Leading teams can cause frustration for many managers and executives. Many reasons account for this dilemma, from lack of a clear goal to unclear roles, personality conflicts, unrealistic timelines and budgets, poor communication, and having gaps in the talent needed to succeed.
Wikipedia defines high-performance teams “as a group of people with specific roles and complementary talents and skills, aligned with and committed to a common purpose, who consistently show high levels of collaboration and innovation, produce superior results, and extinguish radical or extreme opinions that could be damaging.”
A key concept that many team leaders miss is that you have to set and be the example you want your team to follow. Use these strategies to build your high-performing team and define your example to get your team energized and engaged.
Strategies to build a high-performing team:
- Clear vision, goals and roles: involve the team to clarify, revise the vision and goals. Define roles and expectations to ensure buy-in. If the team doesn’t know where they are going and what they are doing, they can’t get there.
- Ground rules: work with the team to set clear ground rules on how the team is going to function. How disagreements are handled, creating a safe environment, accountability, everyone participates equally, what happens here stays here, for example. When this is done at the beginning, the team knows what is expected and how to handle issues when they arise to avoid slowing down or stalling their progress.
- Build Trust: building a foundation of trust is how any high-performing team succeeds. Knowing your team members are competent, reliable and have your best interests in mind, allows the team to really function as a team. As the leader, you can help foster a culture of trust through acknowledging and rewarding behaviors that build trust and not tolerating behaviors that don’t.
- Willingness to involve them: the first thing your workforce looks for is how inclined you are to include them in matters related to the operation of the business. Are you dictating what the team will do or seeking their viewpoint. As a leader, it is important to get input from the people doing the work. Be open to seeing how to accomplish something different.
- Clear communication: from you as the leader as well as everyone on the team. Making sure the goal of the team is clearly understood, to ensuring that everyone understands their role, expectations, deliverables at the beginning and throughout the process
- Recognition of contribution: celebrate individual and team accomplishments. Recognition of small accomplishments in addition to the big ones. This will build team cohesiveness and pride.
Use these strategies to help identity where your team thrives and what can be improved. Be the leader that creates energy and enthusiasm for the work ahead, as well as, keeping them inspired in the vision and goal of why they are doing the work.
If you would like help creating your high-performing team, please reach out.