Workers, at any level, have never been more valuable. And if you can put those workers into a team, the team is far more likely to accomplish more than the individual members alone. What is a team? Put simply it is a work based practice where a group of workers who have shared objectives and who cooperate to achieve those objectives in a way that permits each individual member to make a distinctive contribution. Hence a company gets the best of everything and many research studies confirm that team working provides the higher levels of performance.
How can I develop a high performing team? There are lots of things you can do but here are some critical components of the high performing team. Get the leadership right. Appoint leaders who have the capability to engage the team members. Also seek out leaders whose behaviours, skills and aspirations are aligned to organisational goals. Develop engaged workers. You can achieve this by putting workers in the right job and support and develop them; then challenge and enthuse them to improve their performance, namely ‘go the extra mile’. Continually assess team performance. Encourage individual workers to share their knowledge and skills with others and continuously seek to raise the performance bar. Create and maintain a stimulating environment. Encourage the team to establish continuously improving standards of performance and recognise achievement in tangible ways including both financial and non-financial rewards. Keep ringing the changes and encouraging innovation. Give the team the ‘tools’. High performing teams have needs; tools, support, time, finance, leadership and so on. To make this happen, the leader has to plan, listen, communicate, direct and make decisions. Success breeds success. Keep lifting the performance bar but little by little as all achievements no matter how small are better than none. Often open discussion and decision making can encourage improvement.
Successful teams provide added value to the organisation in the form of: a common sense of purpose; clear objectives; mutual respect among team workers; mutual trust; supportive relationships through willingness to share knowledge and skill; willingness to speak openly and pride in a job well done. So don’t just dream about the team get on and form one.
Dr Hugh Billot
Managing Director HR+ Limited
HR+ is a leading HR consultancy: for advice please call 01233 772431.
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