The Complete Guide to Building High-Performing Teams

Published: February 07, 2023
Last Updated: November 21, 2023
Project Manager in Alpha Serve
Building high-performing teams is the answer to the demand for efficiency in the current labor market marked by rapid technological changes and an increasingly competitive work environment.

The speed with which companies have to reinvent themselves is increasing. For this reason, today, more than ever, work teams are required whose performance is reflected not only in productivity but also in the ability to create environments where the efficiency and development of our staff are in harmony.

Do you want to learn the main secret to build high-performing teams? What is a high-performance team? How to improve team performance? Here we explain it to you!
How to Build High-Performance Team in 2023

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What is High-Performance Team

What is High-Performance Team
A high-performance team is a highly qualified group of people collaborating across functional areas with a shared commitment to achieving a common business goal. Aligned with shared values and vision, this team works cohesively toward a unified objective. Noteworthy for its innovation in problem-solving, the team excels in communication and collaboration, consistently delivering superior results.

The changes that businesses face today are rapid, continuous, and unpredictable. Such a competitive labor market demands excellent results guaranteed in the shortest time and with the most outstanding efficiency.

To tackle these challenges effectively, experts emphasize two essential elements for companies:

1. Managers who optimize their talents to lead teams to incorporate previously irrelevant skills into their practices. We discuss soft developing skills and socio-emotional intelligence focused on boosting leadership capacity.

2. High-performing teams are groups known for outstanding performance, specializing in implementing and executing strategies focused on successfully achieving shared objectives.

So, how can we define high-performance team? A high-performance team stands out for its autonomy, speed, efficiency, and productivity in its performance, keeping these variables in balance for the well-being of the team and the entire company.

Technically, high-performing teams aim to achieve the company's objectives excellently. Their skills not only stand out in collective work, but they have also developed other skills related to commitment and self-directed responsibility.

Characteristics of High-Performance Teams

Characteristics of High-Performance Teams
The characteristics that define a high-performance team are only related to productivity rates and good results in problem-solving. Still, the reality is that more than these factors are needed.

A work team that only focuses on productivity will gradually fall victim to diminishing returns since it does not consider the risk factors that can affect human capital, such as work demotivation, fatigue, and chronic stress. They concentrate on comprehensive growth, with a view to sustained productivity over time and a tendency towards efficient development.

Distinctive qualities set a high-performing team apart from others. Let's learn a few of these characteristics.

  1. Mutual Compromise and Respect

Proficient members within high-performance teams acknowledge and appreciate each other's skills and working methodologies. It fosters a strong connection among team members, creating opportunities for skill development and boosting productivity. The team tackles challenges collectively, driven by shared values and a commitment to delivering optimal results with integrity.

High-performance teams consider the broader picture, recognizing the significance of a conducive work environment for skill development rather than exploitation. Consequently, they prioritize aspects beyond productivity, ensuring functionality, efficiency, and a steadfast dedication to results within the broader work ecosystem.

2. Collective Leadership

It is the trait most appreciated by companies when it comes to high-performance teams. In practical terms, collective leadership is the sum of all the group leaders working towards a common goal.

Every team must have a project leader. However, shared leadership listens to all proposals before making decisions. It uses synergy to calculate the best strategies that involve and commit all members. Collective leadership encourages motivation and strengthens interpersonal relationships by valuing each member, significantly impacting productivity.

3. Trustful Communication

The leader of such a team consistently articulates the team's vision and goals with clarity. A constant and open line of communication between the team members and their leader fosters an environment conducive to constructive criticism and feedback.

4. Unified Purpose

In high-performing teams, members converge around shared values and a collective vision. Operating cohesively, they channel their motivation towards this shared vision and common goal, all the while concentrating on delivering exceptional business results and inventive solutions.

In steering such a team, the leader consistently emphasizes and champions the team's vision and goals with unwavering clarity. A continuous and open conduit for communication is maintained between team members and their leader, cultivating an environment that thrives on constructive criticism and valuable feedback.

How to Measure Team Performance

How to Measure Team Performance
Team performance is essential because it shows if employees complete their tasks efficiently. Companies frequently assess employee productivity when determining how long it takes to complete tasks and whether employees consistently meet deadlines. You can learn more about project team evaluation here.

It enables them to identify areas necessary to increase employee productivity. Productive employees can concentrate more on their work and successfully prioritize their tasks.

Best High Performing Team Models

Scholars have devoted decades to scrutinizing the elements crucial for successful team building, resulting in the developing of various significant theories and models. These frameworks pinpoint the factors contributing to the effectiveness of teams. Presented below is a compilation of widely utilized high performing team models for gauging team effectiveness:

  1. The Hackman High Performing Team Model

The Hackman Model centers on team dynamics and outlines five key conditions for an effective team:

  • Real Team Dynamics
Members are interdependent, with clear team membership and stable interpersonal relationships.

  • Established Goals
Clear, challenging goals inspire cooperation and provide a defined path for the team.

  • Enabling Structure
The organizational structure, behavior, and job execution methods should promote, not hinder, teamwork.

