Developing a high-performing team can seem difficult. There are so many factors that go into team performance. What leadership styles should you use? How do you keep your team motivated? What do you do to bring your team closer together? How do you handle team conflict?
Leading a team is different than leading individuals. Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it has to be hard. In this article, you will find 14 tips and strategies to turn your team into a team that excels in all situations. Continue reading to find out how to get the most out of your team.
What is Team Performance?
Team performance is all about how well a team performs together to achieve a common goal. You can have individuals that perform extremely well on their own but when you put them in a team situation, they struggle. This can happen for many reasons like lack of communication, excessive conflict, duplicating each other’s efforts, lack of trust, or many other reasons.
Team performance often makes or breaks a work area or business. Therefore it can make or break you as a manager. You as the team leader are responsible for the success and failures of your team.
Tips for Exceptional Team Performance
1. Set a Clear Vision to Give the Team Purpose
How do you see the future of the team? Communicate your vision to the team. A great way to communicate your vision is by creating an exciting vision statement. A good vision will inspire and motivate both you and your team.
2. Use SMART Goals to Guide the Team
SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. These types of goals are great for guiding your team. Just like your vision, the goals of the team need to be communicated to your team. Click the link to learn more about creating SMART Goals.
3. Understand Team Member Roles to Know How to Utilize People
Each member of the team should have a purpose. Think about what each person’s role on the team is. Many times members of the team take on roles naturally but sometimes it’s up to you as the leader to specify what each team member’s role is. Having the right members on your team is vital to the success of the team. Having an excessive amount of the same roles on a team can be just as bad as missing needed roles.
4. Know the 5 Stages of Team Development to Get Your Team to Performing
Pretty much every team goes through the 5 stages of team development. Some progress faster than others but they all go through the stages. It starts with forming. This is the stage when teams are being formed. Teammates are typically respectful with each other but not much cohesiveness or trust exists.
The next stage is storming. In this stage, teams begin to have conflict and friction exists between the members. This is the stage where many underperforming teams get stuck or spend a lot of their lifespan. Progressing through this stage is vital for team performance.
Next is the norming stage of team development. In this stage, teams finally begin to come together and start working well together. The team environment becomes the new norm.
After that is the performing stage. This is when teams are kicking on all cylinders. Trust in each other is high and results are very good. The quicker you can get your team to the performing stage, the sooner they can start producing the best results.
For more information on how to get your team to the performing stage click the link.
The last stage is adjourning. If you come to this stage where a team is disbanded for whatever reasons, it’s still important to know how to get your team through this stage. That may mean feedback, finding positions for people, and ending the team on a good note. Don’t abandon your team at the end.
5. Be a Motivator to Keep Your Team Going
As a team leader, it typically falls on you to keep your team motivated. Not all your employees are self motivated so how do you motivate them? People can be motivated in many different ways like rewards/incentives, having good goals and a vision, and job satisfaction just to name a few motivators. Find out what motivates the members of your team and use it to get the most out of your employees.
6. Choose the Right Leadership Style to Lead Each Person
Have you ever heard the saying “there are many ways to skin a cat”? There are also many ways to lead people. Some are just better and more effective than others. Learn the many different ways to lead and use the one that will work best in your specific environment and situation.
7. Run Efficient Meetings so They Don’t Waste Time
Everyone hates spending 60 minutes in a meeting, where they barely got any useful information. Especially if that information could have been passed on through an email or a quick face to face chat. Meetings can be useful when group discussions are truly needed but try to avoid having any unnecessary meetings. When you do need to have a meeting. Try your best to keep it as brief as possible while passing the information on.
8. Use Team-Building Exercises to Bring Team Members Together
Team-building exercises are a great way to foster cohesiveness and teamwork. They can be done both in the office and outside the office. They don’t have to take a long time. There are many activities that can take very little time and have huge benefits to the team.
Click the link for 10 awesome team-building activities that your employees will love.
9. Utilize Situational Leadership to Empower the Team
Situational leadership is the art of using the right type of leadership based on the situation and the person you are leading. For example, you don’t want to delegate a brand new task to a brand new employee or you don’t want to micromanage an experienced employee on a task that they’ve done successfully many times in the past. Using the right leadership style will help build trust, morale, and productivity on the team.
10. Understand the Individuality of Each Team Member
Managers sometimes forget how each person is an individual. As not only a manager but a leader, it’s important to never see your people as just numbers. They are individuals with their own motivations, thoughts, and values. Individualism is what makes your team strong.
11. Provide Incentives to Celebrate Results
Incentives can range from time off to money to awards. They can be a great way to keep people motivated or push them to have better quality or higher production. Incentives are also a great way to celebrate successes. For example, if your team gets a big project done you can buy them all pizza for lunch. Even these little acts of incentivizing success will make your team feel good about the win and will make them more likely to go for the win again.
12. Diversity Strengthens the Team
Don’t shy away from a diverse team. There are many benefits to having a diverse team. For instance, people from different backgrounds will think differently and this will lead to multiple ideas. More ideas and creativity are important for keeping innovation high. For more information on the benefits of team diversity, click the link.
13. Start Out Small to Not Overextend a New Team
When a team is just starting out it’s important to not overwhelm them with too much. A new team is already trying to build that trust and get to know each other. Try to keep the tasks small and simple to give a new or struggling team some easy wins. These small tasks will not only give the team some easy wins but will also show you what the team is made of. Once these small wins are achieved you can start building on those with more progressively complex and larger tasks.
14. Provide Good Feedback to Improve Team Members
Feedback is always vital in growing your employees. Your employees need to know what they are doing well and what areas they can improve on. It’s also important for you to seek feedback from your employees to find out what areas you can do better in. Feedback can be both formal and informal but for more negative feedback for individuals it should normally be done in a formal way between you and the employee.
15. Resolve Conflicts Quickly to Keep the Team Running Smooth
Some conflict is good on a team because it shows each member has their own thoughts and beliefs. The important part is to make sure conflict doesn’t get out of hand. Even if conflict is between a couple members of the team the whole team can be affected. Excessive conflict can hurt productivity and morale. Step in and help your team get through their conflict when it starts to become too much.
Click here for more strategies on managing conflict in the workplace.
Wrapping it Up
As a leader you have a lot of influence on the success or failure of your team. These tips will help you have greater chances of success and develop a high performing team.
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