High Performance Team: How Executives Build Sustainable Teams

Did you know that team performance and productivity can decrease by as much as 40% due to multitasking? And with today’s fast-paced workplace demanding employees switch platforms up to nearly 30 times per hour, team performance problems are only getting worse.

Yet, despite the challenges of managing a team, the effectiveness of a team can significantly define organizational effectiveness, making it a critical aspect to measure and optimize.

Whether you’re a startup building trust and trying to disrupt a market or a multinational corporation aiming to maintain its lead, understanding what is team performance and how to measure it is a common denominator.

That’s why we’re diving deep into the world of high performance teams, exploring how they function, what sets them apart, and how you can cultivate them in your own organization. So, if you’re ready to boost your team’s productivity and take your organization to the next level, keep reading as we unravel the secrets of measuring team effectiveness.

What determines high performance?

High performance is determined by a combination of factors, including clear goals and objectives, effective communication, strong collaboration, and a shared vision among team members. Other factors include individual skills and competencies, team dynamics, and a supportive organizational culture that fosters innovation and continuous improvement.

Highly effective teams also exhibit a high level of trust, accountability, and adaptability, enabling them to navigate challenges and achieve their goals more efficiently. Examples of high performance determinants include setting SMART goals, using collaborative tools and platforms, and adopting a growth mindset within the team.

What Do High Performance Teams Do Differently?

High performance teams differentiate themselves through their approach to communication, collaboration, decision making, and problem solving. They prioritize open and honest communication, ensuring that all team members are informed and aligned with the team’s goals and objectives.

They also foster a culture of collaboration, leveraging the diverse skills and perspectives of team members to generate innovative solutions. High performance teams embrace continuous improvement, regularly reviewing their processes and performance to identify areas for growth and development.

Examples of what high performance teams do differently include holding regular retrospectives, adopting agile methodologies, and providing constructive feedback to support individual and team growth.

How do you know if your team is high performing?

You can identify a high performance team by evaluating its performance against key indicators, such as goal achievement, productivity, and team member satisfaction. High performance teams consistently meet or exceed their objectives, demonstrate efficient work processes, and maintain a positive team culture.

Other indicators include low turnover rates, strong communication and collaboration, and a focus on continuous improvement and new opportunities. Team members exhibit a high level of trust and accountability, and the team is adaptable in the face of challenges and change.

Examples of ways to assess team performance include tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), conducting regular team surveys, and observing team dynamics during meetings and collaborative activities.

How To Build A High Performance Team

Building a high performance team is crucial for achieving success in any organization. Here are some of the ways to improve your team performance and drive your organization towards success.

1. Establish a Clear and Aligned Purpose

A high performance team needs to have a clear and aligned purpose. This means that everyone on the team needs to understand the team’s goals and why they are important. The team should also have a shared understanding of their roles and responsibilities. To achieve this, hold regular meetings to discuss the team’s objectives and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Encourage open communication and allow team members to voice their opinions and concerns.

2. Build Trust Through Relationships

Trust is essential for any team to function effectively. Team members need to feel like they can trust each other to do their work and to support each other. To build trust, encourage open communication, and create a safe environment where team members can share their thoughts and concerns without fear of judgment. Additionally, promote team-building activities that help team members get to know each other on a personal level and foster strong relationships.

3. Communicate Frequently and Effectively

Communication is key to any successful team. Team members need to be able to communicate effectively with each other, both verbally and in writing. Establish regular communication channels, such as team meetings, email updates, and instant messaging platforms. Encourage team members to share their progress, challenges, and ideas openly. Provide training and support to improve communication skills if necessary.

4. Collaborate Often

High performance teams collaborate often. This means that team members are willing to share ideas and work together to achieve common goals. To foster collaboration, create a culture that values teamwork and encourages team members to seek input from others. Provide tools and resources that facilitate collaboration, such as shared workspaces and project management software.

5. Appreciate and Encourage Diverse Thinking

High performance teams are made up of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This diversity of thought can lead to better decision-making and innovation. Encourage team members to share their unique perspectives and ideas, and create an environment where diverse thinking is valued and appreciated. Provide training and resources to help team members understand and appreciate the benefits of diversity and inclusion.

6. Manage Conflict Constructively

Conflict is inevitable in any team. However, it is important to manage conflict constructively. This means that team members should be able to disagree respectfully and work together to find solutions. Encourage open communication and provide training on conflict resolution techniques. Address conflicts promptly and ensure that all team members feel heard and respected.

7. Learn and Adapt

The world is constantly changing, so it is important for teams to be able to learn and adapt. This means that team members should be open to new ideas and be willing to change their ways when necessary. Encourage a culture of continuous learning and provide opportunities for team members to develop new skills and knowledge. Regularly review team processes and performance to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments.

8. Acknowledge Team Wins and Show Appreciation

It is important to acknowledge success and show appreciation for team members. This will help to motivate team members and keep them engaged. Recognize individual and team accomplishments through various means, such as verbal praise, awards, or team events. Ensure that appreciation is genuine and specific, highlighting the efforts and contributions that led to success.

