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Best Practices for Building High-Performing Teams in 2024

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” – Helen Keller

Together, a team can attain new heights of success, the emphasis being on ‘together’ or collaborative efforts. For a team to thrive and shine, the leader needs to master the art of team dynamics. To excel in the dynamic business environment, a team needs to work in perfect synchrony like a well-oiled machine. But your team can only achieve that level of coordination and productivity if you, the leader, act as the mechanic who meticulously oils and maintains the machine.

Is there a secret formula to ensure the high performance of a team? No, there’s no magical formula that can transform your team overnight. However, there are tried and tested best practices that will steadily and surely improve the performance of your team over time. Here’s the rundown on some of these best practices:

Starting Right

If you want a high-performing team, you need to start by hiring the right type of people. For teams to perform well, the members should be able to work well individually and also cohesively as part of a team. A candidate could seem perfect in terms of skills and qualifications on paper, but may not necessarily be a team performer. Your recruitment process should test their ability to perform as a team player. Behavioral interview questions, role-playing in a simulated team environment, team-based problem-solving tasks, and reference checks can help you gauge the candidate’s potential for collaborative efforts. Additionally, only pick candidates who will fit in seamlessly in your company culture. When you’re building your team, ensure diversity and inclusion. The exposure to different perspectives and multitudes of new creative ideas will boost the team’s performance.

Fine-Tuning the Communication Process

The significance of effective communication remains undeniable, even though the incessant emphasis on it can seem a little repetitive. But there are reasons why there’s so much emphasis on it in the first place. Around 86 percent of the respondents (including executives, employees, and educators) of a survey feel that poor communication is the root of failures. On the other hand, 72 percent of business leaders stated that effective communication enhances productivity. Plenty of studies and surveys have established the necessity of effective communication.

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Talk to and with your team members. Avoid confusing your team members with ambiguous communication. Keep the communication channels open to avail the many advantages such as faster problem-solving, enhanced engagement, and increased trust. Although leaders and teams are communicating more than ever these days, the quality of that communication has declined. Make efforts to ensure that the communication with and within your team is crisp and clear. You may need to train your team members through workshops and constructive feedback. Provide them with tools and resources that will lead to more effective communication.

Communication with and within the team is vital, but equally important is how your team communicates with external stakeholders such as suppliers, collaborators, and regulatory authorities. Approximately 63 percent of business leaders feel that effective communication goes a long way toward boosting customer satisfaction. And you know that customer satisfaction is the golden key to improved ROI and long-term success. Get a custom email domain to reinforce branding and increase the credibility of the emails your team sends out.

Empowering the Team

Not only should you seek the counsel of your team members wherever possible in the decision-making process, but you should also empower them to make some decisions.

Micromanaging will hamper team productivity and increase disengagement among team members. The lack of autonomy also slows down the decision-making process and stifles creativity because employees are focused on input instead of a defined outcome. Micromanagement may bring results in the short term but will damage and prove costly over the long term. Rather than trying to manage every step and every action, set and convey OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and make the key results the KPIs of your team. Perform regular check-ins, provide recognition and constructive feedback, and encourage the team to seek your help whenever required. Using performance management software helps you define exact expectations so that you define what “good” collaboration and results look like. The clarity this affords can boost your team’s performance and overall employee experience. 

Avoid restricting your team members with rigid processes and procedures. The project managers should empower the team members by allowing them to make decisions within their areas of authority. Autonomy will prevent your team members from becoming passive participants. It will also increase their adaptability in the face of challenges. By allowing your team members flexibility and freedom, you’re basically setting the team up for success.

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Some Additional Tips

  • Leverage technological advancements with online project management tools that allows the team to view progress updates and communicate in real-time.
  • Lead your team by example, not with mere directional words.
  • Identify and fix the issues that could hamper your team’s performance.
  • Support and encourage further skill development among team members. It will increase the proficiency of the team members and collectively translate into improved team performance.
  • In the quest for high performance and results, it’s important to remember that teams are composed of humans. Demonstrating empathy will make them feel understood, increase their loyalty, and encourage them to give their best.

Wrapping Up

Adopt a mix of the best practices according to the specifics of your business and situation. A proactive approach will lead to the creation of a team that not only meets but also exceeds expectations.

The crux of a high-performance team is its ability to adapt according to the volatility of the business environment. Most best practices for enhancing team performance revolve around the improvement of adaptability. A team that evolves has the potential to achieve excellent results in the short and long term.

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