“Without great leadership, mission and a team that delivers results at a high level, even the best product won’t make a company successful.” – Richard Kiyosaki
High performance teams don’t form themselves and they don’t happen overnight. If you’ve ever had the good fortune of being part of a high performing team, you know what a remarkable experience it is.
The days fly by, there’s palpable positive energy in the air, and quality output increases. Everything just seems easier. People who have had this experience tend to remember it, and their teammates, vividly for years to come, as if it’s etched indelibly into their minds. So how do these epic teams come to be?
Let’s examine what sets these larger-than-life groups apart and how can you create high performance teams in your organization.
Like most things in the workplace, it starts at the top. Transformational leadership is the key to creating a high performance culture. Follow these ten rules to develop iconic teams that fuel high-performing organizations:
- Communicate the vision. Set clear expectations and common goals, and make sure every team member understands how he or she contributes to achieving them. Follow up as needed if adjustments to the vision need to be made, ensuring that your team members are aware of each change and how it relates to their roles. Understanding the big picture promotes collaboration, increases commitment and improves quality.
- Define individual roles. Duplication of effort and confusion as to roles and responsibilities can increase frustration and create conflict in work teams. Much a like a sports team, each staff member has a specific “position” to play. Each of those positions comes with its individual contributions as well as its impacts on the overall team dynamic. Imagine the craziness that would ensue if the pitcher on a baseball team decided he was going to play left field in the middle of a game. In team environments, success happens when everyone knows what his or her role is and understands how to carry out those responsibilities effectively.
- Create effective processes. Processes and procedures need to be well defined, straightforward, documented, and continually improved upon. They should also be changed when required. Outdated processes waste time and thwart productivity.
- Recognize complementary abilities. While a builder can provide the walls, a house won’t be functional if there are no plumbers or carpenters. Similarly, each team member contributes unique skills, knowledge and strengths. That group synergy is what makes the team highly productive.
- Make open communication your mantra. Dialogue and active listening are always present in high performing teams, and there’s a constant flow of information. Communication should be clear, timely, and accurate. It allows team members to coordinate tasks, clarify questions, and effectively resolve conflicts. People also need to know how they’re doing in order to stay motivated and to correct performance issues. Make sure a system is in place so that team members receive ongoing feedback. This allows actions for improvement to be taken quickly, when necessary. Excellent communication is the glue that holds the team together.
- Focus on empowerment. Every member of the team should know that he or she is expected to make decisions, lead and innovate. This empowerment energizes high-performance teams and offers the possibility of growth by taking effective action.
- Build trust and foster ongoing learning. Every high performing team is built on a foundation of trust. When each person knows that his or her team mates and leader have their best interests in mind, less time is spent worrying and more time is spent getting things done. Emphasize the importance of learning from failures as well as from successes. Be that team that embraces a culture of continuous improvement and where members are encouraged to develop their skills and knowledge. Lead by example to foster a culture of trust.
- Celebrate successes. Savor the small and the big wins as a team. Recognize people’s individual contributions and the accomplishments of the team as a whole.
- Encourage interaction. People want to feel like they are more than just a cog in the wheel; they want to know that they matter and are valued. Taking the time to get to know your staff and encouraging team members to do the same—whether that’s through coffee breaks, going to lunch together, or social activities outside work—will yield great benefits.
- Inspire rather than push. Leaders of high performance teams understand the importance of instilling energy and enthusiasm in their employees. When team members feel that what they are doing is of great importance, they become more confident, excited, and ready to roll up their sleeves. Cultivate the inspiration within yourself first and it will become infectious throughout the team environment.
There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction that comes from being part of a high performing team. The HR Team has decades of experience helping leaders transform mediocre teams into beacons of excellence, and we would be honored to help your organization, too. Please reach out to our knowledgeable professionals today.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.