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7 Winning Ingredients for Building A High Performing Team

Overseeing and managing a team that constantly hits targets and seamlessly overcomes challenges is the stuff that dreams are made of. But these types of teams aren’t born out of a mysterious alchemy. Neither are they simply a happy accident of good synergy.

Overseeing and managing a team that constantly hits targets and seamlessly overcomes challenges is the stuff that dreams are made of. But these types of teams aren’t born out of a mysterious alchemy. Neither are they simply a happy accident of good synergy.

High-performing teams are made. While working as a team may be built into the fabric of our humanity, so is conflict, fear, thirst for power and all manner of things that can sabotage the performance of a group of people. With that in mind, it’s important to consider a whole range of factors when building and nurturing a team.

In this article, you’ll find the 7 ingredients that are required to create high performing teams, with a few tips and tricks along the way to help bring them to the groups that you oversee.

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1. Present Solid Objectives and Clear Expectations

Have you ever been asked to do a task and not really understood why you were doing it? How did that make you feel? Confused? Left in the dark? Demotivated?

In the first instance, your overall goal is to ensure that everyone in the team understands what they are doing. Why they are doing it, who they are doing it with, how they will be supported and how they will measure their success.

The same happens when you kick off teamwork without presenting a solid objective or defining roles and expectations. So, when getting started, it’s imperative to lead with your best foot forward by taking the time to bring the team together and make it clear what the mission is.

To do this, you should do the following:

  • Make it clear what the team are there to do and why they are doing it
  • Define goals, timelines, anticipated outcomes, and processes
  • Establish clear expectations that are in line with the objectives
  • Ensure appropriate support is in place should any problems arise

In the first instance, your overall goal is to ensure that everyone in the team understands what they are doing. Why they are doing it, who they are doing it with, how they will be supported and how they will measure their success.

Getting SMART

SMART objectives are considered a winning ingredient for building a high-performing team because they provide a clear framework for setting and achieving goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Here’s why they’re effective:

  • Clarity: SMART objectives provide clear direction on what needs to be done, how, and by when.
  • Focus: They help teams prioritise efforts towards specific, relevant goals, minimizing distractions.
  • Accountability: SMART criteria make it easy to track progress and hold team members responsible for their tasks.
  • Motivation: Clear milestones and deadlines boost morale and drive team members to perform at their best.
  • Adaptability: SMART objectives allow flexibility to adjust goals as needed while still maintaining focus and accountability.

Making this information accessible and clear ensures that each person understands their role and contribution, values it, and knows how to go about doing it.

2. Gain Commitment

Once objectives and expectations are established, then comes gaining commitment from team members. When you have everyone singing from the same hymn sheet, things work better – so this is an important step in the process.

The best way to do this is to ensure that each team member understands the importance of the overall objectives and how they fit into the puzzle. When people feel undervalued, they will underperform. To avoid this, take great care to be sure that each person holds a role that serves a tangible purpose and fits in with their own career expectations.

Individuals should feel challenged and excited by the part they are playing. They should be given ample opportunities to grow and develop as time goes by. And they should understand how they will be rewarded or recognised for their contributions.

The way this is achieved may look different across organisations. Indeed, it may even differ from role to role or in departments. An example of this would be, sales teams may be driven by monetary gain and therefore find themselves motivated by bonus schemes. Other team members may find their passions are ignited when they are given more responsibility or the chance to be creative in their role.

Getting this right comes down to knowing what makes people tick. Personal development plans are a great way to drill down into the motivations and inner workings of your team to get a good understanding of what empowers them to overachieve.

3. Promote Independence

Does your team have the freedom and empowerment necessary to take ownership of their individual objectives? Do they understand the part they play in accountability and have confidence in their problem-solving ability? Finally, are they able to understand what decisions they are free to make within their remit?

High performing teams own their individual roles and make a conscious effort to ensure their actions feed into the overall objectives of the project. And the confidence and knowledge to achieve this level of independence springs from strong and clear leadership.

Once again, robust personal development plans for team members will help them to embark on a journey to confident independence. But it is also important to instil in team members that, while they are expected to fulfil the expectations of a role to the best of their ability, there is still support available to them if they find themselves stuck. No man (or woman) is an island after all. And leaving people to founder and fail not only risks the confidence of an individual but the performance of the team.

