Three steps to build high performance teams

Sometimes the high performing team you need could be the one you have, says Sabby Gill.

As we approach nearly a year since the UK’s first lockdown, the difficulties that came with the onset of the pandemic are still here, one major one being remote working. 

With nearly a year of working from home, businesses have had to completely change tactics and adapt their employee engagement strategies – all while maintaining customer satisfaction and avoiding financial loss.

The key to moving forward with confidence in the new year is having a high performing team. While for many, recruitment is low on the priority list, this doesn’t mean businesses won’t be able to overturn the negative impacts of the last year, or yield long-term results.

Creating a high performing team doesn’t have to rely on bringing in new talent. It can be done with your current team. But it is important that businesses fully understand what a high performing team really looks like, as well as how to create one, to succeed in the difficult times ahead.

Qualities of a high-performing team

High-performing teams have some commonalities. The main being that everyone works towards the same goal. Whether this be to meet a yearly target or to deliver exceptional customer experience.

High performance teams also cultivate an environment where criticism is constructive and disagreements are considered healthy. As unfounded criticism can lead to unhealthy working relations and breed an element of distrust and unhappiness among teams that could otherwise flourish.

Creating a high performing team doesn’t have to rely on bringing in new talent. It can be done with your current team.

These factors combined together create a powerful force, and ultimately lead to better results and higher quality work. They create an environment where team members’ opinions are respected, allowing for teams to be built up of multiple skills that help deliver better results.

So, how do you achieve this? Here we outline three steps to build high performing teams.

  • Look closely at your team composition and dynamics

Team composition and dynamics play a crucial role in the success of any team. Businesses looking to create high performing teams should look at structuring their teams differently. Recruiting from within the organisation, to bring in members from other teams to build the required team skill-set, can be exactly what’s needed to boost employee engagement and maintain morale.

When reviewing a team’s dynamics, pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of each individual  and identify how these contribute to achieving the team’s goals. This way you can be in the best position to compare the talent you already have and structure the team in the best way that will achieve results.

Psychometric assessments work well for this. Through combining technology, psychology and data, they give line managers and HR leaders the ability to gain a deeper understanding of how a team behaves.

Using this insight can help create an environment of understanding and establish effective team working skills that satisfy the preferences of all team members. And ultimately lead to more success in the long-run.

  • Keep clarity of goals at front of mind

It is key that you develop a clear vision when building high performance teams. To do this, one tactic is to introduce objectives and key results (OKRs). OKRs are more effective when revisited frequently, tracked religiously and re-evaluated to keep up with results.

They allow teams to maintain focus on their goals and how they can achieve them. Overall, they drive strong performance and encourage teams to work towards the same goal. 

Psychometric assessments give leaders the insight needed to motivate and engage teams more effectively. By understanding emotional intelligence, aptitude and the team’s personality, clearer OKRs can be established, setting challenging, ambitious and measurable goals.

  • Promote constructive feedback in appraisals

Finally, another way to build high performance teams is to remind them how well they are doing, and provide feedback to help unlock employee potential. Remote working is hard and new ground for the majority of managers. It’s important to maintain giving constructive feedback and offer 360 degree appraisals in the same way you would in an office environment.

To make this most effective, feedback should be well-rounded and take business goals into consideration. By using psychometric assessments, HR managers can assess multiple aspects of behaviour, aptitude and personality.

Using this information can provide a comprehensive – but accessible – overview of both individual team members and the businesses as a whole, and how well they are doing.

2020 has seen us all have to make adjustments. Increasing motivation and reaching ambitious targets to recoup losses will be goals many businesses face this year. By harnessing psychometric assessments and focusing on building high performance teams, businesses can be confident they will thrive in the years to come.


About the author

Sabby Gill is CEO at Thomas International.



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