4 Critical Factors of Building High-Performance Teams

It’s a fact that high-performance teams are winning teams. Indeed, if you have your top teams working with a common purpose, your business is 1.9 times more likely to achieve above-median financial performance.

Building high-performance teams can seem like an uphill battle, especially in a today’s business climate where productivity is falling. But if you’re ready to start the climb, check out these four can’t-miss strategies to help you build high-performance teams and take your organization to the next level.

4 Keys to Building High-Performance Teams

1. Invest in Leadership Training

Every high-performance team needs a steady leader—that means someone with solid soft skills, like conflict resolution, not just an impressive resume. Plus, communication and emotional intelligence are money-makers, too. In fact, 90 percent of top performers have a high EQ score.

In addition to brushing up on soft skills, make sure your team leaders encourage constructive criticism. Anu Mandapati of IMPACT Leadership for Women and the Forbes Coaches Council, told the magazine that open feedback is a must-have ingredient for creating successful teams.

“High performing teams create and practice an open feedback culture,” Mandapati said. “They provide and receive feedback regularly, regardless of position and tenure, in a way that improves the team’s effectiveness and deepens their relationships. Leaders can set the example by asking for feedback from team members, responding positively versus defensively, and integrating the feedback into work behaviors.”

In addition to encouraging honesty, Forbes also points out that leaders of high performing teams tend to be inspirational and set stretch goals. Which leads us to our next tip…

2. Set SMART Goals That Have Heart

If you’ve spent more than a few months in the business world, you’ve likely heard of—and perhaps even made a few “SMART” goals. The acronym first appeared on the scene in a 1981 issue of Management Review and stands for – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based.

Those are all admirable and, yes, intelligent, qualities for a high-performing to-do list. And research shows SMART goals do help smooth the goal-setting process. But, in recent years, business leaders have begun to point out that SMART goals are often lacking in big-picture thinking or creative vision.

“In a business context, SMART goals can be effective for those focusing on just boosting a number,” noted Pure Food Company founder Scott Christ for Entrepreneur.com. “But for grandiose goals—for anyone aspiring to do what he or she loves for a living, say—the SMART goal methodology has serious flaws.”

Christ instead recommends that for lofty, pie-in-the-sky achievements, (i.e., the kind a high-performance team might set) goals be heartfelt and focused on improvement – not just for the company but for the individuals behind the team effort.

3. Use Team-Based Reward Systems

You might think that endlessly crowing about your top sales person can only lead to inspiration and, thus, more client leads. But consistently singling out high performing individuals can actually cause resentment, confrontation and even turnover of the very talent you want to hold onto.

Instead of only heaping glory and praise on certain rock stars, try a combination of individual and team-based rewards for better results.

4. Focus on Whole-Employee Growth

And not just work-related growth. By now, the bulk of your team is likely to be composed of millennials, a generation that places development at the top of their priority list. Indeed, 87 percent of millennials say its “very important” for their company to offer opportunities to learn and stretch their abilities.

Even if your team isn’t millennial-heavy, the desire to develop new skills transcends generations with 76 percent of employees overall looking for career growth opportunities.

Launch a better training program ASAP

Set your employees up for success and watch high-performance teams blossom with smart, innovative training on a range of topics— including team building – all available on demand. Visit KnowledgeCity to learn more about our hassle-free online learning management system today.

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