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High performing teams are the secret to success

It’s safe to say that every business’s number one objective is to be successful. They want high revenue rates, seamless operations, smart strategic planning and an engaged culture. But all of this requires more than just wishful thinking. A high performance business requires high performing teams.

A business is made up of many individuals. But regardless of how talented those individuals are, they must come together as a team to make any significant and positive impact on the business’s bottom line. But what does a high performing team look like and how do you build one?


Characteristics of high performing teams

Although a high performance team may sound like it requires employees to be ‘all work and no play’, that’s really not the case. A high performing team requires technical ability, a range of highly developed soft skills, cohesion and emotional intelligence. The main characteristics that every high performing team have are:


Shared goals and purpose

If a team is going to be successful, every member must understand what they’re working towards and why. A team’s purpose or set of goals must be clearly defined, measurable and achievable. If a team’s purpose is wishy-washy, it is unlikely that it will possess any real meaning or encourage authentic buy-in from the team. A clear set of goals and a shared purpose will galvanise the team and give them a sense of direction.


Clearly defined roles

Having clearly defined roles and responsibilities seems to be an obvious one, however it is one of the most overlooked aspects of a high performing team. When lines between roles and responsibilities become blurred, team members no longer have a clear idea of how they specifically contribute to the achievement of a particular goal. Each person within a team should have a crystal clear understanding of what their responsibility is and how their actions positively impact the team and the overall business performance. 


Great communication

A high performing team should talk – a lot. Communicating about deadlines, progress, changes to a project or anything else that could potentially affect another team member  should be clearly and thoroughly communicated. This will save your team time and also enable them to do superior work.


Strong personal connections

High performing teams aren’t all about hard work. Some of the best teams out there only perform so well due to their strong personal connections. By getting to know one another on a deeper level, naturally your team will begin to care and trust each other more. When you’re working together on a shared goal day in and day out, a sense of trust and care are incredibly important. 


Frequent collaboration

Collaboration is one of the most important aspects of a high performing team. By coming together and brainstorming new ideas or approaches, you are able to unlock a whole new level of creativity that you wouldn’t be able to achieve on your own. One person may come up with one idea, then another person builds upon it, and it snowballs from there. Suddenly, you have a concept far greater than originally planned. 


Diversity and inclusion

A diverse team is often able to solve problems and think further outside the box than a team that is homogeneous. When a team includes people from different cultural backgrounds and experiences, they open themselves up to new perspectives that generate different ideas and better solutions to problems. However, you can’t stop at simply having a diverse team, you must also make sure that each team member feels included. If people feel as though they can bring their whole selves to work, they will be happier, passionate and more productive team members.


Recognition and feedback

Recognition and feedback help a high performing team stay on track. If you celebrate the wins and show your team that their contribution is valued, it encourages them to keep doing what they’re doing while also inspiring others to do the same. Regular feedback sessions also help team members identify their strengths and their areas of opportunity. If feedback is given regularly and team members are constantly looking to improve, then you’re already on the path to being a high performance team.


How you can build a high performing team


To begin your journey building a high performing team, consider implementing the following:

  1. Extend your own leadership skills. A team’s performance isn’t solely down to the team members. A high performing team must also have a strong and compassionate leader. 
  2. Take the time to define and craft a team purpose statement. Involve your team in the process to make sure they are aligned and feel passionate about what the team is trying to achieve. 
  3. Identify the best channels for communication, whether that is a daily meeting first thing in the morning or an ongoing messaging type chat throughout the day. Find out what works best for your team and then implement some guidelines to help get the most out of these channels. 
  4. Hold semi-regular social events to encourage strong personal connections. They can be large scale events or small and simple, just as long as they allow for the opportunity to talk and get to know one another on a personal level. 
  5. Conduct regular 1-1’s where you can give feedback, listen to concerns or provide mentoring advice. Create a space where your team members trust you and feel comfortable to speak up when things aren’t going so well.


If you’re looking to build a high performing team, get in touch with Performance By Design. Through team training and 1-1 coaching, our consultants will work alongside you and your team, forging the path to success.