people in your workplace. Notice I said constructive. No one is perfect, everyone knows that. So don’t shove other people’s mistakes in their face without giving tips or solutions to make their work better. If you just simply tell someone their work sucks and leave it at that, how will he or she ever improve? One thing I absolutely love from my coworkers are their thoughts and opinions. I know I’m not always right, I’m actually probably never right, but having various sets of eyes and different perspectives makes content better and team members more trusting of one another.

Talk it Out: Every working environment is different. Whether you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the owner of a small business, you have to communicate with your employees. But it goes both ways. Your employees must talk to you too. You cannot shut everyone out and expect things to go smoothly. As much as I hate asking for help and nagging my coworkers, I have to. If I don’t, things won’t be done right and they will take half as long and I’ll ruin everyone’s lives. Maybe I won’t ruin their lives, but I’ll put them in a bad mood and that’s basically the same thing. Encourage communication and be open. It might take some minutes out of your day, but you and your business will be happy in the long run.

Encourage Creativity: I couldn’t imagine working for a company where everyone does everything the same. That is like the kiss of death in marketing. Each client is unique and must be treated that way. You cannot apply the same plan to every account you manage. Same goes for your employees. Everyone has different ideas. Let them be heard! Not all of them will be gems, but who cares. It is essential to the success of your company to encourage your employees to get creative and think outside the box. Try taking the afternoon off to go on a work field trip. Yeah, even adults sometimes need to go on field trips to get their creative juices flowing again. Whatever you choose to do, let the ideas of your employees be heard, because you never know what idea will be the next big thing, and it won’t always be yours.

You need to invest just as much time in your employees as you do your customers. Your coworkers are there to help build your business, and without the right training, your business will feel more and more like work, and less like something you’re truly passionate about. Also, the New Year is right around the corner and if you’re looking to expand your team, use some of these tips the next time you bring on someone new. You can thank me later.