The way to a high performing team

Jul 13, 2016 11:45:26 AM

The quickest way to a high performing team is to have a group of people who want to work together to a common goal, all playing to their strengths with shared values and purpose.

Simple, right?

But not so easy. If you are building a team, you can make efforts to hire for culture, values and purpose. In fact that is all you should be hiring for. You can teach enthusiastic people the skills they need to do the job you ask them. What you can't do is ask them to change their values or passions, just because you pay them to.

How to develop a high performing team

1. Make sure that your team is multifaceted

So once you have a recruitment process that determines shared values, culture and purpose, you need to establish that the people you hire have the working styles that you need. With any team you need to ensure that there is diversity of thought, background and experience, as well as different competencies. Someone who is a planner, may not be great on vision and so on. You need to make sure everyone has the right combination of skills and competencies between them.

You may feel that this is what you can do when you build a team from scratch, but what to do if you have an established team that isn't performing as well as you may like?

Firstly, you need to look at you as a manager/leader/supervisor (delete as applicable). Now you need to consider yourself a leader. If you want people to do what you ask them or what you need them to do, they need to know that you are walking the walk. You need to show them that you will dive into the trenches and do what is needed to get the outcome you need.

2. Know how to communicate effectively with your team

You need to look at how you communicate with your team to see if you are getting the best out of them. The only way to find this out, is to ask them. Quite simply, ask them how they like to communicate with you and each other. How do they prefer to receive feedback? How do they want to be told that something has gone wrong? How do they want to hear that they have done a good job? How do they like to receive training or instruction? What part of their role do they enjoy? What do they hate? What would they like to do that someone else seems to always get to do?

The list is an endless one. But if you do this audit of each team member, in person, you will find that their face and body language will tell you a lot about what they do and what they are good at, enjoy etc. Once you have this for all your team, you can build a picture of what you want the team to be known for, your purpose, how you want everyone to act with each other and what values you want everyone to embody and display. A mission statement, if you will. With this, you have set the stall out. You may find that those who don't fit will decide for themselves to change or move on. 

3. Make sure that you're all working towards the same purpose

This is a clear direction, vision and purpose. Everyone in your team needs to understand what went into establishing the culture, feedback on how they feel about it and adjust it, if necessary. You may have to adjust responsibilities and accountabilities and perhaps roles off the back of this work. But you will see a massive difference in the way your team perform. They will have an enthusiasm that they may not have had before. They know why and how people are doing what they are doing and are more comfortable knowing that their skills are being recognised.

Most importantly, they will identify that they have the support they need in their leader. You are not there to do the work for them or take over when it gets hard, you are there to empower them to do what they do best and deliver the best they can.

Find out more about our guest blogger Ghilaine Chan

Ghilaine is passionate about allowing people to do their best work and delight others

Ghilaine helps people to operate fast growing businesses in a productive and streamlined way, keeping an eye on time and money, whilst increasing motivation and improving customer relationships in a fast paced, changing environment. She brings order to chaos and creates scalable processes around the business, empowering them to delight their customers.

She works with tech based or enabled companies who are looking to disrupt their industries, but know that people are at the centre of their success and helping them manage their teams to: 

  • Do their best work and delighting others
  • Create some boundaries, but not cages
  • Know they are acting for a purpose
  • Determine which part they play, that what they receive enables them and what they produce is useful
  • Have autonomy over how and when they produce

She has over 15 years' experience in scaling international business functions for technology companies, within their support and consultancy organisations.

Ghilaine is a graduate of London College of Fashion (now part of University of the Arts: London) with a degree in Product Development. She is a Mentor with Microsoft Ventures,UpRising and Outbox Incubator as well as an Approved Business Coach with Growth Accelerator, now part of Business Growth Services. 

Want to know more? Connect with Ghilaine on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter and visit her website, Ghilaine & Co

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