This is the sixth of the blog posts based on the top ten most read Straight Talk Tips that go to my clients each month. The tips are free and you can sign up for them here

What makes a high performing team?

There is a lot of talk about high performing teams: but talk is cheap. Building up a high performing team is often a slow process and many of the influencing factors are outside the control of the team manager.

It starts with recruitment and placement of the right people in the right jobs; it requires that the functions and structure of the business unit within which a team operates are clearly defined and realistic. When these factors are in place high performance then depends on how a team is managed and motivated to achieve results.

How well does your team measure up to these standards of high performance?

1. Roles, accountabilities and the standards of performance which are expected are clearly communicated. People understand how they will be measured and are committed to their targets.

2. There are regular formal reviews of performance against targets. These include feedback and assessment from various sources, for example, from clients and 360 assessments.

3. Everyone has a regularly updated personal development plan and has a clear sense of a longer term career plan. Personal guidance is provided by coaches or mentors in a structured process.

4. There is a clear link between performance appraisals and subsequent personnel decisions such as promotions, transfers, change of career direction, disciplinary action and rewards.

5. Good performance is properly recognised and rewarded both with monetary and non monetary means.

6. People are forgiven if they make mistakes, but there is zero tolerance of ongoing poor performance. Feedback and coaching are used to bring performance up to standard. Where necessary, sanctions and discipline are applied.

7. Managers rely more on ongoing day to day feedback to manage the performance of their people then they do on formal appraisals.

8. People are accustomed to receiving as much, if not more, positive than negative feedback.

9. Team leaders and managers receive regular 360 feedback.

10. In evaluating overall performance, outputs are distinguished from behavioural inputs and competencies. Good results are not allowed to excuse bad behaviour.

11. Coaching is goal oriented and time bound, directed at improvement in specific areas and with clear objectives.

12. There is respect in the team, based on the trust everyone has in the competence of their colleagues.

13. Team leaders are skilled in talking to people about their performance.

14. Team leaders are held to account for development of their people.

If you’ve said yes to items 1-5 you’ve got the structural basics of performance management in place, but you may still have some way to go before you can claim to be a high performing team.

Related posts

Leave a Reply