Implement Personal Development Plans

One effective way to understand what motivates team members and align their goals with organizational objectives is through personalized development plans. These plans involve regular discussions between managers and employees to identify strengths, areas for improvement, and career aspirations.

By investing time and resources in personalized development plans, organisations demonstrate a commitment to employee growth and well-being. This process not only increases job satisfaction and engagement but also enhances overall team performance by leveraging individual strengths and interests.

4. Encourage Collaboration & Creativity

Collaboration is a cornerstone of any high performing team. When individuals can work together effectively, they can make almost anything happen. So, promoting collaboration is an important aspect of creating a high performing team.

Collaboration often feeds into better (and quicker!) problem solving, process improvement and communication.

To kick off collaborative working it’s important for the team to establish rules of conduct in areas such as conflict resolution, decision making and meeting management. This will help with working together effectively and promote creative thinking within the group that falls within established boundaries.

As well as this, celebrating creativity breeds it. Teams should take the approach that no suggestion is ‘wrong’ or ‘ridiculous’, rather every suggestion has the potential to add value when it is shared openly. This method of working fosters a community where people are open to sharing their ideas and confident in their ability to problem solve.

5. Encourage Accountability and Communication

Communication is everything within a team. Without it, the wheels will simply fall off and the whole project will come grinding to a halt.

Establishing effective communication starts with creating a culture of accountability. If members of your team can confidently take responsibility for their actions without fear of reprisal, you instil an open and encouraging ethos that sees everyone performing to the best of their ability.

When team members aren’t accountable for their actions, time is normally consumed by finger pointing or downright avoidance of issues. This is not healthy for a team and can be damaging to any workplace. With that in mind, create a team that feels responsible and accountable for their achievements. Reward and recognise individuals and groups consistently. And, finally, when mistakes or problems arise, turn the focus not to dressing someone down but problem- solving.

Remember, communication is a two-way street and it is down to those at the top to lead by example. So, ensure that you are modelling the type of behaviour you would expect from team members and take steps to establish a method for teams to give feedback and receive honest, constructive feedback in return.

6. Foster Diversity and Inclusion

When you embrace diversity throughout your team they will thrive. A diverse team brings together a variety of perspectives, experiences, and ideas, which can lead to more innovative solutions and better decision-making.When you 

Ensuring your team operates in an inclusive environment where all members feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique insights. Businesses can achieve this by promoting open dialogue, actively listening to different viewpoints, and addressing any biases or barriers that may exist.

By fostering diversity and inclusion within your team, you not only create a more vibrant and dynamic work environment but also unlock the full potential of your team members, driving innovation, creativity, and higher performance.

At KDM Events we offer a range of events to ensure all of your team are included.

7. Promote Continuous Learning and Growth

Creating a culture of continuous learning and growth within your team is essential for staying ahead in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business environment. Offering a diverse array of learning opportunities, such as workshops, seminars, online courses, and cross-functional training programs, you cater to the varied learning styles and preferences of team members. 

Businesses should also consider facilitating mentorship and coaching relationships within teams. Pairing team members with experienced mentors who can provide guidance, share insights, and offer constructive feedback can accelerate their learning and skill development. Likewise, coaching sessions focused on specific areas of improvement or career goals can empower team members to overcome challenges easily.

Building Trust through Transparent Communication

Transparency is key to fostering trust within a team. Keep team members informed about project progress, changes, and challenges. By openly sharing information, you demonstrate trust and respect for your team, which encourages them to reciprocate. Encourage open dialogue and address any concerns or questions promptly. When team members feel informed and heard, they are more likely to communicate effectively and work together towards shared goals.

Build Better Teams with KDM Events

From rewarding your team to helping address areas for development, team building activities from KDM Events can help with all the steps listed above. From outdoor events focused on problem-solving and communication to indoor activities geared toward fostering creativity and innovation, our menu of focused, structured team building events are just the thing to get groups thinking outside the box and working together.

To find out more about our events, and how we can help you to build a winning team, contact us today. Our dedicated Event Managers have a wealth of experience in creating amazing, effective events for team development in all industries and areas.

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