A high-performance team (or HPT) is a specialised team within an organisation or business that is focused on achieving goals and producing results. Having such a team at your disposal can be extremely advantageous; therefore, putting together this highly specialised team can be a task in itself. But, before you set about building your own A-Team, you must first understand what sort of people make up a high-performance team and, importantly, how they work together to achieve success.
So, what sorts of people make up a high-performance team?
The first thing to be aware of is that not everyone is suited to a role within a high-performance team. Through research and study, psychologists and business experts have been able to identify common behavioural characteristics that are essential to performing well within a team such as this.
- Exceptional control and self-management skills
- Exceptional communicative skills
- Exceptional team skills – the ability to lead and follow
- Highly motivated and ambitious
- Quick to take initiative
- Maintain performance under pressure
As the manager and leader it’s your responsibility to identify these high performing individuals and assemble a team (or teams) that allow them to reach their full potential.
Building a high performance team
The team you build will be very much dependant on your business goals and objectives. Knowing your employees strengths and expertise inside and out will help you assemble a team that is tailored to the goals and targets that you wish to meet. As well as strengths and expertise, it is also important to consider individual personalities and characters when building a high-performance team. You need to build a team that will gel, be able to encourage and support as well as draw the best from one another.
Once you have your team in place you need to ensure that you direct, support and encourage continuous development and improvement. There are many ways that you, as a leader, can achieve this.
Instil a shared aspiration for goals and targets
This is a vital part of what makes a team a “high-performance team”; the shared aspiration for achieving goals and targets, the passion, the vision. It is up to you to ensure that your team are highly motivated and inspired to share this with you. This ability to motivate and inspire a team is part of what makes a great leader.
Set firm goals and targets
A high-performance team, and those that make up the team, is by nature driven by their desire to achieve success. It is therefore important that you set firm goals and targets so that your team can set about conquering them.
Trust and respect are vital factors of a high-performance team; your team doesn’t have to be the bests of friends, but they do need to trust and respect one another in order to maximise performance. Arrange regular coffee mornings or a casual lunch that will bring your team together in a less formal - less pressured environment. This is a great way to strengthen your team’s relationships as well as your relationship with the team.
Ensure communication and regular review
Another big part of your team’s success is communication and progress review. As your team work to achieve their goals and targets, it is important that they continuously review their progress and communicate this with you. Be certain to schedule a regular time in which you can meet with your team. This will ensure that they always work to a regular deadline and continuously review their progress. This will also provide the perfect opportunity to communicate any successes, weaknesses, new goals and targets that may have developed.
Recognise and reward success
Finally, when your high-performance team achieve success, make sure that it is recognised and rewarded. By the very nature of success, your team will have poured an immense amount of time, effort and dedication into the delivery of results. To keep morale high and ensure that the team grows and develops, it is vital that you recognise their efforts and reward them. This will show that they are valued, not only by you, but by the company too. At the end of the day, a team of high performing individuals is absolutely priceless, so do everything you can too retain, nurture and develop your creation.