People thrive when being part of the right team. Even an otherwise average employee can perform their best work when working with high performing teams. Thus, it’s crucial for us to understand how to build and support such effective teams.
There is no shortage of challenges for a growing business. Poor teams fall under such pressure and disassemble. Good teams deal with it, but just barely. However, high performing teams not only adapt but learn and thrive in adverse scenarios.
A high performing team is defined as a group of people with unique skill-sets, roles, and responsibilities which can align themselves to achieve a common goal or business results.
Such teams consist of team members who have a strong sense of commitment to the team over their own gains. These teams flourish because of this quality and various other qualities that set them apart from regular teams. Let’s have a look at some of the attributes of high-performance teams.
Main Characteristics Of A High Performing Team
1. Mutual Trust
Any effective team requires high levels of trust among its team members for achieving their goals. Such teams builds trust through a combination of respect for everyone’s contributions, peer-appreciation, goodwill, and a common goal.
A team that lacks trust among themselves is far more likely to fail even if the team members are highly skilled. When people feel like they can trust one another, they develop a strong sense of understanding. As a result, the efforts of their collaboration shows the intended results.
2. Open Communication
The one factor that facilitates excellent team performance is its communication practices.
High-performance teams necessitate the culture of openly expressing ideas, practicing active listening, and building transparency among team members. You’ll often find that great teams are attuned to each others’ thought processes and actions. Such familiarity is built upon clear, concise, and frequent communication.
3. Strong Sense Of Purpose
Team success is interrelated with the team goals. A team where individuals have only their own agenda to accomplish will hamper the team success in the long run,
Creating, communicating, and upholding a standard set of team goals is necessary for consistent performance. It delivers a purpose that unites the team members against obstacles.
Adaptability is the quality of conforming to challenges as they come. It requires quick thinking, decision-making, and changing direction when necessary. Adaptable teams are agile in their daily work life. Thus, such high performing teams are used to operating in an environment of risks and uncertainty.
5. Employing Diversity
An effective team will have people of varied backgrounds working together at close quarters. If your teams are from a single demographic, you are most likely missing out on unique viewpoints, ideas, and solutions. However, if you do have a carried selection of people in your team, it’s essential to ensure that it’s not only diverse but inclusive as well.
6. Strong Leadership
The levels of hierarchy in a team should be carefully controlled.
If a team gets too fixated on the level of positions, roles, and responsibilities, the performance will invariably suffer. Resentment, toxicity, and miscommunication will become an everyday norm.
However, if there is no hierarchy, it might cause problems with accountability. Thus, as a manager, it’s essential to balance out both sides.
5 Effective Ways To Develop High Performing Teams
Now that we have looked over the essential characteristics displayed by high-performance teams let’s look at how you can build one. The following points will be actionable tips on how to help regular teams to enhance their team performance.
1. Appoint A Team Leader
As mentioned earlier, managing teams should come with a delicate balance of power hierarchy. It’s vital to ensure accountability but not allow role-shaming. An excellent way to do so is to appoint a team leader.
A team leader plays many roles. Mediator, crisis manager, friend, mentor- are just to name a few. Under the tutelage of a capable team leader, even the most average of teams will see a productivity boost.
A good team leader can be considered the captain of a ship. While everyone’s contributions are necessary for the overall team success, the team leader is the one who will ensure that the day-to-day activities run smoothly.
Additionally, team members might hesitate to directly approach the manager or supervisor in case any problem arises. In such scenarios, the team leader will bridge the gap between the management and the team by ensuring that the team has everything they need.
2. Use Quality Communication Tools
To encourage open communication practices, the medium to do so plays a crucial part in it. Be it a small or large team, communication should be quick, instant, and properly distributed. A manual communication plan would most likely fail, considering that most teams are cross-functional and remote.
2020 has driven across the fact that a useful communication tool is one of the most integral features of any business. Without it, teams would be out of sync and result in eventual business loss.
Thus, leaders should strictly evaluate their teams’ needs and select appropriate communication tools that would help team members streamline their workflow.
Different teams would have additional requirements. Subsequently, various communication tools grant different functionalities. Make sure that you take every team’s roles and responsibilities into consideration and make your choice accordingly.
3. Performance Management
It’s vital that the team goals are set, measured, and tracked periodically. However, try to avoid micromanagement since it will eventually do more harm than good for the team’s performance.
The most useful way to track team performance is through a combined arrangement of KPIs, OKRs, and a proper goal setting system. It’s also crucial that every team member knows, understands, and gets on board the expectations that you have from the team.
However, a team’s development will be primarily hampered if you focus only on the team goals. Every employee has individual aspirations and, if left unaddressed, will garner feelings of negativity towards the organization.
As a leader, it’s essential to have regular one-on-ones or performance reviews to recognize and address every individual’s expectations from you, the team, and the organization. Such double-way communication promotes transparency and builds trust.
4. Diversity And Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are not just corporate buzzwords. They are an organizational necessity.
It has become imperative that your company prioritizes and endorses the need for a diverse workforce. Diversity-oriented company cultures are not only more likely to retain employees but also to attract top talents. Thus, to attract star players to your teams, here are some crucial tips to be a more diversity-friendly business:
- Diversity based hiring should be the prime focus to ensure that everyone gets an equal chance to interview for a role.
- Diversity is not enough. Ensure that your organization is inclusive too.
- Set company policies that take severe actions against discrimination in the workplace.
- The leader and senior management should openly advocate being a diversity-friendly workforce.
- Ensure that employees are given regular diversity and inclusion training.
5. Team Building Activities
Understandably, a team can’t be high performance from the get-go. It requires effort, time, and patience. An excellent way for new and old team members to get to know each other is through the means of certain team-building activities.
Team building activities are an easy, fun, and effective way to make team members bond with each other. These activities require a combination of strategic decision-making skills, thought processes, and clear communication to facilitate a fun yet informative session.
Additionally, these activities provide a respite from the daily grid. When team members can rejuvenate, bond, and have fun with each other, it enables them to work better together.
Do you have any additional tips that’ll elevate a regular team to a high performing team? Do let us know in the comments below.