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10 Tips for ‘high performance’ in work teams

19th September 2017

This picture made me smile when I saw it – I wasn’t sure if it was the latest ‘in vogue’ team exercise – of which there are hundreds! It looked to me like an unusual ‘take’ on a ballet class – as it reminded me of my daughter’s grand jetes – or it could be the representation of how truly motivating and energising it can feel, to be part of a highly performing work group.

I chose to conclude it was the latter as the ‘team members’ seemed to be dressed accordingly, and then reflected on some of the best teams that I have been fortunate to be part of. In those teams, we supported each other through terribly stressful times, pioneered new initiatives, collaborated to get all parties engaged and dealt with the inevitable conflict that arises with varying agendas. I recall that this was all underpinned with a desire to trust each other to ‘do the right thing’, ‘look after our respective corners and also by knowing the team members very well – there was a huge amount of humour. When things went well or we closed off a challenging issue or project – it certainly did feel like a grand jete moment!

Question – So what does make a ‘good team feel great’ and in turn – create better outputs for the individuals, group or company that it’s part of?

So, here’s my top 10 Tips to achieve ‘high performance’ in teams – as you scan the text – you might want to make a mental note of how many positive ‘ticks’ you can give your team – be it at work, outside of work in a sports team, in your family – the top tips I’m sure can be applied to other groups that want to get that great ‘grand jete’ feeling.

  1. Clear Expectations – of roles and abilities and clarity of outputs are essential.
  2. Context – Does the team know why their work is important and how it fits in, and the consequences of failing to perform?  If not, they need to.
  3. Commitment – Are team members willingly participating and committed to the task? Need to check this out and resolve if not.
  4. Competence – Does the team have the required skills and experience? Or it may have access to it?
  5. Charter – Does the team have its defined way of working – Mission, Vision and Values? Does it have leadership support?
  6. Control – Does it have the required freedom and empowerment? Are any limitations agreed up front (time, money, resources)?
  7. Collaboration – Do the team members understand the stages of group development, do they work effectively on an interpersonal level? Some external help may be required.
  8. Communication – Is there an established understanding that performance feedback, both the giving and receiving of it, is part of the responsibility of each team member?
  9. Consequences – What does this look like in terms of rewards, future potential opportunity?
  10. Co–ordination – Does the team need to work with other teams across the company, is it co ordinating itself well?

There is support available in the form of one to one and team coaching, in addition to team development interventions to help any team achieve its own ‘grand jete’ moment.

If you require advice in this area or any matter of Team Development & Facilitation, please get in touch with our expert team on +44 (0)78 9183 9136.