Prepare to Build a High Performing Team
How to build high performing teams is one of the biggest challenges faced by managers. Managers who inherit employees need to invest time and effort to ensure they have the right people on the team and that the team has the guidance and support to do their best work.
There is a high risk of low morale and decreased productivity when under performing employees are permitted to remain on teams.
Managers who inherit employees may need to acknowledge that not all current employees belong on their team or with the organization.
Managers struggle with building high performing teams for various reasons. Too often they are ill prepared to assess and manage performance. In addition, managers often dread handling performance related issues and tend to delay or only partially address less than acceptable performance—at times they lack the confidence and/or the emotional intelligence to do this part of their job effectively. Culture and historical practices also impact how manager’s deal with performance issues.
Managers need better training and the ability to ensure that performance management is appropriate and timely. Given the lack of preparedness and the propensity to avoid performance related conversations, there are steps managers can focus on to help them build high performing teams:
STEP 1: Prepare to manage performance confidently.
Understand your strengths and weaknesses as a manager and obtain the training you need to ensure you are prepared to hold performance related conversations.
STEP 2: Understand employee performance levels and potential.
Assess individual performance and decide who has the potential to add value to the team and who needs to leave the organization.
STEP 3: Connect organizational goals with unit and individual goals.
Learn how to connect goals throughout different levels within the organization. Understand goal setting terminology and how your organization’s overall goals relate to individual goals and performance. Establish unit, team and individual goals using employee and upper management’s input. Determine performance metrics and how employees will be rewarded.
STEP 4: Encourage individual and team success.
Put the right systems, policies and processes in place to encourage individual and team success and make communication and transparency a priority.
STEP 5: Lead the way.
Model the performance you seek, encourage participation and support individuals as they assume new roles or responsibilities. Recognize performance and leverage momentum and early wins.
Work to create an environment that is cohesive and fun. Empower employees to make decisions and improve processes when possible. Employees often have insight into the challenges associated with how business is conducted as well as thoughts for improvements.
Employees that are engaged, empowered, challenged and appreciated tend to enjoy their work and stay with organizations—both of which are beneficial to employees and organizations.
Take the time and put forth the effort to prepare to build high performing teams through proactive performance management using clear goals, transparent processes and consistent communication.