Building a high-performing team for your small business is as rewarding as it can be. It is the key to a successful business, to say the least.
There is always scope for developing your teams to be highly efficient towards the set goals.
No amount of marketing strategies or tactics can work if your team is not competent enough.
At the end of the day, people make the business successful! People who are business leaders, skilled talents, and team players are behind all the impressive successes.
So you may ask, what is it and How To Build High-Performing Teams?
Does your business have high-performing teams?
Well, first of all, the figures don’t lie, and even if you have satisfactory team performance and a good number of sales, it is still far from the maximum potential.
High-performing teams, on the other hand, strive for excellence in open communication, shared goals, clear roles, and responsibilities, mutual trust, and quick conflict resolutions.
25+ Pro Tips to Create High-performing Teams in 2023
Communication Should Be Your Priority
One of the key characteristics of high-performance teams is their ability to communicate well. This is the one that is often taken for granted as well.
If you’re able to promote effective communication, it can boost the performance of your team a hundred folds.
The team will be more capable of giving you output, meeting deadlines, performing better and driving great results.
The manager should encourage the focus on team communication and different ways to improve the communication efficiency of the team.
They also have to prioritize the distribution of the information to their team members.
For example, if there is a new report, policy, or work-related practice that needs to be implemented, it should be shared with the team members to get their input.
The Manager is also supposed to identify the different barriers to effective communication and predict failure that might end in conflicting messages, assumptions, and miscommunication between team members.
Communication also should be aided by the required technology to adapt to the business.
It is also essential to make your team comfortable about using communication tools in the best way possible.
Set Clear & Measurable Goals
Building a high-performance team includes setting up clear, effective, and measurable goals with clear intent.
This is important for the mere reason of bringing more clarity to the team to facilitate a common and precise goal to work on.
When you have a measurable goal, it motivates the team as it becomes possible to measure your goals and see how your work grows.
With a more accurate target and measuring the goal on how much you have done so far or what an individual person contributed, it defines the vision vividly.
Not to mention, project management becomes more accurate in creating tasks and sub-tasks.
Also, since you can see the performance and review it in real-time, you can optimize and try different strategies to bring better results.
Rewards, recognition, and credibility accompany the performance metrics for the team as well as the individuals in the team.
Integrating Effective Work Practises
Deciding the plan of action or the set of work practices is integral in the making of a high-performance team.
Without strategic planning, requiring resource development, and relevant technology, even a high-performance team, cannot be efficient or effective.
Integrating the work practices is the foundation of making high-performance teams.
There is a chance where on the one hand, you might be focusing on building a high-performance team.
But not facilitating them with the required infrastructure, work practices, resources, and technology to excel.
The work practices with a lack of work culture or ineffective work rules will only hinder your team’s creativity, productivity, innovation, risk capabilities, and performance.
Streamline The Team Communication
Once you prioritize the communication, streamlining it in your team operations is key to achieving high performance and better results.
Streamline communication means creating a system where all of your team members are synced with each other.
It is about always being on the same page without any lapse, latency, or miscommunication.
Streamlining team communication involves establishing clear processes, and utilizing custom communication tools and common practices.
For example, you can get a specific team communication and collaboration to connect and sync all team members to one platform remotely.
Conflict is inevitable; even the highest performing teams tend to get into conflict every now and then.
So with every practice or step you take to reduce the conflict in the team, you should also prepare to tackle it when it happens.
Because it will happen, and the best you can do is to expect it and have a way to deal with it.
A strong strategy in place dealing with conflicts makes your team full-proof from any vulnerabilities and potential damages.
Tackling conflict is something that should be considered a time-sensitive issue that needs to be addressed and resolved as a matter of urgency.
For example, if there is a difference of opinion in the team that turns into an argument before it gets worse, the team leader or manager needs to set up a meeting straightaway, including both conflicted parties.
The team leader or manager may help as a mediator to get them in a civilized discussion going towards a solution for this before leaving the room.
This instant step considering this conflict to be a matter of urgency, prevents any further raising of argument, eventually ending up a divide in the team.
Mutual Respect Among Team Members & Leaders
A high-performance team includes skilled members who are aware of, recognize and respect each other’s expertise and method of working.
There is a sense of mutual respect for fellow team members who help in creating strong bonds between them.
Understanding each other’s skills and working styles only helps a team to optimize their performance, boost productivity and help them scale their capacity.
Such kind of respect and coordination transform a team into a single entity that can face tremendous big challenges.
It is one of the foundational characteristics of a high-performing team driven by a sense of integrity and shared values.
