Our previous post referenced the proverbial “A Team,” and identified the “A” as standing for agility.
But along with being agile, the ability to build high performing teams can enable an organization to make significant gains that go beyond those typically achieved by individuals. As the saying goes, “TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More.”
Consider that it is nearly impossible for a single person to possess the same amount of knowledge and experience that a high performing team possesses, as the exchange of ideas alone leads to new thinking and innovation. In addition, the involvement of multiple people in decision-making typically strengthens commitment levels, and a team environment can provide mutual support and a sense of belonging.
However, virtually every organization we’ve encountered struggles with developing teams.
Many teams are dysfunctional; they take too long to accomplish tasks, the work is filled with errors and waste, the costs are excessive and turf wars abound.
Some key steps for developing high performing teams include:
Providing effective sponsorship
Developing strong team leaders and facilitators
Developing alignment around a common purpose
Developing and applying consistent task and project management
Open and consistent communication
Teaching people how to conduct productive meetings
Setting measurable performance targets
Identifying the right process/game plan to achieve results
Chartering and deploying effective project teams is one of the most important achievements for any organization.
Consider that high performing teams, by their nature, work on the right things — those that matter most to the organization. In addition, high performing teams are much more likely to bring about breakthrough gains – gains that go beyond those typically achieved by individuals — and for good reasons:
It is nearly impossible for a single person to possess the same amount of knowledge and experience that a high performing team possesses
The exchange of ideas leads to new thinking and innovation
The involvement of multiple people in decision-making strengthens commitment levels
A team environment provides mutual support and a sense of belonging
Some of the skills and behaviors that can help an organization develop high-performing teams include:
Strong, committed leadership
Alignment around a common purpose
Diligent task and project management
Effective communication and meeting management
Clear and measurable performance targets
The right process to achieve results
People are held mutually accountable for activity and results
Our previous post listed ten behaviors that have proved effective when taking a formalized approach to employee engagement.
But as noted in that, and other posts, engagement alone is not enough if the goal is to improve performance in a measurable way.
Not surprisingly, some of the highest achieving organizations with which we’ve worked are those that have successfully leveraged their engagement effort to develop and sustain high performance cultures.
The info-graphic summarizes steps you can take in order to achieve a high-performance culture.
Within this type of culture, people at all levels are encouraged to continually look for better ways of doing their jobs. They are continually educated about, and coached to use, the tools of improvement; and to understand the link between individual or team performance and organizational goals.
Leaders within such a culture make available the necessary resources for helping people at all levels to understand the core competencies, values and beliefs which drive the culture. These leaders also devote the necessary time and attention toward encouraging an environment that supports high quality and productivity, and toward effective performance management.