Build a Successful and Effective Team with High Performance Development
1. Define and Create Interdependence. There is a need to define and structure team members’ roles. Think of sports teams, everyone has their position to play, and success happens when all of the players are playing their roles effectively. In the 4x100m relay sprint, success depends on all participants doing their bit to ensure team success. Equally, the ultimate winner of The Tour de France may be an individual, but that success is predicated on the actions of a much larger team, without whom the “win” would not be achieved.
2. Define Goals. Teams need to be focused on shared and agreedgoals and outcomes. Commitment to that goal is essential for success. Ideally, team goals should allow both the team as a unit and the individual members to achieve both personal and group goals.
3. Determine How Decisions are made. Whether the leader makes the decision, or it is a democratic or consensual process, the team needs to understand beforehand how decisions will be made. This reduces conflict within the team when a decision or choice has to be made. It will also make conflict resolution easier, so that business can return to “normal” as quickly as possible.
4. Provide Clear and Constant Feedback. Teams need to know how they are doing in order to stay motivated and to correct performance problems or inefficiencies. Ideally, a system should be in place so that team members receive ongoing feedback while doing their jobs.
5. Maintain Consistency and Stability in your Team. Particularly in complex tasks, it takes a lot of time for team members to learn to work together at an optimum level. In sports, there is often a relationship between how long team members have played together and their winning record.
6. Allow and even Encourage Team Members to Challenge the existing Status Quo. If innovation is important, it is critical that team members feel secure in being able to challenge processes if they feel that there is a way to improve. In order to innovate and adapt, teams need to be open to considering and constructively criticizing existing practices when needed.
7. Encourage Talent. Just as processes sometimes need improvement, teams can get better by encouraging talent and new ideas. Organizations that put a lot of resources into identifying new talent do better statistically.
8. Use Team Based Reward Systems. Too much emphasis on individual rewards can lead to in-fighting, jealousy and resentment. A combination of individual and team-based rewards is often best. A 3 tier reward system is often employed by successful companies that focuses on first on Company, then Team and finally Individual, in that order.
9. Create a Unique Learning Environment. Emphasise the development of the team, learning through successes, but particularly through mistakes. A team with a culture of continuous improvement and where members are motivated to develop their skills and knowledge are high-performing teams.
10. Focus on the Collective Mission. Mission driven teams and organizations perform better because they see beyond their individual workload and tasks and feel as if they are working for a higher purpose. It is imperative that team members be committed to the shared mission, and definitely not individual self-advancement.