What makes a high performing team? Why do some teams achieve goals and higher levels of productivity while other teams dissolve into a group of bickering dysfunction? Organizations and leaders need successful teams to complete projects, manage a department, work cross-functionally, launch products, develop new strategies and processes, and numerous other reasons. And when teams don’t perform well, then the whole department and company suffer the poor results.
Turn your dysfunctional teams into high performing teams by following these 4 best practices and remember them with this simple phrase: Double Team.
One of the most consistent issues I’ve found when working with dysfunctional teams is a clear lack of trust. Team members may not trust the team leader, the leader may not trust the team, and team members may not trust each other. When there is no trust on a team, people are less motivated to complete assignments, less likely to work together in a collaborative manner, and lack the desire to see others succeed. Target Trust on your team by focusing on gaining feedback and creating more open communication. Ask for confidential feedback from your team regarding what is working well, what isn’t succeeding, and how they suggest things change. Communicate to your team the results of the feedback and how you plan to change performance for the better. Once a more open communication environment has been established, you will be able to encourage a more collaborative team atmosphere.
Establish & Engage
Even if your team has been together for a long time, it’s never too late to Establish and Engage your team members on a set of common goals, vision, expectations, and clear roles. Aside from team trust, the next largest reason why team dysfunction exists is because there is an absence of understanding the following:
- Common vision
- Team goals
- Roles and responsibilities of each team member
- Expectations for the team
It’s often too easy to believe that everyone is on the same page when they’re not. Team members may be reluctant to ask questions or clarify roles out of fear or lack of trust. By establishing these areas, team members will clearly understand what they are doing, why they are doing it, who is responsible for what, when actions are necessary, and how to achieve team success.
Action Steps for Accountability
Once clear roles are established, turn your focus to Action Steps for Accountability. What effective processes are in place to ensure team members are following through on their responsibilities? How will the team hold each other accountable to increase team success? Develop an effective process for continually monitoring and evaluating progress towards goals, confirm commitment, and adjust performance or responsibilities when necessary. When every team member know what is expected of them, the consequences if goals are met, and steps to take when additional help is needed, it raises the standard of accountability for everyone and goes a long way towards creating a high performance team.
As the team leader, it is your responsibility to Motivate your team Members. You need to set the tone for the team by showing the standard of respect, credibility, accountability, and responsibility you expect from your team members. You can’t expect your team members to be responsible, respectable, and accountable when you fail to model that behavior. Another way you can motivate your team members is by remembering to recognize and reward their efforts. Take the time during team meetings to acknowledge when goals are met, reward hard work, and appreciate the effort your team is making to be successful.
Turning a dysfunctional team into a high performing workplace team isn’t hard to do, but it does take some time and effort on your part as team leader to initiate the change. By following the “double team” 4 best practices of high performing teams, you can lead your group to become the exceptional standard by which others want to emulate.