By Barb Ward
Anyone who has ever worked on a team knows that teamwork does not always come easily and creating a high-performing team is even more challenging. Regardless of the venue, school, sports, work, church, working as a team takes… well, it takes work. Add to that the challenges of the pandemic, work at home mandates, and the transition back to work, and you have a mountain of challenge to climb. However, those organizations who invest in creating and nurturing high performance teams have a distinct advantage. In fact, research shows that teams almost always make better decisions than individuals, which can impact all areas of your organization from customer service to operational profitability.
And, creating a high-performing team is not just a matter of getting individuals to work in harmony. Because here’s the thing. Team members who keep their thoughts and opinions to themselves to “keep the peace” often end up becoming disengaged, talking behind each other’s backs, working in silos rather than as a team, and they generally have a lower ability to accomplish the goal.
Conversely, high-performing teams have developed trust and cohesion. They encourage opposing views in order to come to the best solution, and the conflict that may arise as a result is talked through and dealt with in the moment. This type of interaction tends to energize a high-performance team, enabling them to problem-solve, innovate, accomplish goals, and move forward effectively as a team. Additionally, members of high-performing teams have abilities that complement each other, so depending on the phase of the project, or the task at hand, any given member may be the leader at any given time.
Being part of a high-performing team increases employee engagement, connectedness, creativity, innovation, and productivity. When you have high employee engagement, you will find individuals that have developed trust amongst their team members, have well-defined roles and expectations, have opportunities for professional and personal development, and enjoy the people around them. If that’s not enough to convince you, consider these statistics:
- Teams who exhibit trust and connection show a 21% increase in profitability over their less-connected counterparts.
- Teams that rank in the top 20% for connectedness see 41% less absenteeism, 59% less employee turnover, and a 66% increase in employee wellness.
- 37% of employees said “working with a great team” was their primary reason for staying at an organization even if they weren’t happy with their job.
- Organizations who increase their number of talented managers and double the rate of engaged employees achieve, on average, 147% higher earnings per share than their competition.
- Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%.
Developing a high-performing team takes commitment and consistency, but the benefits far outweigh the effort. If you want to review the characteristics leaders of high-performance teams share, refer back to our previous blog: You Can Do it, Yes You Can! Your hard work now is sure to benefit you, your team, and your organization for many years to come.