Strategies to Create High Performing Teams
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
The African proverb you read just above underscores the importance of teams in any undertaking. 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 business. Here are some strategies you can explore to do just that.
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.
Conduct courageous conversations As leaders, we will have times when we need to have conversations that make us feel icky. These include conversations that tackle behavioural issues and underperformance.
This onerous but necessary task is something that even seasoned leaders often, at times delay or sometimes avoid entirely. Needless to say, a delaying tactic or any form of avoidance will hurt the business in the long term.
So how can we lean into the discomfort of having tough conversations? I’ve developed a five-step framework so leaders can conduct these necessary courageous conversations with their teams.
Shift from disengaged to highly engaged.
As business owners, we wear many hats as we run our finance, business, marketing, etc. Still, we want to make sure that while we do our seemingly endless tasks that we’re engaging our 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 us build and grow our business.
Sometimes, all it takes is to have one highly engaged staff. This person is sometimes your cheerleader or the social lynchpin of your group. She or he is 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 are intrinsically linked with the company’s goals and values, and they inspired each other to be high performers.
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 our staff could see through.
So, you will need to institute a more effective feedback loop for better engagement, performance and courageous conversations.
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.
Retain the 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. In this way, your chances of retaining a core of high performing teams increases.
You invest time, money and emotional energy to your teams. Guiding them to become high performers benefits not only your business but your members as individual professionals as well.
Want to learn more about the strategies listed here? In my podcast Overwhelm To Owning It, I dive deep into these topics and more so I can help you achieve business success and high performing teams.
Until next time, Eat the Frog, Get the Worm, and Be the Bird