Kirsty Craig Associates

High performing teams…how do they happen?

Picture the scene: A newly appointed people Manager, having excelled in the technical aspects of their work, is completely non-plussed as to why they can’t seem to get their team operating at the highest level…they are all technically adept people.  So where is it going wrong?  

Have you ever wondered why some teams outperform others? Whether it be in sport or in the workplace, the fundamentals remain the same. It’s the people (the team members) who are the single most important factor in determining the team’s success. 

Having the right people, however, is not enough to ensure future success. You have to build and develop your team so that they each play their part, both individually and collectively. 

This calls for Emotional Intelligence in the Team Manager.  Sorry, you can no longer rely on being great at the day job! You need a little more, but don’t worry, we believe that each of us has a degree of emotional intelligence hardwired within us and it’s a case of taking the time to refine and hone what we’ve got so it becomes second nature.

Taking the importance of Emotional Intelligence seriously is where the journey starts.  Because it sits within the ‘Soft Skills’ arena, its significance has been downplayed a fair bit, but make no mistake, Emotional Intelligence is not fluffy or wishy-washy.  It makes all the difference when you are searching for that Holy Grail of a High Performing Team.

To help you assess your team against High Performance, we’ve identified 7 characteristics of a high performing team:

  1. Clear sense of purpose

They each know their significance, both individually and collectively and are working towards a clear sense of purpose. It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle – it isn’t complete without all the different shapes that hold it together and each piece plays an equal part. 

High performing teams go the extra mile to understand the purpose of their roles. They know both their short and long term goals and have the tools and metrics at their fingertips to be able to effectively measure their performance. 

2. Motivated with ‘va-va-voom’ 

A high performing team is a motivated one, and this comes from strong leadership where each individual believes that their needs are being met and their work is appreciated.  When employees are motivated, they’re eager to solve problems and are more creative at finding innovative solutions.  

3. There’s mutual trust and respect

Loyalty and trust come from mutual respect and are the foundations on which all winning team relationships are built. When someone believes in us, it makes us want to rise to the occasion to prove them right, so fostering a positive environment where teammates feel supported and valued is essential if you want to collectively achieve great results. 

4. They’re recognised and rewarded

Recognition and reward are the best ways to encourage better performance – whether it be collectively as a team or individually.  

Yet when I go into businesses to complete an HR Health check, the question “Tell me when you last received recognition?” Is met with “Ermmms” and head-scratching, when it should be second nature.

When recognition is tied to a specific accomplishment or business objective and is delivered in a timely appropriate way, it creates a positive employee experience. Ideas and innovation should also be rewarded, especially if they then take the initiative to put them into action.  

5. They adapt quickly to changing situations

The most effective teams don’t just adapt to change quickly, they thrive, regardless of the challenges they face in doing so. 

During these uncertain times, change can literally occur in the space of a few hours, so it’s important for your teams to be open, collaborative and ready to alter plans and processes at short notice.

6. They’re continuously learning

Businesses that continually invest in Learning & Development will emerge the strongest during these times of uncertainty. Their teams are given the support and framework to regularly upskill which stretches and challenges them. 

Providing team members with extra responsibilities, perhaps outside of their usual job remit, or inviting a team member to shadow another during a task are practical ways for the team to grow, develop and use their skills in new ways that will help to ensure that engagement levels remain high.

7. They collaborate

Team members that regularly come together to collaborate on projects, share knowledge and support each other will achieve great results. 

Collaboration can spark new ideas and offer different perspectives; which individuals are not always able to do when working in isolation.   

So, if you scored yourself or the team as “ could do better” in a couple of areas,  then you might want to fast-track your own knowledge and abilities, and get those pesky soft skills working for you!

Join us at our interactive masterclass on the 24th of September 2020, which aims to get your team to achieve and perform to an optimum level. Book your place here >>

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