Way back in the day, the term Crew referred to a crew on a ship who would sail or operate the ship together towards a common destination.

Today it is used more to describe any group of people working together toward a common goal or task usually under the direction of a leader.

As many of us work remotely on specific tasks it is harder to imagine us all working as close together as those who were facing life together on unpredictable waters sailing across the ocean together.

The objective of the captain or leader is to bring together these dissimilar people who have different specialties, experiences, and talents into a cohesive unit.

To be successful, they must “row” in one direction towards a common goal.

Of course, there is always unpredictable upsets that cause you to lose your course direction, but there are also instances when individuals in the crew are not doing their part.

If one individual is rowing too fast or slow then the ship starts to go off course and others need to adjust the sails or their rowing to accommodate.

There are many reasons why we can go off course and here are just a few:

  1. Not team players – crew members are trying to advance their own ideas or impress the leader instead of working in unison as part of the team.
  2. In the wrong seat – crew member’s talents are either not being utilized or they do not possess the talents required for their given position.
  3. Rowing in opposite directions – This is usually a communication problem where there is not ongoing communication, or the individual does not agree with the direction that has been set.
  4. Sick, tired, or lacking motivation – Whether their home life is too disorganized or unsupportive to give them proper rest, they suffer from addictions, or they simply lack motivation and direction to keep up the pace and persistence required.

The above list is not exhaustive as people are complicated creatures.

To start to remedy the above and start building a team that can row together toward a common goal we would suggest three things to start.

1- Communication

The right word at the right time to the right person goes a long way. Communicating the goals, strategy, and giving people the ability to provide constructive feedback can solve a lot of the issues listed above. It would solve #3 completely and it could go a long way to provide the clarity needed for the lack of motivation in #4.

2- Hiring

Hiring the right people and placing them in the right seats is probably the biggest challenge and opportunity faced by any organization.

If you hire the right people, they can be properly motivated, communicated with, and they will ask the right questions to advance your organization.

Hiring the right people means finding team players (#1), the right people for the seats (#2), and finding people that are already healthy, happy, and motivated (#3).  

Hiring can take a few different forms for different positions. For short term projects hiring a contractor or a temporary staffing agency can help scale up projects. For ongoing tasks or projects, it makes sense to spend the necessary time to source, hire, train, and develop people to fulfill them.

To help you understand your options for hiring high performing crew members, checkout our E-book, on when and how to outsource, or give us a call to discuss your options.


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3- Leadership

Listing leadership last is one of these last shall be first situations.

If you have the right leaders, they will determine the best people to hire and properly communicate the vision of the organization to the crew to ensure everyone is rowing in the right direction.

Leaders can also help those team members that are suffering from (#4) and struggling and provide them with individual coaching and encouragement for them to find their motivation to pull themselves out of their tough situation.

If the leadership team is unable to motivate and create high performers from their team, then it may be time to revisit hiring or putting that person in another seat.  

The solutions of leadership, communication, and hiring are no small undertaking. Each of these could fill libraries and thousands of hours of learning.

To help us dive into what makes an amazing team we will be asking project managers, owners and site superintendents in their respective fields what they have found to be important when building their crews and sharing the results with you.

If you would like to receive these results as soon as they are available, sign up to our newsletter below.

Now its your turn!

Share with us what you have found to help when developing and managing your crews by mentioning it in the comments below or sending us a message.