High-performance teams, we all want them, but how do we build and sustain them? Sure, the basics are well-known – working towards a common goal, sharing a vision, collaboration, open communication, and clear role expectations – but what really goes into a dynamic, cohesive team that excels month after month, year after year?
Invest in Every Team Member
When I think about it, high-performance teams involve much more than the standard ‘in it to win it’ mentality. They require a deep investment in its people from the very start. Embracing and utilizing unique skills of every team member and knowing the organization’s needs and goals inside and out, this is where individual talent and the team’s vision intersect, forming a quality, high-performance team. When working with customers to help them in building and enhancing high-performance teams, Katalyst makes it a priority to know what matters to each team member – from where they want to take their career, to the importance of sharing a vision, to the opportunity to make a difference in an organization.
High-performance teams share a strong commitment to a unique cause associated with a defined set of results and outcomes. While determined metrics quantify success, built into high-performance teams is knowing each member on a human level, and cultivating the pride that comes with being a member of a team that delivers impact. Start with getting to know every team member by taking a holistic approach to understanding who they are as an individual. Here at Katalyst, by engaging in open dialogue and creating an environment of mutual trust and respect, I focus on what the individual needs to succeed – work life balance, professional development objectives, aspirations, etc. Then, I can determine if needs, goals and interests are met across the board: Katalyst expertise and delivery of service, client requirements and goals, and candidate skills and interests.
Empowerment and Positivity
As a group, high-performance teams collaborate, make decisions, establish and follow efficient processes and meet/exceed a range of goals. All this can be achieved with the training and skills needed for the role, but what sets one team apart from the rest? I truly believe team-shaping morale-boosting attributes of empowerment and positivity distinguish not just a high-performance team, but a team who experiences a sense of gratification. It can be tempting to focus exclusively on performance metrics. However, communicating directly and empowering each team member with positivity and confidence through leadership support and essential tools produce happy team members, who at the end of the day add to the morale of the team and look forward to doing their best work every day.
We as Opposed to the I
The ‘we’ in high-performance teams supersedes the ‘I.’ Agreeing as a team on the challenges at hand, the vision and being accountable not just to oneself but to each other – this is how high-performance teams think. Communicate on barriers that arise and find creative ways to address issues, along with encouraging and supporting each team member in accomplishing their goals.
High-performance teams share a vision and purpose – they make adjustments as needed and rise to the occasion both as a team and as individuals. They are supported by leadership with the tools needed to do their best possible work and are brought into the team with positivity and a ‘we’ philosophy while being recognized and respected as a unique, valuable contributor to the team.