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How Can Small Business Startups Build a Strong Team?

Better Communication and Problem-Solving

Normally, when mentioning “team building”, people would think of HRs in big companies leading people playing team-building games. However, team building is far more than just playing games. All team building exercises aim one goal—building trust.

Is HR a must for team building? The answer is no, especially for small business startups which lack systematic personnel allocation. Team building starts with the first day of your business. Just remember the following tips, a small but strong team will begin forming even before you get an HR.

Good communication helps with understanding

Most people would be happier, more satisfied and more productive under an environment where others understand and appreciate his or her work. Good communication helps with building this kind of environment.

Go talk to other members in the team (during lunch breaks or even meeting in the elevator). Get to know their expertise, role and function in the team and appreciate their work. At least, when a problem occurs, you will know to whom you can turn. The more you understand and respect other team members, the less likely a misunderstanding, fight or a conflict (which harms the atmosphere and lowers productivity) would happen.


LaFasto and Larson did surveys on 6,000 team members and leaders and provided good problem-solving tips in their report “When Teams Work Best”. Solving problems is also a crucial part of team building. These tips also apply to startups.

Clarify: When problems occur, every team members need to have a clear view of what is happening.

Focus: Bring every member’s focus onto the problems.

Understand: Make sure everyone understands the problem itself.

Action: Assign tasks and go take action to solve the problem.

It is noteworthy that good team leaders also play an important role in problem-solving. Keep every team member on track, encourage an open brainstorming atmosphere and make decision quickly facilitates the process.

Startups usually hope every member in the team functions the best. After good communication and problem-solving has achieved, members can gain more trusts towards each other. Then trust brings a sense of belonging. Only when team members feel they belong to the group, can the morale of the company keep being positive.


LaFasto, Frank, and Carl Larson. When teams work best: 6,000 team members and leaders tell what it takes to succeed. SAGE Publications, Incorporated, 2001.