A lot of organizations have learned how to build a high performing team and have succeeded at it. Does this mean that it is an easy thing to do? On the contrary, it is not. However, the fact that other businesses have been able to achieve this is a good indication that you can do it too.
A high-performing team is a necessity; one that will go a long way in determining the smooth operation of things in any organization.
You need a team because all the intelligence and hard work in the world is not enough for you to carry out all the tasks required to run your business.
But it does not just stop at having a team.
Your team should also be able to carry out its duties effectively.
Every member of the team should have what it takes to give the best results at all times.
But the big question is how do you build this much-needed high-performing team?
Well, you can start by following the guidelines that will be shared in this article.
But before we go into all that, let’s quickly take a look at what we mean by a high-performing team.
What Exactly Does a High Performing Team Mean – How to Build a High Performing Team
You cannot build something if you do not know what that thing is.
This is why the first thing you need to know when trying to build a high-performing team is to know what this term means in the first place.
So, what is a high-performing team?
Well, a high-performing team is simply a group of talented and skilled individuals who work together to achieve a common goal.
Typically, this kind of team often produces the best results with every member of the team efficiently doing their best to make sure the shared goal is achieved.
For this to happen, they often share the same value, work ethic, vision, and objectives.
A high-performing team is often very effective when it comes to problem-solving; typically producing innovative and fresh solutions to problems.
The collaboration and communication levels of the members of the team are usually quite high.
This is what makes it possible for them to effectively work together.
Features of High Performing Teams – How to Build a High Performing Team
High-performing teams often have certain features and attributes that distinguish them from other types of teams.
Below, we’ll take a look at some of these features.
This will help you better understand the concept behind this term.
It will also help you know the things you need to instill in your team when building your high-performing team.
Typically, you will need to make sure they also have these qualities.
The members of the team and the team as a whole would need to develop the following characteristics.
One of the best features that this type of team have is a shared vision.
Every member of the team is often united with every other member of the team based on their shared vision.
And this shared vision is usually linked to the progress of both the team and the organization they work for.
It is their shared vision that allows them to work so well together.
A high-performing team typically works like a well-oiled engine; with every part (member of the team) doing their part effectively to ensure the desired result is met.
Great Work Practices
Planning is a very important aspect of high-performing teams.
They typically know what they need to do and they often map out actions and steps that will help them achieve that goal.
This is what boosts their impeccable work practices and ethics.
And this in turn allows them to properly plan, organize, and evaluate every situation.
Their uniform goals/vision and work practice is often the foundation of the team.
Clear Communication – How to Build a High Performing Team
Communication within a high-performing team is usually devoid of any ambiguity that would end up confusing other team members.
The flow of communication is also open and direct.
The team lead will clearly state the goals and visions of the team.
And if the team members are still unsure of what is being said, they can conveniently ask questions to get clarity.
This is made possible because the communication channel is open to all members of the team.
Respect and Trust – How to Build a High Performing Team
Mutual respect and trust are necessary ingredients for teamwork.
So, it should not come as a surprise that respect and trust are among the characteristics of high-performing teams.
Every member of the team including the leader respects the other team members and values their contributions to the team.
They also trust each member to carry out their part even without being prompted to.
Thought diversity is respected and even encouraged because they know these differences can make them better and stronger.
Because of the respect and trust they have for each other, they usually share ideas, do their best at work, and be innovative together.
Defined Responsibilities and Roles
The responsibilities and roles of every team member are properly defined.
This is because they know that undefined responsibilities and roles can lead to conflict.
And that can in turn reduce the team’s efficacy.
So, they will rather avoid all that by clearly stating the roles each team member is meant to play.
This removes confusion and ensures that everything stays organized.
There’s typically no confusion over things like project ownership.
Likewise, accountability is ensured.
Their Deadlines and Work Are Priority-Based
A high-performing team does not joke with their priorities.
They know certain tasks are more important than others.
Therefore, they do not spend time working on less important tasks while they have other more important tasks waiting for them.
Instead, they tackle the most important ones and then work in order of priority until they complete all their work and meet all their deadlines.
Although teams like this are usually effective and produce the best results, they also know that they can still improve.
They acknowledge that there’s always room for improvement and so, they are ever ready to learn.
When they do something wrong, they know to look at that thing, analyze what they did wrong, and learn from that experience.
They also value feedback because they know they can use it to develop themselves.
They Recognize the Contributions of Each Team Member and Celebrate Their Wins Together
Teams like this know that everything they achieve is a result of teamwork.
Because of this, they often celebrate the team’s success as a team (together).
And the contributions of each team member will be recognized and appreciated.
This goes a long way in building a good culture for the team by making sure everyone feels valued, loved, and connected to the team.
Tips on How to Build a High Performing Team
Now that you know the features of a high-performing team, you may think you have all you need to build one for your organization.
Well, you are wrong because merely knowing these characteristics won’t be enough to help you instill them in your team.
You need to follow certain tips and guidelines when building a high-performing team.
This is because you cannot build this team overnight.
It is a continuous process that requires commitment and determination.
And the following tips will help you achieve it.
1. Employ Talented Team Members
A team is only as efficient as the members on it.
If you are trying to build a high-performing team but the people you are working with aren’t fit for the job, chances are you won’t be successful with your goal.
Therefore, you need to be sure that you can build an effective team with the people you are working with.
And the only way you can ensure this is by making sure the team members have the necessary skills and talent needed to take on tasks effectively.
If you have enough staff and you are not out hiring people now, then you can simply look around your company and single out the most qualified for the super team you are building.
But if you are building the team from the scratch, then it’s even better.
