Whether you’re the client, the agency, or anything in-between, you are likely still working in some form of a team, big or small. Teams are crucial to the workplace but can be challenging due to the range of dynamics in play when working with groups of people. Creating a high-performing team, however, is more than just a competitive advantage—it is a standard that could influence and create positive change within the organization as a whole. So, how do you achieve a high-performing team?
1. Be Sure Everyone is Working Toward the Same Goal(s)
Any journey without a clearly defined destination will leave teams feeling lost. Leadership should define a vision for the team and then communicate that vision, as well as progress updates, on a regular basis. Each team member should understand their responsibilities, how it plays into the mission, and the important role each individual plays in reaching the end-goal of the larger picture to work more efficiently. As a bonus, the inclusion of “stretch” goals may increase productivity even more among members who view a challenge as a means for improved productivity.
2. Assess Talent and Skills
High performing teams have talented individuals that possess a proven set of skills. Talent is a person’s natural aptitude to do something, whereas skills are a specific expertise learned over time. When evaluating team members, ask yourself whether you have the right people on your team. Then, address how capable they are and how you can help them improve their current skill set and add new skills. If a person’s skills do not fit a team or project, they may become frustrated or discouraged, leading to a disjointed situation. It’s best to reposition the team member as needed to ensure an efficient and effective team community.
3. Include Leaders They Can Trust
Whether the team leader is a CEO or project manager, that leader should be a model for the behavior they want their team to possess. Trust, accountability, and a commitment to team goals are factors that separate merely good managers from high-performing ones. When trust and transparency exist, leadership and team members are more likely to have each other's backs and provide a shared solution to a problem. Accountability in leadership plays a key role in building trust among team members and addressing behaviors that can hurt the team's mission as a whole. A leader that embraces accountability sets the standard for the rest of the team's behavior. Lastly, a leader needs to be as committed to facilitating team members' needs as they are to the end result.
A high-performing team is more than just a group of people collectively following orders. It is a talented community that has a deep understanding of the overarching goals, set by a trusted leader, and their individual role in achieving that high-performance.