Teams have been around for as long as we all can probably remember. Being a “team player” has become a key requirement in most job specifications and everyone likes to think that they’re getting this whole team dynamic thing right. This may be true to some extent, but there’s a big difference between a team that happens to be co-located and working on similar systems/processes and a high-performing team that almost thinks and performs as one.
High-performance teams are defined as teams that are highly focused on their goals in order to achieve superior business results. Think of it as a group of people who work together to not only be the best but also deliver the best. They feed off each other’s energy, they challenge each other to be better, they become largely interdependent, understanding that their efforts together greatly outweigh what they can achieve as individuals.
So how do you elevate a team from a regular team dynamic to this world of high-performance? The important thing to realise is that it’s not going to happen overnight, but by creating the right environment and encouraging the right behaviour, things will start taking shape over time.
We recommend the following plan of action:
- Create a circle of trust – Team members need to know that they’re in a safe zone where their ideas won’t be criticised and their team members have their backs. The strongest relationships are built on trust; without it people will be looking out for themselves rather than looking out for the team.
- Create a sense of belonging and importance – Humans are simple creatures. At our core, we really just want to feel like we belong, know that we’re needed, that we fit in, and that we’re part of something bigger. If you’re able to create an environment where people see how important their role is towards achieving the bigger picture, you’re already half way there.
- Develop common goals and shared values – Working towards a common goal creates a feeling of working for a higher purpose. The important thing to remember, however, is that it needs to be something everyone can get behind, understand, identify with and realistically achieve. Creating this level of unity also requires a set of shared values. If everyone’s not bringing their part in a way that the team expects of them, it will cause rifts.
- Have clear roles and responsibilities – Just because someone is part of a team that’s achieving great things together, it doesn’t mean they don’t come with their own set of unique skills and abilities that are needed to achieve the common goal. Ensure that each team member understands their role & responsibilities and takes full accountability for the items you need them to run with. As the saying goes, a team is only as strong as its weakest link.
- Give thanks where thanks is due – People like to feel appreciated, so remember to say thank you and to do so regularly. A lot of people will think that this means something formal, usually involving some form of monetary reward, but this really isn’t the case. It’s as simple as noticing someone’s efforts and saying “thank you for how you handled that” or “wow, you did a great job”. Mini celebrations, like donuts for the team, are also great to highlight team achievements along the way.
Sometimes all it takes is a few key individuals to help drive this change to high-performance. At Analyze we specialise in elevating team dynamics to optimise performance and achieve success. To discuss options please Get in touch.