How do you Build a High Performing Team?

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At cocktail parties (and networking events) when I tell people I facilitate team retreats, someone inevitably rolls their eyes and relates a teambuilding horror story. Often it has to do with trust falls, climbing telephone poles or being subjected to an afternoon of softball that causes flashbacks of being the last kid chosen at recess.

Teamwork is necessary to nearly every job available today, and it is beneficial to the overall work environment. A study by The ADP Research Institute found that:

  • Being on a team increases engagement
  • Just 16-20% of employees are fully engaged
  • Virtual workers are more engaged; workers who travel are less engaged
  • A fully engaged employee is 20% more productive

One overarching factor also emerged from the survey: working on a team improves engagement – regardless of demographics, work status, or where someone works.

Help Your Employees Learn What it Means to be a Team Player

When did you learn to be a team player? Was it on the field playing sports? In a classroom working on a group project? At retreats or seminars? Your whole life you’ve been told you need to be a team player, but when it comes to your work environment, how did you learn what that means?

If you’re struggling to answer this question, it’s okay! And your team members may be struggling with this as well. All our lives we’ve heard we need to be team players, but rarely has anyone ever explained what that looks like in a work environment.

Many leaders think their teams are working together “just fine,” but in reality they’re creating a false harmony – everything looks fine on the outside, but internally employees are frustrated and distrustful, which ultimately leads to team dysfunction.

Address Dysfunction

Patrick Lencioni, the author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, says it best: “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”

According to Lencioni, high-performing teams:

  • Trust one another
  • Engage in healthy Conflict around issues
  • Commit to decisions
  • Hold one another Accountable
  • Achieve collective Results

Building a high-performing team starts by addressing team dysfunction so that your team can move into these five areas of cohesiveness and, ultimately, high performance.

Create an Engaging Environment

One finding from the ADP study stood out: gig workers are more engaged, especially if they are part of a team. This runs contrary to the long-held opinion that virtual and gig workers are less engaged than their full-time, long-term counterparts. I believe the key to this engagement lies in the environment gig workers create for themselves. They have more flexibility, autonomy and control than a long-term employee.Research has shown that when people feel they have autonomy and control in their job, they are more engaged.

To build a high performing team, create an engaging environment that gives your team flexibility, autonomy, and control so that each team member clearly understands his or her responsibilities, trusts that the other team members are doing their part, and knows the end goal.

Ready to Build Your High Performing Team?

If you’re ready to build your high-performing team, start with our Five Behaviors Personal Development Seminar on July 23. This seminar will help your team develop the culture of agility, collaboration and teamwork needed for today’s workplace. You can register here. Or, if you want to learn more about our team building solutions, schedule a 15-minute meeting with Julie to discuss your team building goals.

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POSTED ON: Team Development