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4 Tips to Build a High Performance Team

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

This African proverb underscores the importance of teams in any undertaking. In the recent KMPG Issues Facing Australian Leaders 2022, 69% of respondents reported that in the next 12 months their #1 focus was on Talent acquisition staff retention, re/upskilling. Great leaders know that what’s really important is to hold on to the talent that you have and capitalise what you’ve got in any team or organisation. Here are some strategies you can explore to do just that.

1. Turn Achievement to Performance.

When building a team, getting the right person for the right job is crucial. This ensures that they will at least do a good job. As leaders, though, we always want to push our teams to go beyond just good and into the realm of great. If they can make that switch from being high achievers into high performers, then everyone can collectively sustain dynamic energy in the business, which leads to consistent high output and performance. You’re probably quite a high achiever yourself, being a business owner. So, aiming for a team of high achievers and high performers is a good strategy to take your business to the next level.

2. Conduct Courageous Conversations.

As a leader, you will have times when you need to have conversations that may make you feel icky. These include conversations that tackle behavioural issues and underperformance. This onerous but necessary task is something that even seasoned leaders oftentimes delay or sometimes avoid entirely. In fact, the research says we avoid a tough conversation every 7 minutes(!) Needless to say, a delaying tactic or any form of avoidance will hurt the team, productivity and overall culture in the long term.

3. Shift From Disengaged to Highly Engaged.

As a leader, you're often wearing multiple hats. Still, we want to make sure that while you do your seemingly endless tasks you’re still engaging your teams to perform at the best level that they possibly can. It’s important to gauge the level of engagement of each team member and find out what makes them tick because they’re the ones that are going to help you build, grow and progress your work program. Sometimes, all it takes is to have one highly engaged staff. This person is sometimes your cheerleader or the social lynchpin of your group. They are always asking the right questions like “What is it that I can do for others?”, “What can I do for the company?” “How can I help?”, or “What needs to happen?” I once worked with a highly engaged team and let me tell you, the kind of work that the members did was phenomenal. They loved their work, they were intrinsically linked with the organisations goals and values, and they inspired each other to be high performers.

4. Create an Effective Feedback Loop.

Many leaders use the feedback sandwich (positive, negative, positive) but did you know that you might be doing more harm than good with this tactic? This is because many of us are wired to listen only to negative feedback. Further, we generally use empty or even fake positive feedback, which staff can see straight through. Actually, some leaders don’t maximise feedback’s power. Look at it this way, if you can give specific feedback to your staff members then they’ll know what behaviours or techniques lead to good performance. They will then repeat these behaviours or techniques or improve on them for consistent or better output. When I work with leaders I recommend they use the Emotional Bank Account method for feedback. if you haven't heard of that before, you can check out this short video here.

BONUS - Retain Your Most Valuable Assets You’ve recruited them. You’ve trained them. Now what? The next step is to give opportunities for your staff to grow and learn within your business. If you are looking for ways to upskill your staff, coaching as a leader has shown to improve performance by 70%.

Until next time, Eat the Frog, Get the Worm, Be the Bird, and let me know which one of these you'll do first.


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