Business is becoming increasingly about collaboration. Harvard Business Review has found that over the past two decades the amount of time that employees spent on collaborative activities has increased by over 50%. This increase in collaboration means that the ability of teams to work well together has also increased in importance. What helps define a team’s success? How do you develop a high performing team? Let’s look at some of the characteristics of high-performing teams.
A team must be able to communicate regularly, honestly and openly with one another. A team should feel comfortable sharing hard truths and constructive feedback about how to improve. A solid foundation of trust and understanding among the team members will help ensure that they are receptive to what others on the team have to say. You can help your team members get to know one another by doing team-building activities or through using personality assessments (like AcuMax) to allow employees to get some insight into how their teammates work and think. Having that additional insight into how others work can help create a communications style and cadence that works for the entire group.
Teams need to know what they’re working towards and trying to accomplish. Projects and meetings should have clear objectives that are regularly communicated. Objectives should be measurable and have check-in points or milestones throughout the project, not just one big due date. The items being measures should also have individual due dates and assignments, not just be assigned to the team as a whole. Having clear objectives also helps guide the conversation of teams, when an issue arises it should always be viewed in light of which approach or action best helps the team achieve its goal.
Recognition and appreciation should be a part of the regular culture of working together. Appreciation isn’t the responsibility of management, team members should regularly appreciate and express gratitude for the work of the other members of the team. By integrating appreciation it helps motivate the members of the team and encourage positive relationships and mutual respect.
If your team is comprised of individuals who are wired the exact same way, there are bound to be gaps in the way that they think and operate. By putting together a diverse team you’re more likely to ensure that all of the skills necessary to achieve the goals are had by at least one member of the team. Knowledge of the team’s hardwiring, strength and skills will also allow you to assign out the projects and tasks in a way that plays to the strengths of the team members and sets the entire group up for success.