High-performing teams are invaluable to the success of your organization. They are central to exceeding projections, building a healthy work environment, and attracting best in class talent and investors if needed.  It is interesting to note that 90 percent of investors, for example, consider the quality of the leadership team to be the most important non-financial component when evaluating an investment opportunity. While the capacity of each member of your team is important, your ability to ensure they work together towards a common goal is crucial.

Henry Ford famously said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

What Does a High Performing Team Look Like?

A high-performing team can take many forms in different contexts, but the key attributes of an effective and cohesive team are almost always the same. A high-performing team will:

  • Communicate effectively. Team members should engage with one another, whether or not the team leader is around.
  • Have a clearly stated goal. Your team should strive for a goal that is inspiring and attainable.
  • Be united. A high-performing team will celebrate their accomplishments together and work together to overcome challenges and frustrations.
  • Take time off. Your team members will be more productive and cohesive with an appropriate amount of time off.

Powerful Leadership Strategies to Create a High-Performing Team

As leaders, we drive and inspire our team. We seek to create a work environment in which our team and organization will flourish.

The following are proven leadership strategies for creating high-performing teams. They work to build confidence in you as a leader and faith in your organization as a whole.

  • Create a tangible vision for the team. The vision should be understood by each member of your team. Without the full confidence of each team member in the vision, objectives, and goals of your organization, you will never be able to build a high-performing team or an exceptional organization. You must exemplify the vision and team spirit that you seek to create.
  • Appreciate your team. As a leader, you must acknowledge the hard work of your team members. You should offer your team congratulatory remarks when they accomplish a goal and acknowledge the difficulties of their work when they feel challenged or frustrated. The words “thank you” are perhaps the simplest and most cost-effective way to motivate your team members to keep working hard.
  • Solve problems as a team. Few things are more demotivating for team members than to see their leader single-handedly try to solve a problem that the team would be more capable of solving together. It makes your team members feel unappreciated and ineffective. The more minds that are in a room and able to speak freely, the quicker a problem will be solved and the closer your organization will be to its goals.
  • Create a fun and genuine work environment. Nobody wants to feel like a cog in a machine. Be yourself and allow your team members to be who they truly are. Organize events and break up all-day meetings with an activity. Don’t feel afraid to make jokes, but always be careful to use tasteful and appropriate humor.
  • Deal with low-performing team members. Everybody knows the adage “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” A low-performing team member will drag down and demotivate the team. Effectively communicate to low-performing team members that they can do better, and deal with them accordingly if they ignore the chance that you give them.
  • Strive for perfection. Leaders should seek out and expect the best from their team members and themselves. You should encourage your team to strive for the best possible results and to be error-free in their work. While the goals you set should never be higher than the capabilities of your team members, you should set goals that require excellent and error-free work from your team. High goals, high results.

Building high-performing teams isn’t an easy task. Understanding where you are as a leader and where you need to go is a crucial first step to honing the leadership qualities and skills needed to develop, manage and direct teams to deliver the business results you require in 2020 and beyond.

Grounded in East Tenth Group’s Balanced Leadership™ framework for success, our customized Building and Leading High-Performing Teams™ programs have helped growth enterprises and mid-market businesses achieve exceptional results. You can find out more and schedule your free consultation by visiting our Leadership Development For Your Teams page.