New Year, New Team | NAWBO

If you want to know a person’s character, look at the company they keep. That’s true too about an organization’s character, which is why surrounding yourself with the best, most diverse team members as you grow from solopreneur to small, medium and even large business is so key.

The challenge though is great team members are extremely hard to find and keep in today’s candidate’s market. But it’s a new year and that means a new opportunity for all of us to get it right. Think of it like this: Customer satisfaction is at the heart of business success. Now, keep in mind that our employees are our internal customers.

In this spirit, here are some tips from today’s top talent experts to consider as you strategize about your team in 2022:


1) Treat candidates like customers: Be respectful of their time, be hospitable and make yourself available for questions or concerns throughout the hiring process.

2) Use social media: It’s a fantastic recruiting tool that allows you to share job postings with your entire network and encourage two-way conversation.

3) Implement an employee referral program: Great people usually surround themselves with other highly capable people. Reward your employees for referring.

4) Write better job descriptions: Most job descriptions are lists of responsibilities and requirements. Instead, focus on what your company can do for employees.

5) Fit the personality to the job: Although skill set may seem like the most important factor in a candidate’s fit, remember skills can be acquired; personalities cannot.


1) Don’t wait for the first day: As soon as new employees accept your offer, start including them in team communications. Send other materials to bring them up to speed as well.

2) Prepare your managers, not just the new hire: Talk about the person’s role and responsibilities, mentoring and encouraging open dialogue.

3) Define expectations: Develop a complete set of expectations that includes deadlines and how deliverables will contribute to team and company goals. 

4) Schedule regular check-ins: Onboarding is an ongoing process that isn’t complete until new hires are officially “up to speed.” Check in with them regularly.

5) Assign a mentor: Mentors can be a huge help. Don’t leave this to chance—assign someone to show your new team members the ropes and increase their chances of long-term success.


1) Provide the right tools, training and support: Give your team members everything they need to really thrive in their positions.

2) Take time to recognize: Appreciating employees—formally or informally—for good work is important. Take notice when they’re doing great work!

3) Keep communication lines open: Encourage two-way communication and be a good listener. Know how your employees feel.

4) Involve them in the big picture: Your employees should know what’s happening in your company, and this includes sharing the numbers. 

5) Take time for fun and team-building: Organize team-building and other fun activities. These will bring the team together plus lessen the stress.

And one final tip: As women business owners, we are all walking different but similar paths. If you are having challenges with your team, ask your NAWBO sisters for their best insights. Remember you are better together with NAWBO.

—Cristina Morales Heaney
  2021-2022 NAWBO National Board Chair

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