9. Measure Outcomes and Success

It is important to measure the outcomes and success of the team. This will help to identify areas where the team is doing well and areas where there is room for improvement. Establish clear performance metrics and regularly review progress towards these goals. Use this information to make data-driven decisions and adjustments to team processes and strategies.

10. Set Clear Expectations

Make sure that everyone on the team knows what is expected of them. This includes expectations for performance, behavior, and communication. Clearly communicate these expectations and provide resources and support to help team members meet them. Hold team members accountable for their performance and address any issues promptly and fairly.

11. Provide Regular Feedback

Provide regular feedback to team members, both positive and negative. This will help them to improve their performance and stay on track. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings with team members to discuss their progress, challenges, and areas for improvement. Encourage team members to seek feedback from their peers as well.

12. Provide Opportunities for Development

Provide opportunities for team members to develop their skills and knowledge. This can be done through training, mentoring, or job shadowing. Encourage team members to take ownership of their professional development and support their efforts to grow and learn. This not only benefits the individual team members but also contributes to the overall success and performance of the team.

13. Create a Positive Work Environment

A positive work environment is one where team members feel comfortable, respected, and valued. This can be created by providing a safe and supportive work environment, as well as by celebrating successes and recognizing contributions. Encourage open communication, promote work-life balance, and address any issues that may negatively impact the team’s well-being.

14. Empower Team Members

Empower team members to make decisions and take control of their work. This will help them to feel more engaged and motivated. Provide team members with the necessary resources and support to make informed decisions and trust them to do their jobs effectively. Encourage team members to take ownership of their work and to be proactive in identifying and addressing challenges.

15. Foster Collaboration

Encourage team members to collaborate with each other and share ideas. This will help to create a more innovative and productive team. Provide opportunities for team members to work together on projects and tasks, and encourage them to seek input and feedback from their peers. Recognize and reward teamwork and collaboration.

16. Celebrate Successes

Take time to celebrate the team’s successes, big and small. This will help to keep team members motivated and engaged. For in-person teams, you can organize team events, lunches, or other gatherings to recognize achievements and milestones. For remote teams, consider virtual celebrations, such as online team games, video call parties, or digital recognition boards. Gifts, bonuses, and tokens of appreciation can also be sent to team members to acknowledge their hard work and accomplishments.

17. Provide Opportunities for Fun

Don’t forget to have fun! A team that enjoys working together is more likely to be successful. Encourage team members to engage in activities that help them bond and relax, such as team outings, game nights, or informal gatherings. For remote teams, consider organizing virtual events, such as online games, trivia contests, or movie nights. Creating a fun and enjoyable work environment can boost team morale and productivity.

18. Be Flexible

Things don’t always go according to plan, so it’s important to be flexible and adaptable. This means being willing to change course when necessary and being open to new ideas. Encourage team members to be agile and responsive to changes in the business environment, and support them in finding creative solutions to challenges. Embrace a growth mindset and view setbacks as opportunities for learning and improvement.

19. Be Patient

Building a high performance team takes time and effort. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Just keep working hard and be patient, and you will eventually achieve your goals. Remember that team development is an ongoing process, and it’s essential to continually invest in your team’s growth and success.

20. Be Positive

A positive attitude can go a long way in building a high performance team. Be optimistic and believe in your team’s ability to succeed. Encourage team members to maintain a positive outlook and to support each other in overcoming challenges. Celebrate small wins and progress, and remind the team of their achievements and potential.

21. Use Technology to Your Advantage

There are many tools and technologies that can help teams collaborate more effectively and efficiently. For example, project management tools can help teams track progress, communicate with each other, and stay on schedule. Communication platforms, such as video conferencing and instant messaging, can facilitate real-time collaboration and information sharing. Explore and adopt technologies that best suit your team’s needs and help streamline their work processes.

22. Give Team Members Autonomy

High performance teams are made up of people who are empowered to make decisions and take ownership of their work. This means giving team members the freedom to do their jobs the way they see fit, as long as they are meeting the team’s goals. Trust your team members to make the right decisions and provide them with the necessary resources and support to succeed.

23. Create a Sense of Urgency

A sense of urgency can help teams stay focused and motivated. This can be created by setting clear deadlines and by communicating the importance of the team’s work. Encourage team members to prioritize tasks and to work efficiently to meet their goals. Regularly review progress and adjust timelines and priorities as needed to maintain a sense of urgency and momentum.

24. Celebrate Milestones

Taking the time to celebrate milestones, no matter how small, can help to keep team members motivated and engaged. This can be done by holding team meetings, sending out emails, or simply giving team members a pat on the back. Recognizing and celebrating progress can boost team morale and reinforce the importance of the team’s work.

