Creating High Performing Teams

The term ‘high-performing teams’ can sometimes conjure up the idea of high flyers, however, what we are talking about here is your team performing to the best of their abilities and achieving the best results they possibly can.

To enable you to create or identify your team as a high performing team you must understand what current stage your team is at not only in terms of KPI performance but also behaviourally as individuals and as a team. This will enable you to understand how to enhance or create your own high performing team.

  • Focussed/Determined/Driven
  • Innovative/Creative
  • Dedicated
  • Team Working (no egos)
  • Self sacrificing
  • Reinventing/adaptable
  • Forward thinking/outward looking
  • Skillful
  • Knowledgeable
  • Continuous improvement
  • Visionary- clear mission/goal

The Stages of Team Development

What’s important for you to note is that there are typically four stages of development that a team or individual goes through before attaining high levels of performance. Knowing which stage your team is at is critical for you in understanding which management style you should be using.

By using our Stages of Team Development guide and template Stages of Team Development Guideyou will be able to identify your team’s maturity level and understand a bit more about what it will take for you to adapt to the varying management styles required. 

Top Tips

  • Recognise that all teams and individuals start the team development sequence
  • Remember that while they all do this, not all of them complete this sequence
  • Realise that how well your team works depends on how many stages it completes
  • Go for them all – Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing.
  • Remember that if you have recently changed to working as a virtual team that may have affected where your team now sit in the stages described!

Characteristics of High-Performing Teams

One of the primary goals of a Team Leader is to develop a high-performing team and then maintain the team’s performance. See the below screenshot of the PERFORM tool from the Active Manger Platform.

We can use the PERFORM model to evaluate how we would asses our current team against the characteristics of high performing teams and this enables you to understand what actions can be put in place to support the team to become a high performing virtual team.

Activity – use this model to assess your current team using PERFORM- Characteristics of High Performing Teams

The IDEAS Model

The ability to generate new ideas and solutions in areas that need to be tackled and focused on, and then select those of most value and making change happen will be the key elements in helping the Coachee achieve the target they agreed at the Opening Meeting. This session focuses on the fact that most people need to develop a structured approach to generating ideas – it is not something that just happens!

Thinking up new ideas – innovating – to improve performance isn’t as easy as it sounds.  A lot of things such as daily routines and a lack of clear thinking time can conspire to prevent us from being as creative as we could be.  The IDEAS Model  is specifically designed to challenge the Coachee’s current view and approach to generating ideas, and give them a tool that will enable them to become more creative.

Team Based Ideas Approach

Team – Based Problem Solving (TBPS) is a great method to use alongside the IDEAS model. It includes generating a ranked list of potential improvements and encourages all participants to have an equal say in the improvement process.

The Team Based Problem Solving approach is an effective activity to include within Monthly Business Review Meetings where it can be used to track progress of ideas that are being implemented as well as involving the team in creating new business plans and ideas to improve team performance/engagement etc.

Use this guide to facilitate your own Team Based Problem Solving Workshop

Team Success Factors

Since the first time you engaged in any team sport as a child, you probably learned this truth: teamwork can be hard. Sometimes one kid wants to have the ball all to himself, and other times players disagree on responsibilities.

Working together is difficult- politics, ego, and mistrust get in the way of building a high-performing team.

However, an efficient team truly is greater than the sum of its parts, especially in the business world. Exceptional teamwork can give a company the competitive advantage it needs –  Team Success Factors , based on a book by Patrick Lencioni provides insights into what makes a good team.