Developing Shared Vision
Another very foundational characteristic of a high-performing team is having a shared vision.
This ensures that everyone is on the same page, and knows where to lead the project. It also helps develop shared values in the team members.
It also prevents team members from developing conflict or confusion reagarding the way needed to move forward.
A shared vision among the team members boosts the focus towards a common objective and brings their best to reach there.
Facilitating An Evolving Culture Of Leadership
High-performing teams come from the evolving culture of leadership as that’s what determines performance of a team.
Leadership is a crucial factor that plays an immense role when we say “high-performing” team.
Because teams without a leader is a chaos of people with different directions and a nexus of thoughts.
Even if you bring great minds and skilled talents together, without successful leadership, it is more likely to fail miserably.
In an evolving culture of leadership, you make it fluid and flexible, something that all team members should learn, embrace, and are capable of.
The culture of leadership is different from having a leader.
It is this sense of trusting the person in leadership shoes and empowering the whole team to do their best.
So basically, you create a team with members who are themselves capable of becoming leaders to their strengths.
If a person is leading the marketing in a team, he or she would be trusted by other team members and managers to manage it at best.
It creates a level of understanding that they can rely on each other for the decision they make for the team and solutions they will come up with.
Then this culture also focuses on the growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset, so it is more welcoming to challenges and new learning.
Utilizing Emotional Intellegence (EI)
Emotional Intellegence (EI) plays a crucial role in teamwork.
The unchecked levels of emotions in the team decisions can lead to catastrophe and a landslide of problems.
Not to mention consecutive snapping of conflicts in the team due to insecurity and all different kinds of feelings.
It is very important for teams to master emotional intellegence in order to perform their best in unison.
Emotional intelligence is the capacity to understand and control their own emotion, harmonize their thoughts and maintain balance.
To have high emotional intellegence, a person requires to be more perceptive and comprehensive and have control of their emotions.
You need to encourage an environment where EI is considered a virtue.
Also, finding different ways to help team members achieve the best of their emotional intellegence.
Creating Stability In The Team
According to various business experts, team composition is the crucial aspect of building a high-functioning performance-oriented team.
High-performance teams should be ideally small to make it easy to manage.
But in order to make it really effective, it shouldn’t be too small.
Otherwise, it is more likely to be incompetent as poorer decisions due to the lack of diversity in the team.
Smaller-size teams with low diversity also lack the bandwidth to deal with different kinds of challenges.
On the other side, there are business experts who talk about how creating bigger teams comprising more than ten members diminishes the effectiveness of the team.
This happens due to the formation of sub-teams inside, emerging conflict, and promoting divisive behavior.
So it is essential to establish a stable team where there must be :
- The small but not too small size of the team
- Diversity in your team
- Complementary skills in your different team members.
- Effective communication
- Shared vision and values
Make Your Team Diverse
Utilizing a different set of skills as strengths for team members is what makes the team diverse.
You need to create a team on the basis of their skillset that must be complementary to each other.
Also, it should be according to the requirements of the project.
Different team members and their respective strengths should be aligned to your business functions, customers and stakeholders.
Make sure you hire an expert for every particular area required to fulfill the project.
Also, if you want your team to consistently maintain team motivation and high performance, team members must work in the areas they enjoy.
Every Team Member Making An Impact
When every team member is giving their best, it is important to ask your team whether or not they feel that their work helps move the business forward.
This is for you to know if team members feel that their work is making an impact on the business.
This is a crucial part of making a high-performing team because only if your team member doesn’t feel like a cog in a machine and are much more significant, they would be able to give their best.
Every employee must feel that they are contributing to the overall growth of the company.
This is specifically important when you want to achieve your best selves, and you are also responsible on your part to recognize that contribution and even reward it.
When team members feel they are important to the company and they are genuinely making a difference, they feel more motivated to give it more.
It is also a game-changer difference between an average or even good and high-performing team culture.
Make sure you create a sense of value for your employees and the work they put in and encourage them more.
Building Team Dynamics That is Cohesive & Value-Aligned
To assure a company’s growth, the team must have their values aligned together in a cohesive structure.
You need to create a team where every particular member shares a bond with another and is able to interact freely.
This happens only when the team members’ values are aligned with the team leader’s, and they believe in their leader and manager.
It is essential for team members to invest in the leadership and a common vision for the team, so they all can work in unison to achieve better.
This also works dramatically well because team members with shared values and vision have more communication and interactions.
And that’s what becomes key factors for increasing productivity and driving more ambitious results.
