Like it or not, Covid-19 has been a game-changer and in order to continue with our aspirations, we have to look to the future and embrace the challenges, whilst also seeking out the opportunities. However, before we look at external factors, it’s often worth looking within ourselves and our teams to uncover areas that can be improved.
It feels like a post-Covid workplace is something that has been on our minds for a long time and, finally, we are coming to a point in which we are able to implement our long-awaited plans. As we do this, many of us will be assessing our leadership, and revaluating strategic goals. This includes thinking about how to build a high-performance team – looking at the strengths of our team, ensuring a sense of purpose, effective communication and strengthening organisational culture.
In a post-Covid world, there is a new element to consider in forming high-performance teams, and that is that the majority of organisations are now opting for a hybrid style of working. This means working flexibly, a mixture of remote and in-office work. This article will talk about the best ways to form a high-performance team in a blended working environment.
What exactly is a high-performance team?
A high-performance team is one that collaborates strongly with one another to deliver the best results for their business. In the real world, an example of this could be when teams disagree but are able to work through their differences in a positive, supportive and effective manner. The team will all have skills and roles which complement each other, with each member bringing a high level of value to the organisation.
A high-performance team will have:
- Well-defined goals: each member of a top-performing team will have the same clear vision for the business and the goals they are striving to achieve.
- Clear roles and responsibilities: a high-performance team will be organised. For this to happen, each person needs to know exactly what is expected of them.
- Common purpose and shared values: the team will share values they believe will strengthen the business.
- Transparency and communication: a high-performing team needs to communicate effectively in order to achieve their shared goals and every team member must be aware of all relevant information.
- Professional development opportunities: the team will be offered the chance to develop their skills, keeping them excited and eager to keep working towards their professional goals.
How can you build a high-performance team?
Build a shared sense of purpose and goals
Form goals that are challenging but realistic. To achieve this, it can be useful to develop SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, results-oriented and time-bound) as this method of forming goals ensure they are achievable and that progress towards them is followed and assessed carefully.
In a high-performing team, it is important the team are given the opportunity to offer their input in forming these goals. This ensures that they are targets the team feel passionate about which encourages high levels of interest and effort.
To ensure a well-defined set of goals across the team, it is important to articulate exactly what those goals are. It is useful to reiterate them regularly in team meetings to ensure all members are clear of what they are working towards.
Have an awareness of each team member’s strengths and weaknesses
Being mindful of your team’s talents and their individual working styles is extremely useful in order to assign the right responsibilities to the right people. This will create higher levels of the organisation across the team as each employee will be clear of, and will be talented at, the roles and responsibilities they have been assigned.
To discover your team’s talents, it is important to talk to them about their interests and areas of expertise. It could also be useful to conduct tests such as the Myers Briggs personality test to understand the best ways to work and collaborate with your team.
Communication is key in a high-performing team and programs such as Slack can help your team to communicate quickly and freely with one another. This ensures the whole team is aware of key developments and strengthens the organisation.
Encourage Team Growth
A growth mindset is crucial to high-performance teams as they will always have a belief that they can grow and improve. It is beneficial for the team to be provided with professional development opportunities which will inspire them to continue improving in their roles.
More specifically, how can I form a high-performance team in a blended working environment?
Along with the above, more traditional, methods of building a high-performance team, it is important to acknowledge the changes to our working environments which were triggered by the pandemic.
Although it is easy to feel negatively about the pandemic, there are many positive changes to our working style that have taken place during the past year. One of these positive changes is blended working. Blended working can act as a positive tool to forming a high-performance team because team members will always perform best when they are working in an environment that suits them. Whether that is mainly in the office or mainly at home, working in an environment that is personally optimal for them is an option that is now commonly available to teams.
To optimise this new way of working for high-performance teams, there are three things key areas that should be focused on:
- Trust: in a blended environment, it is key for each member of the team to trust that one another are working optimally. Trust can be built by sharing information freely and fairly. It is also important for the team to check in on each other’s mental wellbeing to ensure that the team are in a mental space to perform at their best first and foremost.
- Connection: in flexible working environments, it is rare for the whole team to be physically in the same place at the same time. It is, therefore, more crucial than ever to make sure that there is not a communication breakdown – this can be done by having regular team check-ins and consistent communication through programs such as Slack.
- Performance standards: although it seems obvious, a high-performance team must remember that high-performance is expected of them. A top-performing team will aim to push itself further each time they achieve a goal. To do this, each employee should be regularly reminded of the organisation’s mission and the purpose of their projects. Challenging the team to set goals that push themselves will naturally encourage innovation throughout your business.
Taking chances in our working environment in our strides is ultimately something that will act as a catalyst to the creation of high-performance teams. It is becoming more and more evident that blended working is here to stay, and the businesses that use it as a tool rather than resisting change are the ones that will adapt and evolve into the top-performing organisations.
Remote Work Is Here To Stay. Three Keys To Building High-Performing Virtual Teams | Forbes
High-Performing Teams in the Post-COVID Workplace | IMSA Search
Creating a Post Covid-19 High Performing Team Culture | The Success Factory