This affords you the chance to employ talented individuals for your team.
You should have an idea of what the ideal candidate is when you are hiring.
Sometimes, you may want to employ people simply because you know them or for any other sentimental reason.
But you should avoid doing this because it may only spell doom for your business down the line.
Ensure you employ people that merit the job.
Most of the qualities and skills that members of a high-performing team have are sometimes very difficult to learn or adopt.
So, you would be better off employing people who already have these, rather than employing those who don’t and then spending resources and time trying to teach them these things.
You can read this guide on how to hire employees to learn more about this topic.
2. Create the Team
Once you have employed people for the job or you have handpicked members for this team from your existing staff, it’s time to create the team.
One thing you need to be intentional about when building your effective and high-performing team is size.
Ideally, this kind of team should not be too big, and neither should it be too small.
A too small team won’t work as effectively as you would want them to because they would lack the diversity that would otherwise aid decision-making.
They may make poor decisions or take a long time to make decisions because they do not have the bandwidth to support fast decision-making.
Similarly, a too big team may also spell trouble because sub-teams may get formed and this would substantially reduce the team’s effectiveness.
This is because it would encourage divisive behavior that would take away the shared vision of the team.
Ideally, you should not have more than 10 members on a high-performing team.
Ensure that the team you create is stable by taking your time to hand-pick each member of the team.
Each member should not just have the right skills and expertise to fit the role, they should also have a teamwork spirit.
Another thing to consider when creating the team is diversity.
The team members should not all have the same skillsets, abilities, and expertise.
Rather, the team should be a fine blend of several skillsets and abilities.
This way, whenever there’s a particular need, there will be a team member that will conveniently meet it.
Likewise, one team member may be able to offer help in areas where the other team members are lacking.
3. Create a Shared Value and Purpose for the Team – How to Build a High Performing Team
Each member of the team should feel a strong sense of connection to the team.
And the best way to achieve this is by ensuring they have unified values and purpose.
Remember, one of the foundational characteristics of high-performing teams is a shared vision.
And since you are the one building the team, creating a unified value and purpose for the team is your responsibility.
The first thing you need to do to achieve this is to set clear goals for the team.
You also need to work on the team’s alignment.
Take your time to emphasize the team’s goals, this is the best way to ensure their actions/work and the goals stay aligned.
Evaluate priorities and ensure everyone works with them in mind.
Watch the progress of each team member and ensure that what they are doing aligns with the team’s priorities and overall goals.
This will pull the team together so that they can work as one to achieve the best results.
4. Encourage Open and Clear Communication – How to Build a High Performing Team
Focus is another crucial factor for any team’s effectiveness.
A team needs to know what they are working towards at all times.
This is why you need to encourage clear and open communication.
The team leader should be able to clearly communicate the goals and priorities of the team to other team members.
At the same time, the team members should be able to openly communicate their thoughts and ideas with the team lead and other members of the team.
Some people may have great ideas but may feel too vulnerable to share their idea.
And one of the reasons why they may feel this way is if they know they may be mocked for their ideas.
So, you need to encourage open communication by providing a safe space for team members to speak up, even during meetings.
Team leaders should also learn to understand each member of the team.
They should know and understand the working style of everyone.
They should also understand the team members’ thinking patterns, personalities, and behaviors.
This will help them know how to handle these people and make sure they work to their full potential.
5. Encourage a Learning Culture – How to Build a High Performing Team
Continuous learning is very important regardless of how skilled or knowledgeable a person is.
This is because things are currently changing, so a highly-sought after skill today can become obsolete at some point.
The same thing goes with knowledge.
Therefore, the best thing to do at all times is to keep learning to make sure one stays current and relevant.
This is why you need to inculcate a learning culture in every member of your high-performing team.
Encourage them to keep learning and upgrading their skills.
Also, teach them the importance of feedback.
Whenever they do something, they should see the need to get feedback from other people, preferably outside the team.
This would help them do better next time.
Similarly, they should be able to look back at their mistakes and learn from them.
You also need to do your part as their employee by ensuring they get the necessary training to upgrade their skills from time to time.
A team with up-to-date skills and knowledge will perform better than a team that is lacking in this regard.
Benefits of a High Performing Team
Building a high-performing team is not a day’s job.
It will cost you time, resources, and even money.
However, the benefits that come with having this kind of team in your organization are often worth the stress in the end.
A major benefit you stand to enjoy by having a high-performing team is their efficiency.
When a team is producing the best result, it would go a long way in improving your business growth.
Imagine having a team that does the bare minimum and ends up leaving mistakes and failures on their trail.
As a business owner, you most likely would spend time and resources cleaning up after the team.
And this may affect the company immensely.
A high-performing team will also help improve the workplace culture of your organization.
Even though they are not the only team in your company, their great culture most likely would spread to other teams too.
This is because other teams most likely will try to emulate the good culture of the high-performing team.
It will reduce frictions and disagreements, and typically make the workplace more friendly.
A high-performing team will also reduce employee turnover.
You’d have a better chance of retaining your employees if you have a great workplace culture where everyone does their part.
Since everyone will be effectively playing their roles, there won’t be any reason to pile up tasks on just one person and make them burn out.
This will create an environment that will attract employees and also make old employees stay.
All of these benefits generally lead up to one giant benefit.
A high-producing team will typically improve the success rate of a company.
Conclusion on How to Build a High Performing Team
Building a high-performing team will do wonders for your business.
But it is not exactly an easy thing to do.
You may encounter certain challenges and drawbacks as you try to do this.
But you should not let them deter you.
The tips in this article will help, but you also need to stay determined if you are to achieve your goal.