Building high performance teams

Team building event

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This comprehensive five-page guide to building high performance teams has been constructed to help those who are responsible for managing and developing the performance of a team, within any size of company.

The information should be used as a general guide only. You will also need to consider your own organisation’s policies, procedures and culture which we cannot take account of here.

Key steps to building high performing teams

As we strive for competitiveness, high performance teams become even more critical to our success. Regardless of the stage of your team coming together, these key steps will help you build a high performing team (HPT):

  • Develop a diverse team
    Utilise people who have different strengths and are closely aligned to the crucial business functions, customers and stakeholders. The more diverse the team, the more they are likely to be strong in achieving the whole range of thinking, action and people orientated tasks for a successful outcome.

    Motivation is likely to remain consistently high where team members can focus the majority of their work in areas they enjoy.

  • Generate the team purpose
    Facilitate the group to ensure clarity and accountability to the team’s purpose so that the team are clear of what success looks like and are empowered to achieve it. Focus the team on achieving results by setting explicit goals.
  • Develop crucial processes
    Developing critical processes will ensure the team have the vital framework to achieve their goals, and break through any existing or new barriers that prevent these processes from functioning effectively.
  • Share the leadership and accountability
    Inspire team members to take full ownership for achieving the team purpose with the assigned resources, proposing solutions and provide performance coaching where needed to address performance issues.

    Be authentic, work to your own strengths and capitalise on the talents of the team members. Periodically ask the team for feedback on your leadership so that you can adjust to get the most from each team member or the stage of the team development.

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  • Build strong relationships
    Plan focused team building events that ensure team members recognise what effective teams look like and the
    team behaviours for high performance, capitalise on strengths and stimulate continuous improvements.

    Subject to team location, encourage periodic ‘get togethers’ such as a quick lunch or morning coffee to ensure the ‘human’ team spirit is fostered. For virtual teams insert the social element into your conference calls with a simple ice breaker question.

    Remember, teams do not have to be friends, but there does need to be mutual respect and trust for high performance levels.

  • Establish focused communication and review
    Ensure the team regularly review progress against their team goals and make the vital adjustments to ensure success. At the outset agree with the team the most timely and effective forms of communication for this specific team.
  • Recognise key milestones and celebrate success
    This could range from a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ to arranging awards, gifts or bonuses to recognise effort and successful results in the most appropriate way to maintain high performance levels.
  • Review and learn
    Review each major team experience and share these across the business. Record the output and review prior to any new team coming together. This should include questions such as ‘what contributed most to our team outcome?’ as well as ‘what could we do differently next time?’.

As you consider where your team are now and the best steps to help your team on their journey to becoming a high performance team, you will achieve your journey more quickly if you bring your team along with you, so keep reviewing your progress with the team.

You may also consider:

  • Using a tool like Belbin Team Roles to identify how balanced your team are currently and how you can maximise team performance by tapping into the natural strengths within your team.
  • Bringing in a licensed MBTI facilitator to help your team share their communication preferences and identify ways of enhancing your team communication and decision making. See MBTI team building for more information.

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