  • Supportive Context
A supportive organizational environment provides the necessary resources, rewards, information, cooperation, and support for seamless team operation.

  • Access to Coaching
Successful teams can access professional coaching and guidance to resolve issues and enhance performance.

2. The Lencioni High Performing Team Model

The Lencioni Model, devised by Patrick Lencioni, offers a distinctive approach to team effectiveness by addressing potential dysfunctions. Unlike other models highlighting what teams should do, Lencioni focuses on potential pitfalls. Recognizing and addressing these five team dysfunctions leads to enhanced team effectiveness:

  • Absence of Trust
Honest communication is crucial; trust issues can undermine the team's collaborative efforts without it.

  • Avoiding Conflict
Evading conflict internally can disrupt workflow and create unnecessary stress among team members.

  • Lack of Effort
More commitment to team goals is needed to ensure decision-making, and leads to missed deadlines.

  • Avoidance of Accountability
Failing to uphold accountability within the team can result in tension and hinder overall performance.

  • Neglecting Results
Teams must remain focused on desired outcomes; neglecting this aspect hampers achieving goals.

Primarily designed for managers, high performing team model assists in identifying potential obstacles to a team's success, addressing root causes, and implementing strategies for improvement.

3. The T7 High Performing Team Model

The T7 Model, crafted by Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger, outlines key factors influencing team performance. Comprising five internal and two external factors, each starting with "T," the model is aptly named "T7."

Internal factors encompass:

1. Thrust: Shared goals or objectives.
2. Trust: Reliability among team members.
3. Talent: Skills essential for task completion.
4. Teaming Skills: Collaborative abilities within the team.
5. Task Skills: Competence in task execution.

External factors include:

1. Team Leader Fit: Compatibility between the leader and the team.
2. Organizational Support: Support from the organization, including resource assistance.

For optimal team functionality, all five internal factors must be present. However, even if internal elements are met, more leadership and organizational support can be needed to improve team effectiveness.

How to Build High-Performance Team

How to Build High-Performance Team
Corporate leaders are all wondering how to keep employees motivated, productive, and engaged. The good news is that we have answers.

Build Trust-Based Relations

Trust is an essential component of all human interactions and plays a crucial role in workplace communication. Communication and coordination with your peers or colleagues will be more difficult if you lack trust.
The following advice is here to help you to develop trust-based relations in the workplace:
ask your team to speak and listen carefully. People are individuals with their ideas that should be beneficial;
express your team's appreciation regularly and often. Use thanks messages, bonus system, and rewards;
encourage your team by enforcing autonomy and professional development;
be honest with your team even when there is a difficult time.

Deal with Conflict Around Ideas

Accept conflicts. It's a natural part of our life, but define your role in conflict situations. Remember that you must separate people from problems and make the conflict productive.
If you build trust inside your team, your employees can produce constructive conflict, and it brings benefits to the company:
a healthy debate about ideas;
an environment of education and learning new things;
learning how to solve issues;
understanding of claims and doubts.

Gain Decision-Making

Healthy and productive conflicts always lead to decisions. That is why turning negative emotions into constructive discussion and solution production is essential.
Nevertheless, continuously improve your decision-making skills:
keep a plan in mind, and don't hesitate to ask for expert help;
set and follow deadlines for project completion;
estimate the value of decisions and let only several choose among;
work through the list of possible decisions and take breaks while limiting the choice among them;
improve your decision-making skills, use your college experience, and analyze it.
You can start dealing with bigger ones when you feel more confident with more minor decisions. Train yourself not to be afraid of responsibilities and consequences.

Support One Another Responsibility

Responsibility is essential in the decision-making process, and it's a valuable contribution of your employees in the company. However, employees expect loyalty and responsibility support in exchange too, and such an attitude improves the team's dedication. As a result, employees who are committed to their jobs perform better.
When you support your employee's responsibility, you benefit:
decreased psychological stress;
high interest in work;
increased team performance;
fairness improvement.
There are numerous ways to support your teams. For example, please provide them with the necessary resources to complete their tasks and assist them. But sometimes, you may create an action plan with individual contributors.

Work for a Common Result

When you share responsibilities, you are ready to share the company's results because working as a team is the most effective way for an organization to thrive and achieve its goals and objectives:
attach company goals to your team and consider how your team can contribute to the company's overall objectives;
timetable a strategy meeting session with your team to set goals that will assist the business in achieving its goals;
team goals are all about allowing the employees to see what they do matters, enabling them to pitch ideas and share which ones they want to claim control of.
Remember that objectives are what you want to achieve, and key results are the checkpoints along the way. So, ​​do you ever alter team objectives during a cycle? If it's necessary, be flexible and open-minded.

Conclusions

High-performing teams are an indispensable asset of any organization, as they can set a company apart within its industry and ensure its long-term success. However, to favor the creation of high-performance teams, there must be motivating leadership and a reference that does not impose.

On the other hand, you must encourage initiative and know how to find the best in each team member. Remember that building high-performing teams is a lengthy process that necessitates strategic design, commitment, and reliability.

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