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How to Build a High Performing Team?

Organisations across the globe understand that high performing teams are the secret to success. They are what makes the goals achievable, the outcomes desirable and the world of business turning. While every team is striving to reach high-performance status, what does that look like exactly? 

A high performing team is much more than a buzzword. Creating them takes deliberate, informed and continual efforts from all involved. If you want to learn what defines a high performing team, what characteristics one should possess and how you can build one of your own, then read on.

What does a high performing team look like?

A high-performing team is one where all members contribute equally towards a shared goal. Their processes are optimised and they work well together to achieve the desired outputs in a time and resource-efficient manner. 

Characteristics of a high performing team include:

By possessing all of the above characteristics, your team will be able to function at an extremely high level and will reach new heights in terms of team effectiveness. If your team is lacking in some of the areas above, then keep reading. We’ll dive deep into a few key areas.

Deep trust within the team, the leader and the cause

Trust is an essential ingredient in the recipe for creating high-performing teams. This can be applied in many different aspects, including leadership, each other, or the cause. The moment trust is broken, productivity begins to decline.

Transparency and openness as a leader shows you have nothing to hide and helps build trust within your team. When members know which direction you’re leading them and what your intentions are, you will provide a sense of empowerment and motivation and your team will be encouraged to work more collaboratively on difficult projects.

Clear and accomplished goals

While every member of your team has different goals, as a leader, it’s important to understand the individual motivations of each team member and find ways to unify varying agendas. 

In order to be successful, the team should have a single, shared purpose to achieve better results. When this happens, team members will start putting their own interests aside to achieve the goals set by the organisation. 

Strong leadership

Focus on what you can bring to the table! A strong leader unites the team and helps them to focus on unifying goals, strengthening connections, developing their skills and optimising processes.

While each individual member is responsible for contributing to the team, it’s most important for the leader to embody and encourage positive characteristics. High performing teams start at the top, where it trickles down to the rest.

A poor leader passes the blame for underperformance to their team, which will damage morale.

So how do you become a strong leader?

There are many characteristics and strategies to help develop leadership capabilities, however, we’ll start with the basics. Help your team reach smart decisions faster by bringing everyone around to a single consensus. Instead of working in silos, try getting several experts to pool their talents and always be open to new ideas. You should also always understand that organisation’s rules apply to you, just like they do to your team members.

A strong leader should act as a supportive mentor for their staff. Ensure that you set aside time for productive 1-1s with each member of your team, so that you can work with them directly on their professional development, concerns and overall goals. 

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion aren’t just a quota, it’s about finding people who can influence the direction of your team and bring new perspectives to everything you do. By hiring people with different backgrounds and different work experiences, you can equip your team with the resources needed to take on new challenges and generate new ideas. A team with similar backgrounds and experiences always has limits on perspective and what they can take on and accomplish. 

Adaptability and capability

As a leader, you can’t expect everything to be completed to perfection in one go, and one of the key steps in creating a high performing team is to recognize the role constant improvement plays in achieving success. 

Adaptability can give your team several advantages, including the elimination of a stagnant work process, developing several solutions for a single problem, or even ensuring the continued evolution of your team. As a result, with each project, your team becomes more and more capable of taking on new challenges. 

Strategies for building a high performing team

Want to start building your high-performance team? Well, it takes a combination of characteristics and personalities to really fuel success within your organisation. Consider the following:

Building leadership skills

In order to create a high-performing team, you must invest in yourself first, because every team is only as successful as their leader. Without someone taking charge and leading the way, it can be hard to get things done. 

That means enrolling in 1-on-1 leadership coaching or investing in leadership development to provide your team with the encouragement and guidance they need to succeed. Empowering leaders to focus on results, our performance systems embrace a value-based model designed to help leaders implement new processes and structures into the way a team operates and interacts with each other.

Aligning the team

Once you’re confident in your skills, it’s time to bring your team on board! Sit down and agree on a behavioural framework for your organisation. What traits do you want to embody? What work will be required from each team member? These processes take time and implementing and revising behaviours require hard and honest conversations to succeed, but without it, you won’t be able to align your high-performing team.

Fueling a culture change

With a commitment from your whole team, you can start to fuel change from the ground up. Start ingraining your agreed behaviours into the DNA of your organisation and hold each team member accountable for their successes and failures on your journey to high performance.

Lead your team to success with Performance By Design. We help organisations across the globe reach their fullest potential through high performing teams, positive organisational culture and strong leadership. We can’t wait to be a part of your journey to developing and maintaining a high-performance team.