How to Audit Your Team to Scale
It kind of goes without saying that you need a team if you want to scale your business to your next $100k, $500k, a million, and beyond.
And maybe you’ve already started that journey.
You have freelancers taking over the one-off projects.
You have VAs that support the day-to-day.
You have an OBM and/or an Ops Manager keeping an eye on your biz.
You have all the support you could ask for…
So why don’t you have more freedom and flexibility in your day?
Why are your team expenses on the rise?
And why are you still in the thick of things, pulling the strings, coming up with ideas, solutions, troubleshooting, and all the things in between?
If you’re like most business owners I see, you started building a team to take the pressure off of you, but somewhere along the way, you lost sight of why you hired and whether that hire is moving closer to your scaling goals.
So, how do you get back on track with your team so that you actually get the support you need to scale your business?
#1 What’s the goal again?
A good audit starts with the policy, process, or goal to get started.
It would be really hard to say whether you’re on track or off track if we’re not sure where the track is supposed to lead.
You might have started building a team a while ago or maybe it’s your first hire and you’re fumbling your way through.
Whatever the case is, go back to your goals and answer these questions: Why did you build a team? What were you hoping to achieve? How did you want them to work?
These are powerful questions that show you where the finish line is and can measure your progress against it.
Many of my clients build their teams based on what support they *think* they need or what the team members their coach or peers hire…
And run into trouble when they are under-utilizing team members or aren’t getting the support they want or need.
The reason is your business runs differently than any other business.
Your scaling goal and operating needs to get there are different.
So your team needs to be the one that’s aligned with what your goals are and what it takes to get there.
Throw out every team role you *think* you need or what everyone else seems to be doing, and hone in on what kind of team and support you ultimately want and base the audit on that.
#2 Audit the work
Once you’re clear on your goals, you can start to dig into whether what is being done is moving you towards those goals (or not).
So Before you look at your individual team members and their roles, look at the team’s workload overall.
This includes you.
Look at what everyone is doing to support your business, the time it’s taking, and whether it’s aligned with what you want from your team.
Download your team timesheets (or if you don’t have any, this is the perfect time to start a time-tracking policy) so you can see the full scope of work on everyone’s plates.
This information is vital so that you don’t make indiscriminate cuts to your team only to find out later that they were handling a ton of work in the background that you didn’t know about and so you don’t pull the plug on work/projects that are actually important to how your business runs.
Auditing workload happens in 2 steps…
1️⃣First, look at whether the team tasks, projects, and work support your goals.
2️⃣Look out for the patterns and anomalies that highlight parts of the team that need review.
A quick and dirty checklist team audit
📋 Is the work we’re doing support my goals?
📋 Is there work/projects/task missing?
📋 Tasks/projects that take a lot of time (or too little time)
📋 Tasks/projects that drag out too long
📋 Tasks/projects/team members that are over or under budget
📋 Business functions that the team is spending the most time on
📋 Unaccounted time
Confirming that the work is important to your overall goals is critical for alignment and work that needs to be included or stopped.
Anomalies and patterns mean there might be errors or confusion about a process, task or project, bottlenecks, and bigger strategic issues that need to be reviewed.
For example, if you notice that 70% of the overall team’s time goes to marketing and you are NOT a marketing business, there is probably an imbalance in your team’s workload and roles that need to be addressed.
The info you gather here is the first step to aligning the work your team does with your scaling goals.
#3 Audit the team roles
If you’ve made it to this step, you know where you’re trying to go, and the key places where there might be imbalance and breakdown so you can make sure that the work being done is actually important to how you want to scale your business.
If audit step 2 was about getting intentional about the work that the team is doing, this step is about making sure that you have the right people to do it.
Now you can look at your team roles individually and assess…
👩🏻🔬 What did I originally hire them for?
👩🏻🔬 Are their timesheets indicating what they’re actually doing?
👩🏻🔬 Is the work they’re doing supporting where I’m going?
👩🏻🔬 What might need to shift in their role/work to support my goals?
👩🏻🔬 Do they have the skills to shift their work?
These might be uncomfortable questions because you might really like your team members or maybe you are a people pleaser and the idea of having a hard conversation or letting someone go feels really scary.
Some of my clients struggle with this part of auditing their team and I want to remind you that you and your business are separate beings, and keeping team members who aren’t a great fit hurts everyone.
From my experience with so many clients, resentment can grow when you’re not getting that support that you’re paying for and on the flip side feelings can get hurt when you’re suddenly brusque, demanding, or worse, your frustration explodes.
There is definitely a way to be kind and continue relationships even if they aren’t business relationships going forward and I help my client navigate those conversations with confidence.
So do your best to keep fears and anxieties out of the equation and use the info you’ve gathered to redesign roles around the work that will support your scaling goals.
#4 Share your findings
An audit doesn’t help your business if you drop it into your Gdrive never to be looked at again, and if you’ve been around my corner of the internet for a while, you know that I advocate for transparency with your team.
So let them in on the results of the audit.
Let them know what changes you’re considering and let them help you transition.
They might have information and insight into the work, anomalies, patterns, and their role.
And more often than not, team members want to help you run your business well and they can’t help you do that if you don’t share the plan with them.
An audit means a reset for you and the team.
If you haven’t been getting the support you want or need…
If you’re concerned about expenses and how time is being spent…
If you want to set the team role and the work everyone is doing…
An audit is the perfect time for that!
So, if you’ve felt like you want to make changes to your team but you’re not sure what or how to bring it up, auditing the team is the perfect segue into that.
The knowledge that comes from looking closely and intentionally at your team will put you in control of your team and confirm that you’re on track to scale your business the way that YOU want.
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