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5 Best Examples of High-Performing Teams

For most business owners to have continued success, they need to employ individuals they believe can help further their company’s growth. However, even with dedicated personnel, it can still be challenging to find the right fit.

Building a successful team is more than just putting talented people together and saying, “Here, figure it out.” It requires you to develop and nurture characteristics to help better your business practices.

Today we’ll be discussing the characteristics of high-performing teams and how you can build one. Read on to learn more.

Characteristics Of High-Performing Teams

If you want your business to be successful, it starts with your employees. According to the service-profit chain, employee satisfaction is the catalyst for most of your business’s success. 

However, by creating supportive business practices and nurturing your employees, you can increase their satisfaction, which will increase your profits. That’s why teamwork is essential. So if you’re ready to build a successful team, here are some characteristics they should have.

1. Their Goals Are Clear and Relate To Organizational Priorities

The best high-performing teams are united in their priorities, focus, and purpose in relation to their company. By setting team and individual goals, they all work towards the same vision with passion.

By having this commitment from employees, goals are aligned and clearly defined, so everyone plays their part and knows how to get to the final destination.

2. Communication Between Team Members Is Clear and Respectful

Have you ever worked in an establishment where messages between staff got crossed and conflict ensued? When disagreements happen in the workplace, they can leave team members feeling alienated.

High-performing teams create clear communication pathways, so each member knows where and when to reach out to a person. Conflict is normal, but it doesn’t need to be detrimental to the overall goal.

Related: How to Be a Team Player in Business

3. Deadlines Are Established According To Priorities

High-performing teams focus on tasks that matter most and work according to that schedule. Not all assignments have the same urgency or impact, so it’s essential to work on pressing matters first.

Doing so keeps everyone in line with organizational goals and ensures that each team member is focused on company growth.

4. Respect and Trust Help Team Chemistry

Aretha Franklin said it best, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find out what it means to me,” and when you’re working with others, it is an integral part of company growth. Think about it. Would you take orders from someone you don’t respect? 

Probably not, but if you did, you’d do so begrudgingly. That’s why respect and trust are vital to the success of high-performing teams. They value each other’s work ethic and skills because they know they can trust their partner to get the job done.

With a culture of trust, it can help everyone:

  • Collaborate on more projects
  • Be themselves
  • Take rewarding risks

5. They Continue To Improve Their Business Proficiency

Regardless of your team’s size or experience, there’s always room to grow. What separates high-performing teams from others is their ability to accept and act on feedback. They also look for opportunities within the company to improve upon their existing skill sets.

Having a nurturing feedback culture will continue to foster growth and help employees strive for higher levels of achievement.
Related: 7 Habits of High Functioning Teams

Even leaders need to be held accountable. B STATE outlines some leadership traps that all bosses should avoid

How To Build a High-Performing Team

Unfortunately, building a high-performing team doesn’t happen overnight. Remember the service-profit chain we stated above? It starts with that. 

You’ll need to continuously invest in your business culture and employees’ development to build a high-performing team. Here’s how you get started.

Cultivate a Shared Sense of Purpose

For employees to feel like a team, there needs to be alignment towards a specific goal. Managers and owners should continually evaluate priorities and team goals to ensure they are effective and aligned towards the overall goal.

A great way to ensure your employees are unified on organizational goals is by having one-on-one meetings with your staff. This check-in can help you stay updated on an employee’s progress, identify priorities, and see if their goals align with company objectives.

By taking time to establish a rapport with your staff, it creates a shared sense of purpose which will directly impact their performance and profits.

Simplify Communication

High-performing teams need to be agile and attentive. So simple, effective communication is essential. Ensure that you keep everyone on the same page by establishing communication procedures.

For example, teams may use Slack if they want to take a quick break to talk about non-work topics, but they’ll use Asana to define responsibilities and track the progress of tasks. With established communication measures in play, it can prevent conflict and ensure that everyone knows their duties and responsibilities.

Invest In Your Employees

We know we’ve mentioned it a few times already, but investing in your employees is a great way to build a high-performing team. By facilitating opportunities for your employees to grow, they’ll continue to learn and enhance their efficiency.

With more development opportunities, your employees will feel motivated to work and do their best to achieve individual and company goals. It may also spark others to take further steps in their professional careers.

Invest in Team Building Over Non-Work Topics

To ensure productivity and keep everyone focused, many team leaders or managerial staff discourage team members from casual conversations during work. Of course, work needs to be the primary focus of employees during work hours, but there needs to be room for relationship-building. 

High-performing teams aren’t just acquainted with each other’s work-related strengths and interests but are allowed to form friendships. They cultivate connections by meeting for drinks or meals, discussing sports, books, and family, and sharing their values. While this might not seem pertinent to team performance, it is a crucial feature of most high-performing teams.  

Have More Strategic Meetings

Meetings are necessary to work progress and, simultaneously, the main hindrance to the same. So, if you want to build a high-performing team, you must become strategic about your meetings. The boredom, energy drain, and wasted time usually associated with poorly-run meetings will do little to motivate your team. 

To conduct more efficient meetings, consider the following:

  • Set and stick to an agenda
  • Set pre-work for participants
  • Have check-ins so everyone knows each other’s progress
  • Respect the time of your team members

Ensure that your meetings never become an occasion for futile gatherings. Having meetings just to tick boxes will work against team performance and morale.   

Cultivate an Atmosphere of Mutual Appreciation

Often, less-understanding companies cultivate atmospheres of competition and a ‘dog-eat-dog’ culture. But we know that something else is needed for building high-performing teams. Your people need to feel relatedness, value, appreciation, and respect. These don’t have to only come from the management; your team should feel free to show these characteristics to one another – without fear. 

High-performing teams can express appreciation to other members, understanding that recognizing someone else’s strength does not weaken them. We can see in high-performing teams that members and managers freely acknowledge the value and excellent work of others and openly demonstrate respect.

Create a Culture of Ease

We have found that high-performing teams are generally at ease in the workplace and with each other. So, strive to create a workplace culture where team members feel positive about their work and colleagues, where morale is high, and your team looks forward to working together (and with you). Things like telling jokes, sharing weekend experiences, and giving compliments may seem trivial, but they demonstrate ease. This is essential for your team to open up and try new things, share potentially controversial opinions or methods, and become creative problem-solvers.  

Team members who feel defensive, threatened, or disrespected are distracted from doing their best work. 

Keep Your Team Small – But Not Too Small

Depending on the goals and objectives of your particular team, you may not be able to control the exact number of people on it. But if you can, research shows that four is an ideal number for schedule performance and management. Of course, a number close to four will amply suffice for the diversity of skills and perspectives, and to make up for any long-term illness or other disruptions. So, all things considered, five or six team members may be perfect for cohesion and collaboration. More people than this can make your team clumsy and less productive.  

Related: Accountability vs. Responsibility: How to Know the Difference

Team Building Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

When you hear the stories about companies starting from garages and turning into multi-million dollar corporations, it wasn’t just the idea that sparked the growth. It took building a solid team throughout the years, which enabled success on many different levels.

As you’re looking to build your team, ensure you set clear expectations and proper communication channels. Also, make sure you continue to invest in employee development. It will take some time. But putting together individuals with various skillsets and a willingness to learn will pay off in the long run.

Contact B STATE today to learn more about team building or other ways to enhance your organizational practices!

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