High performing teams don’t just happen. They take focus and deliberate and specific action.
I am sure most of us have been part of a team that didn’t work at some point in our career. Where much of the team’s energy was focused internally, working against each other rather than working together, wasting valuable time and resources.
Throughout my 20 plus years in corporate, I witnessed more times than I care to admit the tremendous untapped potential of people and teams whose skills and experience were largely unutilised. But I have also had the pleasure of being part of and also leading dynamic and powerful teams.
So what makes a team high performing?
Besides the obvious of teams meeting or exceeding their targets, high performing teams require ongoing focus and commitment.
Here are some essential steps to take to build a high performing team.
- As a foundation, you must build a psychologically safe and inclusive environment. An environment where all people can bring their authentic selves to work. I have written several articles on this topic. Please refer to my website for recent articles.
- Create a shared team vision and a sense of purpose for your team (for large corporations, this may be different, yet linked, to your company vision).
- Develop a clear team strategy that connects to the broader business strategy, including objectives and priorities.
- Ensure all team members understand their role in delivering on the strategy.
- Agree on what success looks like and track progress regularly, course-correcting as needed. Remembering that accountability is a key component of performance.
- Be deliberate in building your team’s culture by agreeing on the values and behaviours the team will live by and hold each other (including leaders) accountable.
On a final note, high performing individuals don’t necessarily make a high performing team. It is rare in today’s complex environment where one person alone can solve a complex problem; it takes a group of people. Therefore, ensure that you are hiring team players that align with the values and vision you seek for your business when recruiting for your team.
At Quantum Leap Global, we partner with leaders to equip them with the knowledge and behaviours that build psychologically safe environments as the foundation for high performance, unlocking the collective power of diversity by creating authentically safe and inclusive work environments where all can thrive.