6 Important Rules to Build a High Performing Team (Part-III)
6 Important Rules to Build a High Performing Team (Part III)
In earlier posts we looked at team formation process, the first couple of points to build a high performing team. Let’s look at other aspects to build a group that delivers team performance.
3. Alignment of Aspirations, Skills
You throw any mission at your team and your team will accomplish it. What does this mean to you? It means that your team has to be skillful, collaborative and focused. Building such a team is really challenging. All of it starts with hiring process, which again requires you to have greater clarity of the kind of team member you need, evaluating how far a given candidate will meet those expectations, knowing his/her aspirations, goals, ability to work as a team, i.e. cultural fit. Just brilliance or talent doesn’t always pull off the mission. It requires more than talent. Team spirit, team synergies along with high aspirations to achieve something makes people commit themselves to deliver their job well. Your task is to align that ‘something’ (i.e. individual aspiration, career, money, motivations) to mission objectives.
Also remember diversely connected team can deliver higher team performance. Building such a team may take longer than you may have thought. If you are willing and persistent, the time to build an effective and mission driven team can be highly rewarding.
“The first rule of management is delegation. Don’t try and do everything yourself because you can’t.” One of the interesting quotes I came across. ‘Your growth’ as manager will accelerate when you will start delegating. The first task before you start delegating is having right the people to get things done. Hence hiring is crucial for everything aim to achieve as a team.
You may delegate work to your team members; remember with delegation you can transfer authority but responsibility will still lie with you. Hence you will need to hold team members accountable for the result you would like them to achieve. Delegation means letting them do things as they would like to do, as long as the whole process and end result meet objectives. It is not about asking them to do ‘HOW’ but telling them ‘WHAT’ and mentoring them whenever they need advice or help. Basically delegation should aim to bring out expertise in your team members to make right choices to deliver work. Remember you do not need to be the ‘powerful one’ to dictate the team, it would hurt the team performance; whereas on the other side you would not like to degrade team performance with too many incentives.
5. Measuring Team Performance (trust, communication, results, Review/feedback)
Well, you may be monitoring the team formation process but how would you know that your team has successfully entered into the ‘Performing phase’ and will continue to demonstrate delivering greater results? So you will need to evaluate performance of your team on certain parameters, observing certain characteristics like
a. Reliance and trust– Teams that demonstrate ‘high team performance delivery’ means they rely on one another. There is a strong element of trust that individuals would perform their respective part succinctly to achieve overall goal, what we also call it as ‘Consider it done’. Trust is built over the period of time, working together closely, sharing/exchanging information, deciding/taking courses collectively through collaboration; engaging outside the work boundaries.
b. Communication – As mentioned earlier, to build trust, communication is really important. For the seamless functioning of the team, there has to be a collaborative approach of doing things. And you as a leader have to facilitate the team to connect and converse on a regular basis. Building a culture of openness, hearing others’ views, opinions brings out the best from each individual.
High performing teams always demonstrate clear, concise, honest and positively contributing communication. As a team leader you should check how far the team’s behavioral integration is positively contributing to the outcome.
c. Results – After all these efforts towards building a performing team it is quite obvious to expect desired results: and that’s the bottom-line of this whole exercise. Hence as a leader you need to evaluate R E S U L T S. And it is not one time activity, rather it is an ongoing process. In fact the leader has to identify what all things to measure on what parameters, what would be a satisfactory outcome. This analysis will help him/her to correct the course.
Assessing results is also one part of the activity, communicating transparently and regularly to the team is equally important.
6. Celebrating Success
You shouldn’t wait for the ONE great/grand-success-at-the-end to come along. As a leader you can always make a point to celebrate the team’s success through-out the mission. It can be a formal or informal celebration to highlight achievement of important milestones, team’s or individual’s success. In the beginning you will need to take initiatives for your team to appreciate their efforts and give it up for themselves once in a while. So give it a round of applause for their team performance.
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