How To Build a High Performance Team

Government grants for small business

Small business and government grants resources home
Small business and government grants resources home

How To Build a High Performance Team

Teams just don't happen they are built. The following are tips that you, as a team leader or an individual member, may use to move your team into a higher performance level.

1. Develop a Vision

Identify the challenging, inspiring goals you want your team to achieve. Define how you want people outside of your team (your customers, your peers out side of your team, the corporation as a whole) to perceive your team. Get all team members involved in helping writing this team vision. Formulate this team vision into a team mission statement. Then have your team's mission statement professionally printed and post it in the work place for all to see.

2. Over Communicate

Make certain that your people know what is going on corporate wide, as well as all members know about team both successes and failures. Let your follow teammates know about new products, new customers, new business partnerships, etc. Inform them of everything from changes in employee benefits to changes in corporate mission or goals. The more knowledge employees have, the better they can identify with an organization. If you are going to make an error, tell them too much, rather than too little. Individuals can't feel as though you're an important part of a team if the team leader keeps them in the dark most of the time.

3. Be Approachable

Make certain that your people feel comfortable coming to you with problems. A breakdown in communication can be a death sentence to a team. Even the best team leader can't correct a problem he or she doesn't know exists. Present yourself as a resource. You are there to help, to coordinate, to run interference for team members when necessary. You are a sounding board if someone needs to discuss an idea or a problem. In addition, walk around, ask questions, and show interest and concern. Don't sit in your office and wait for team members to come to you.

4. Build Rapport

Plan a short stand-up meeting each morning before the start of the work day. When something changes or when new information of interest arrives keeps your people informed. Make certain your people have not only all of the information they need to perform their current jobs, but enough to look ahead and anticipate future opportunities for the team as a whole. Give your team members a feeling that they are ahead of the industry curve. Have occasional informal off-site meetings away from the work place. Encourage team members to enjoy themselves and get to know one another at these meetings.

5. Fully Delegate

You may well be the expert in your field. Perhaps, no one else in your entire team knows as much as you do. But, it is time to start respecting and using the expertise of your team players. A high performance team has members who can assume responsibility and make decisions independently. To do this effectively, they must be allowed the opportunity to learn by doing. People respond in amazing ways when they are given control over the work they do. If asked, most employees can provide several suggestions on how to improve workflow. The more control you give your people over their own areas, the more ownership they will feel, the more interest they will have, and the harder they will try to do a good job.

6. Lead by Example

You can't motivate a team to feel good about their work if you, as their leader, don't. Similarly, team members won't feel ownership or go the extra mile if you don't. You must set an example by demonstrating passion about your work and displaying confidence in the team to do a good job.

7. Provide Feedback

Be sure to tell your people how they are doing in as timely manner -- not 6 months after the fact. There are no stronger modifiers of behavior than immediate positive or negative reinforcement.

8. Offer Rewards

Consider non-monetary awards such as; public acknowledgement, increased responsibility, status, titles, work space, special parking place close to the door, etc. Keep in mind to praise your people in public and discipline them in private.

9. Encourage Growth

Encourage your people to develop personally and professionally. Suggest training programs, books, seminars, workshops, courses, and journal articles they can read to eliminate weaknesses and fine-tune strengths.

10. Celebrate Accomplishments

Share good news. Have a party. Make noise about it. Let everyone know when the team or a team member does something really noteworthy. Give team members personal "at-a-boys," so long as they are sincere. Keep the criticisms to a minimum.





Words That Limit Your Success

1. When I..

Uh huh.

2. If I can do x, then Y will result...

Big if.

3. It should...

Yeah, it should, but WILL IT?

4. I could...

Yes, but WILL YOU?

5. If I could just...

Nah, it ain't that easy.

6. Done deal...

It ain't really done until the client's check has been cashed and the services/goods have been delivered.

7. We're very close...

Close to what, reality? Dream on.

8. If only...

If only pigs fly.

9. If you'd just support me...

Support yourself.

10. No one understands what I am trying to do...

Very likely, but that means you're really an entrepreneur. If they DID understand, you wouldn't have much to offer, then, would you?


Copyright © Small Business And Government Grants Resources. All rights reserved.