How To Build A Trophy Winning High Performance Team

The 5P's of High Performance Teams

Well-integrated and High Performance Teams (HPT) can act as a force multiplier as delegation of tasks to such teams result in a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts, thus providing a competitive edge to the firm.

According to a Gallup survey teams with high levels of employee engagement experience up to a rise of 22% in profitability and 21% higher productivity compared with workgroups having low levels of engagement. The organizations with such workgroups experience a reduction in turnover by 65% and the customer ratings increase by as much as 15%...

Building a High Performance Team is a complex and daunting undertaking, as it requires finding the right people, creating a high trust environment, and clarifying roles and responsibilities’ structure. Mark Miller in his book ‘The Secret of Teams’ says successful teams develop and enjoy esprit de corps; it’s the “secret sauce” of high performance teams; the essential ingredient. “This is the heart stuff.” Such teams typically share several distinguishing characteristics; including sense of ownership and self generated commitment, effective decision-making, superior levels of participation and collaboration, problem resolution attitude that focus on positive outcomes, and a culture of mutual support.

Considering the uniqueness of this talent pool, the first challenge facing any employer looking to build a trophy winning, high-performance team, is determining exactly how to bring together and engage the right people. The secret to getting the synergetic team is following the 5P’s of building a High Performance Team:

  1. PURPOSE of developing the High Performance Team
    The step 0, as we can call it, is actually the most critical, as it acts as the deciding factor for the rest of the building process. Before we start with the hiring process, we need to figure out the basic purpose of the High Performance Team. You can’t put your top performing teams on every job at hand. There has to be mission-critical tasks that you save for them. Members feel a sense of commitment towards the team, with a clear compelling purpose. “People will work for a paycheck but die for a cause, and that best captures the power of vision in engaging team members”, MacDonald avers. A common/shared goal not only calls the team together but also holds it together during the inevitable turbulence that is often experienced in the journey. The code cracker here is to create an alignment between individual behavior, team goals, departmental goals and organizational goals.
  2. POOLING the right people
    Recruitment is not rocket science but it can be just as hard and critical. It’s easy to recruit the wrong person, and it’s even easier to build a team that performs poorly. Candidates should only be recruited if they fit the job description, align with your organization vision for how the team will work together. Take your time and be choosy with hiring. Use your intuitive and snap judgements. Introduce them to high-performing staff you know of and get their feedback. Finding the right people — the true high performers who will be critical to your accelerated growth plan — means finding people who will hit the ground running. Similar to F1, these are people who show a natural ability and talent in their field, have a strong ability to lead others, and are determined to succeed no matter what.
  3. PARTICIPATE to develop trust
    High Performance Teams achieve greater levels of innovation, resourcefulness and commitment by learning to maintain the level of relationship and trust among the team members. Participation and interaction among team members lead to development of team norms, beliefs, and shared values, giving rise to a team culture. This culture acts as the social glue that maintains productive and healthy interactions and averts destructive forces of dysfunctional nature. Deep trusting relationships, coupled with powerful routine interactions, set the right environment for collaboration, commitments and the coordination necessary to build competitive excellence.
  4. PROCESS
    The work processes should be able to define how the team does its basic work, the type and sources of data to be used, the decision making bodies, and maintenance of knowledge pool. The critical fact to be kept in mind is that the collection and management of knowledge is paramount in fostering innovation. These teams will be generating new Intellectual Property (IP) by learning from mistakes, making new discoveries, and recombining existing solutions in new ways. The teams should have a clear understanding on the communication process and links, their collaboration with other members and groups of the organization, and a handy manual of policies and procedures.
  5. PERFORMANCE METRICS AND FEEDBACK
    What will be the measures of progress, how often will they be used for assessment. Setbacks and breakdowns are unavoidable, but High Performance Teams need to look beyond the ordinary and create new pathways. In such times of turbulence they need the rightitude (right attitude), guidance and autonomy to work with renewed energy and consistency. In such situation, the team leader should deal with the problem directly and effectively, with sufficient data as evidence, clarifying the roles and expectations. Take necessary actions after the performance review: reward, coach or punish. The virtuoso is in rewarding and giving recognition to the whole team and not the individual performance. Develop new goals once existing goals are in the process of achievement, endow with new challenges, and provide tangible rewards and recognition for milestones.

The secret ingredient of achieving success in this super competitive and hyper paced world is spilled. Build a dynamic High Performance Team and get the game going!

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