Building High Performing Team
One of the frequent phrases that we hear in the industry nowadays is “Building high performing team” or “The importance of high performing team”. But, what is a high-performing team, how is it getting differentiated from a regular team, what are their characteristics, and how can we convert a regular team into a high-performing team? So, I have researched to find more about it, and this is what I found.
Definition of a High Performing Team
A high-performance team is a group of highly skilled people working in cross-functional areas focused on achieving a common business goal. The team is aligned with and committed to shared values and vision and works towards a common objective.
Three psychological needs are essential in a high-performing team: autonomy, competence, and relatedness (the desire to feel connected to others).
Characteristics of High-Performance Teams
In a high-performing team, we can see most of the below characteristics displayed.
- They have clear goals tied closely to the team and organizational priorities.
- They understand how their work fits into the organizational mission. — High-performing teams know their “why” and work together to support a shared vision.
- They have defined roles and responsibilities.
- They communicate openly, clearly, and respectfully.
- They manage work and deadlines based on priorities.
- They trust and respect each other.
- They celebrate success together and recognize contributions.
- They practice continuous learning.
- They adhere to effective work practices — proper planning and necessary resources deployment.
- They contain complementary abilities.
- They easily adapt to changes.
- They regularly evaluate results and processes.
- They are not afraid to pick up the phone — They tend to communicate more frequently with each other and other teams.
- They are more strategic with their meetings — They are significantly more likely to require pre-work from participants, introduce an agenda, and begin with a check-in that keeps team members apprised of one another’s progress.
- They invest time in bonding over non-work topics — For them, the team is not only about work.
- They give and receive appreciation more frequently — both from their colleagues as well their managers
- They are more authentic at work.
Below is the high-performing team model from Performance Factor, a book by Pat MacMillan, CEO and Founding Partner of Triaxia Partners.
How to Build a High-Performance Team
- Create a stable team — Focus on the right team composition and team size (Not too small as it creates a lack of diversity and ideally not more than ten members because otherwise, sub-teams start to form.)
- Build cohesive, and value-aligned team dynamics — Shared values, a high level of interaction, and a sense of trust among members are essential. Leaders need to help team members to stay focused on the vision through constant communication.
- Set measurable and clear goals tied closely to the team and organizational priorities — Set measurable and effective goals with clear intent. Rewards and recognition for effective performance.
- Encourage an environment of open communication.
- Stress on the importance of learning — Fostering a culture of continuous learning to navigate the issues of skill gaps and different digital transformations.
- Coach the team as a team, not as a group of individuals.
- Have regular one-on-one meetings with your team members.
- Provide thoughtful feedback on small but important things.
- Rearrange office seating to encourage member interaction and create opportunities for social conversations.
- Change team members only if you don’t have any other choice.
- Get them out of their workspaces — Stimulate interaction between team members in places other than their desks.
A team leader plays an integral part in building a High-Performance team.
- You are a leader, so be an example of the behavior you expect everyone to follow.
- Team leaders inspire more than they drive.
- Team leaders proactively identify and resolve conflicts and increase cooperation.
- Team leaders set stretch goals — Doing something out of the ordinary helps people recognize that they are exceptional, and their satisfaction with work, engagement, and pride all go up.
- Team Leaders communicate, communicate, and communicate the vision and direction.
- Team Leaders Are Trusted — Three fundamental pillars that build trust: Relationships, Knowledge or expertise, and Consistency — Being consistent and walking your talk.
Methods to Assess High-Performance Team
- Belbin Self-Perception Inventory (BSPI ) — Devised by Raymond Meredith Belbin to measure nine-team roles’ preferences. The Inventory assesses how an individual behaves in a team environment. The assessment includes 360-degree feedback from observers and the individual’s evaluation of their behavior.
- Myers–Briggs Type Indicator