25. Provide Opportunities for Growth

High performance teams are made up of people who are constantly learning and growing. This means providing team members with opportunities to learn new skills, take on new challenges, and grow their careers. Encourage team members to seek out professional development opportunities, and support their efforts to expand their knowledge and expertise. Investing in your team’s growth will not only benefit individual team members but also contribute to the overall success and performance of the team.

26. Encourage Feedback

Feedback is essential for any team to improve. This means encouraging team members to give and receive feedback, both positive and negative. Create a culture where feedback is valued and seen as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Encourage team members to share their thoughts and suggestions openly, and provide constructive criticism in a respectful and supportive manner. Regularly solicit feedback from team members on their experiences and use this information to make improvements to team processes and dynamics.

27. Be Open to Change

The world is constantly changing, so it’s important for teams to be open to change. This means being willing to adapt to new ideas, new technologies, and new ways of doing things. Encourage team members to stay informed about industry trends and developments, and to be proactive in identifying opportunities for innovation and improvement. Foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement, where team members are encouraged to challenge the status quo and explore new approaches.

28. Be Inclusive

High performance teams are made up of people from all walks of life. This means creating a team environment that is welcoming and inclusive of everyone. Encourage team members to be respectful and supportive of each other’s differences, and to value the unique perspectives and experiences that each person brings to the table. Provide training and resources to help team members understand and appreciate the benefits of diversity and inclusion, and to develop the skills needed to work effectively in a diverse team.

29. Be Fair

Fairness is essential for any team to function effectively. This means treating all team members with respect, regardless of their background, experience, or skill level. Ensure that all team members have equal access to opportunities, resources, and support, and that their contributions are recognized and valued. Address any instances of bias or discrimination promptly and take steps to create a more equitable and inclusive team environment.

30. Lead by Example

As a team leader, your actions and behaviors set the tone for the entire team. Lead by example by demonstrating the qualities and behaviors that you expect from your team members. Be open and transparent in your communication, show respect and appreciation for your team members, and be willing to admit your mistakes and learn from them. By modeling the behaviors and attitudes that you want to see in your team, you can help to create a high performance team culture that is built on trust, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

31. Establish a Strong Team Culture

A strong team culture is the foundation of a high performance team. This involves creating a shared set of values, beliefs, and norms that guide the team’s behavior and decision-making. To establish a strong team culture, involve team members in the process of defining the team’s values and expectations. Communicate these values clearly and consistently, and ensure that they are reflected in the team’s daily interactions and practices. By fostering a strong team culture, you can create an environment where team members feel connected, engaged, and motivated to contribute their best efforts towards achieving the team’s goals.

How can a team become high performing?

To become a high performance team, members must develop a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, establish open lines of communication, and create a culture of trust and accountability.

Team leaders should set clear expectations, provide regular feedback, and encourage collaboration. Additionally, investing in team-building activities and providing opportunities for professional development can help improve team performance.

Examples of activities that can help a team become high performing include regular check-ins, workshops on communication and collaboration, and celebrating team achievements to boost morale.

What are the benefits of having a high performance team?

High performance teams offer numerous benefits, including increased productivity, higher employee engagement, and improved overall business performance. They are more likely to achieve their goals and deliver better results.

These teams also experience lower turnover rates, as team members tend to be more satisfied with their work environment and feel a sense of belonging. This leads to reduced recruitment and training costs for the organization.

Examples of benefits can be seen in companies with high performance teams, such as increased market share, faster product development, and higher customer satisfaction ratings.

What challenges do high performance teams face?

High performance teams may face challenges such as maintaining their high performance over time, managing conflicts, and navigating changes in team composition or organizational structure.

They may also experience pressure to consistently deliver exceptional results, which can lead to burnout or reduced work-life balance for team members. Ensuring that the team remains adaptable and resilient is crucial for continued success.

Examples of challenges include managing the departure of key team members, addressing interpersonal conflicts, or adapting to new technologies or market conditions that impact the team’s work.

Empower Your Team’s Performance with Persona’s Executive Assistants

Are you looking to elevate your high performance team to new heights? Persona’s Executive Assistants can help you scale and manage tasks related to building and maintaining sustainable teams.

With our rigorous vetting process and focus on hiring only the top 0.1% of applicants, you can trust that our Executive Assistants are truly exceptional. Trusted by leading brands and companies, Persona’s hiring process is driven by deep expertise in assessment design and cognitive science.

Partnering with Persona can help you delegate tasks related to building and maintaining a high performance team, allowing busy executives and managers to focus their specific talents and time on other aspects of team efforts.

Our Executive Assistants can help you:

  • Facilitate clear communication among team members
  • Build trust and accountability within the team
  • Implement agile methodologies and continuous improvement practices
  • Conduct regular team surveys and analyze key performance indicators
  • Provide constructive feedback to support individual and team growth
  • Manage administrative tasks and logistics related to team building activities

Don’t let the burden of managing a high performance team hold you back from achieving your organizational goals. Let Persona’s Executive Assistants help you scale and succeed. To learn more about how our Executive Assistants can support your team building efforts, contact us today.

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