It doesn't matter whether your team is a new team just up and running, or whether it’s an established team that has been together for a long time. No matter what stage it’s at, if it is an intact team, there is always something that you can do to improve performance or develop the levels of communication, performance and clarity in your team.
Developing High Performing Teams
Whether your team is an intact team, a virtual team or a team operating more as a collection of individuals, you as the leader or facilitator on your team, can take clear actions to make things better, and to build the ultimate high performance team.
One of the most important things that you can do for your team is to develop clarity, focus and alignment in the team. There are many ways to do this. It can be acted upon through involving people in the creation of the vision and strategy or involving the team members in a team charter session, and an action planning session for the team. This is one way you can facilitate team growth and emotional engagement in the direction you want the team to take.
Getting buy in to the direction the team is taking is actually critical, if you want a highly motivated group of people, who will work hard for each other, and strive toward team goals, even when they are not being supervised by you. You do want self leaders and role models to emerge.
Ensuring clarity of goals, behavioural standards and making clear an individual’s key performance indicators and good performance objectives are also crucial. Teams often fail because some of the above aspects are not attended to.
"The best performing teams have clarity of purpose, all team members are proactive, have individual role clarity and clear goals. Performance management processes and an evolved team performance evaluation system are ideally in place and there are healthy two way conversations between leaders in the team and their own direct reports. We will also find that relationships and communications are healthy and the team members are allowed to influence and challenge the ideas and actions to influence the direction that the team is taking."
One truly crucial dynamic that must be present for a team to achieve high performance standards is Trust. While leaders must be flexible in order to create that trust, it’s important to acknowledge that team trust is created by meeting the core needs of individual team members in the environment around communication and consistency. There are core needs for levels of communication, while certain standards of quality and consistence performance are core needs for other individuals in the team.
High levels of interpersonal warmth, understanding, a development mindset, and recognition systems are usually highly evolved in high performing teams.
The Gallup engagement studies have always alerted leaders to key needs that employees and team members have, in order to feel engaged in the team. Crucial things like having someone performance managing them, and setting them up for success with a development mindset are a must.
- So how is your team doing?
- Are they on track?
- Do you feel you could have a better atmosphere and dynamic among all team members?
- Is there conflict between individuals?
- Is there a silo mentality in the team?
- Is there clarity around what the team is about, what the vision is and where is it heading?
Download new teams report: Building a team of proactive employees.