A cohesive team has more ability to deliver more and faster than others. However it also raises the risk of it being over-cohesive and susceptible for group-thinking.
So it is critical to have a balance of cohesiveness amongst the team members aligned with their values and common goals.
Making The Environment For Open Communication
As we already mentioned how diversity in a small team plays a crucial role in resulting a high-performance team.
But it only works when team members voice themselves and share their thoughts and opinions, and indulge themselves freely in the project.
On the other side, team members tend to hold themselves back from voicing their thoughts and opinions.
They feel insecure and vulnerable, or at least uncomfortable communicating their ideas without being afraid of judgment.
This psychological insecurity is counterproductive and prevents teams from reaching their full potential, as only a few members are giving their best.
You have to encourage a working environment that is much more open to communication.
It is essential you create a safe and secure place that fosters opinions, interpersonal risk-taking and more efficient participation.
Leaders need to understand their team, their potential, strengths, weaknesses, and working style as well.
Developing Trust In The Team
It is critical that you recognize that the heart of any successful and high-performing team is trust.
It is the foundation on which you lay the grounds of teamwork, so nothing really matters if your team members do not trust each other.
If not trusted, your team is more likely to be conflicted easily and have a lack of commitment and confidence towards the competition of projects.
You need to focus on establishing trust between your team members.
Developing the trust over time, you will see increased performance levels individually as well as a team also.
One of the best ways to generate trust between your team members is to encourage them to be open and honest about their strengths, weaknesses, and limitations.
If team members have a better understanding of each other, their personality traits, and their behavior, they will start developing trust over time.
Surely, it takes some time to bring a team to their full potential where they have strong bonds and high-level trust between them.
Empower Your Team
Once you know the team members trust each other and there is psychological safety for voicing their opinion but there is more to do here.
You know the team is evolving, so you have to empower them, so they can act on the trust and understanding they’ve gained.
Empower them by facilitating them with more structure, clarity, and detail.
Tell them that you recognize this as a team under a well-defined structure with much more clear roles to play.
This means you can hand over them specific responsibilities and targets to achieve meeting the requirement of these roles in the team.
When you empower your team, it would further give you the outcome of all the teamwork practises and efforts made over time in the form of impressive performance.
Also, giving them roles is far better than creating a hierarchy where employees feel inferior to their senior management.
Having specific roles, responsibilities or basically, handling of a micro-department makes them a leader of a kind as well.
Recognize And Celebrating Key Milestones
Recognizing the milestone is a very important step in the success of a project and the high-performing team behind it.
First of all, it informs the team about how well they are progressing towards their end goal.
Hitting milestone after milestone on deadline tells about the great performance of any team.
This milestone also needed to be celebrated as a success where businesses need to appreciate their team members and leaders.
Team members need to simply hear a “thank” you” or a “well done” from their team leader and manager at least.
However, the best thing that can be done is to celebrate the key milestone, including the team members, with some awards, bonuses or gifts.
It is to recognize the efforts and hard work they put in. It will further encourage them to put even more effort and move towards the goal of maintaining high performance.
Address And Coach As Team, Not Individuals
When you communicate with your team, it is better to refer or address them as a whole team rather than individuals or even a group of individuals.
This to begin with, evokes a sense of singularity, unity, and commonality towards a particular goal.
It also makes them accountable as a team, not as individuals. It means, if one underperforms, the whole team is going to suffer for it.
However, you surely address them as a team but meetings with them should be one person at a time.
This has to understand how well they are doing, what issues they are having, and any other concerns that require personal attention will be covered.
More than that, these meetings also hold them accountable for their behaviors that impact the whole team and how they can optimize it.
So at the end of the day, this is still not about focusing on them individually but showing them how their actions contribute to the whole team and the results.
Make sure you recognize all the positive and negative aspects of a team member.
Addressing the positive ones makes them feel credited, respected and told their importance to the team.
Whereas the negatives are too tell them how badly it affects not just them but the whole team, and it should be resolved.
- How To Manage Poor Performance In The Workplace?
- 10 Common Leadership And Management Mistakes + How To Avoid?
- The Power of Team Dynamics in the Workplace: Key Strategies
- High-performance Coaching Guide: Everything You Need To Know
- Why Is Employee Reward And Recognition Important For Your Team?
“Vision, strategy, and inspiration – these three words describe me the best. I am the founder of “TheLeaderboy” dedicated to leadership and personal development. As a self-taught practitioner, I have been studying the principles of effective leadership for the past decade and my passion lies in sharing my insights with others. My mission is to empower individuals to become better leader