Truly Doing the Best They Can
Obviously no team will be perfect. The goal, therefore, is to create a "high-performing team":
- In business terms, a team that has the highest possible output at the lowest possible costs given market conditions and the company's policies.
- In personal terms, a group of people who freely help each other accomplish tasks and feel invested in the team's success.
For a better idea of what this looks like—and thus, where your group stands—consider the following characteristics drawn from small group research.
The team has better results compared to similar groups on measures such as:
- Meeting task due dates.
- Quality standards.
- Labor and materials costs.
- Customer satisfaction.
- Conflict levels (internal and external).
- Worker morale, engagement, motivation and satisfaction.
- Meeting management expectations.
- Absenteeism and turnover rates.
- Make sacrifices to help other team members.
- Volunteer for team tasks and do them as promised.
- Praise and actively support other members.
- Disagree openly with the team without making personal attacks.
- Freely admit mistakes as soon as they are made.
- Practice active listening.
- Mediate internal and external differences on their own.
- Keep disagreements within the team unless legal or ethical issues are involved.
- Keep the team up-to-date on information or skills it needs in their specialties.
- Keep the group focused on its values, objectives, and criteria for decisions.
- Handle many, if not all, of the team's administrative tasks.
- Refuse to share information.
- Avoid constructive confrontation when it is necessary.
- Dominate group discussions.
- Talk negatively about the team except with team members.
- Resist or sabotage group efforts.
- Refuse to compromise.
- Put their own agendas ahead of the team's agenda.
- Lose self-discipline in dealing with team members or stakeholders.
- Blame others.
- Hide mistakes.
- Have a major concern about recognition of their individual efforts as opposed to their team's success.
- Giving the team its direction and boundaries, but not telling it how to achieve goals.
- Making sure it has the same resources he or she would want for achieving what he expects of it: people, labor hours, finances, equipment or materials, information, and skills.
- Staying out of day-to-day operations and decisions.
- Encouraging the team to solve its own problems and conflicts.
- Letting the team make mistakes in order to learn.
- Involving the team early and often on all strategic decisions that might affect it.
- Learning the team's rules and following them when dealing with the team.
- Taking on team tasks when asked.
- Keeping colleagues and superiors informed of the team's progress.
Has time to:
- Think about strategic issues.
- Question assumptions.
- Coach others on teaming and technical skills.
- Champion customers, quality improvements, or teaming across the enterprise.
- Take on special projects.
- Perform technical work he or she enjoys.
Before and during team meetings:
- An agenda, meeting notes from the previous meeting (if any) and handouts related to the agenda are sent out in time for participants to review them before the meeting.
- The meeting starts precisely on time—neither early nor late.
- The agenda is followed closely, but allows for new topics to be addressed at appropriate times.
- Meeting rules to eliminate time-wasting are gently but firmly enforced.
- The meeting ends early or on time with all agenda items covered.
- Participants support the decisions of the group.
- Participants feel their time was well spent and want to attend the group's next meeting.
- Actions are taken as a result of every decision.
Contact TeamTrainers today to start your team toward this kind of performance.
What creates a high-performance team?