Here’s how to build high performance teams

A high-performance team comprises individuals who are highly-skilled and work in cross-functional areas with the aim of achieving a common goal. The shared values and vision of the team are aligned toward a common purpose which gives them a shared vision, resulting in innovative approaches to problem solving that is due to an exemplary level of collaboration and communication to produce sustainable results.

Having a high-performing team within your company can be a motivating and rewarding experience not only for your employees but also for the company itself. High-performance teams are characterised by individuals who strive for mutual trust, two-way open communication, shared goals, exemplary leadership, clear job roles and swift dispute resolution. 

When there is no confusion or overlapping of duties amongst members and each person accepts their responsibilities and workload and actions, the end result that you get is a work culture that reflects improved morale, better productivity, a deep sense of commitment to each other and to the values of the company and a higher level of trust and interdependence between team members.

AstroLabs Talent is dedicated to helping companies across the MENA regions build high performance teams to help them scale. Here are our top tips for building your superstar team. 

Find the right balance

Each team has its own unique mixture of personalities that complement each other leading to a high-performing team that gels together. You can identify the right candidates through recruitment softwares or astute HR managers, recruiters, and talent acquisition members who can help you identify the right candidate and complete the hiring process. Another step would be to have recruits take a technical skill assessment test that can also help you identify their expertise and subject matter know-how. However, beyond skills and capabilities, the temperament of the new hiring has to mesh well with the collective culture of the team and contribute positively to the office ecosystem.

Determine the perfect size

High-performing teams are agile and fast-moving and composed of a limited number of team members which ensures rapid action from ideation to execution. According to a study conducted by McKinsey, the perfect team size lies somewhere between six and ten in order to ensure diversity as well as effectiveness.

Maintain an open two-way communication system

Open communication is one of the most crucial building blocks in ensuring high-performing teams. From failure to listen, to making assumptions to distracting or misleading signals, there are many barriers to effective communication. It is the job of the team lead to ensure that these are eliminated and the team is able to focus on a collective goal.

Let your team members sit together and come up with a preferred communication style that is acceptable to all team members. This will enable each member to thrive as they will feel heard and acknowledged, leading to a happy and productive team.

Ensure rapid dispute resolution

Difference of opinion leading to conflicts is inevitable in any situation where more than one person is involved. Your high-performance team lead is adept at quickly identifying the facts from the narrative and taking proper action to diffuse the situation before it escalates and disrupts the flow of the work. This entails giving each party ample time and opportunity to raise their point of view and then helping them find common ground.

Remember: there’s no ‘I’ in team

It is a hallmark of high-performance teams that no individual member is singled out during moments of crises. As consistent naming-and-shaming leads to feelings of resentment and a drop in performance and productivity among team members. The success and failure of the team are both collective efforts and not down to individual performances. A team lead addresses the team collectively and individual performance appraisals are only carried behind closed doors on a one-to-one basis to discuss performance.

Set clearly defined roles and responsibilities

Each team is made of individual members with specific responsibilities and tasks. In high-performance teams, every member is aware of their specific role in the bigger role of the company and there is no duplication of work. Redundancy and overlapping job roles are weeded out until the team is a smooth-functioning machine that performs its role swiftly and efficiently. You can achieve this by conducting organizational audits through the management team in order to assign tasks and chain of responsibility and to ensure transparency and accountability. This will help you in identifying weaknesses and working towards strengthening and improving the capabilities of team members who are lagging behind and slowing down the performance of the whole team.

In the end, when building your high-performance team, it is imperative that you ensure diversity within the team members and maintain a specific team size. Your team lead also should make sure that there is a constant two-way communication channel open between the management and the team members that provides constant constructive feedback and coaches members towards better performance.

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