Digital Team Development
The growth of the Andertons digital team has been exponential in the last 24 months. We see ourselves as a relatively small team, which means that each hire represents a fairly big risk. This has meant that myself and other senior staff have needed to be meticulous about how we have approached the hiring and structuring of what is now a ‘not insignificant’ e-commerce team.
Some of my experience in the area of building an award winning team includes:
Organagrams & Team Structure
I have experience in structuring the team and resourcing it to achieve strategic goals. Whilst this is on a relatively small scale, it has often been without precedent, as many of the roles are new to the business. As such we have developed techniques to validate the value of hires and learned to lean on outside experts to find the right people for new roles.
Writing Job Specifications and Adverts
Most of the job positions in the e-commerce team have involved a lot of pre-planning from myself alongside senior members of the team and business. I like to think I write a pretty good job advert by now(!) with the underlying spec to justify the business case for a hire.
Hiring and Interviewing
I have conducted over one hundred interviews for a number of different technical and marketing positions. Some of the more-specialist interviews have been for web developers, project managers, graphic designers and senior digital marketing roles. In these cases we would typically interview with an outside consultant to help identify the right person.
For more-mature roles like website copywriters, we have standardised the hiring process and we’re consistently managing to hire high-calibre employees as a result.
Like any team, we seek to identify processes to improve our work.
From simple meeting structures, to championing Scrum amongst the e-commerce sub-teams (not just for our development team), I have introduced processes little and large…
But I’ve also tried to take a view that these processes should constantly be refined and open to challenge from any team member. We are wary of the temptation to solve all problems with a company handbook choc-full of processes, so we try to also engender fundamental understanding of the company culture into the team so that many situations can be addressed autonomously and intuitively, rather than with a process.
As the longest-standing member of the team I have found myself being a go-to person within the team and – I freely admit – this wasn’t something I was entirely comfortable with at first.
As a result, I’ve tried to be more self-aware of how my leadership style has developed and how it manifests itself within the team; this includes identifying people with whom I will work well.
I tend to have a do-as-I-do leadership style, and I try to assert authority by providing a mass of evidence and reasoning around decisions.
I also see my particular leadership role as having a pastoral responsibility. I hope that I am building a safe, enabling culture for all team members which means they love to come to work and excel themselves within (and beyond) their roles.
One of the most impactful things in my time at Andertons has been the support I have had from the partner team within the business, and the experienced, external consultants they have bought in to work with me.
As a result of these hands-on, mentorship relationships applied by my seniors to develop me, I now like to try to approach developing individuals within my team in a similar way.
As well as conducting reviews and crafting personal development roadmaps which help team members to achieve qualifiable (and sometimes quantifiable) goals, my role gives me the freedom to take a mentorship position where appropriate and seek specialist training to enable people joining the business in more general roles to become increasingly specialised over time.