Expert Commentary

3 Steps for Building a High-Performing Team

When you think about a high-performing team, what comes to mind? Fulfilled employees, lots of revenue, or happy customers? Yes, all of these are signs of success, but just because you are successful in some of these areas does not mean that you have a high-performing team. In fact, many profitable companies have very dysfunctional teams.


Employee Hiring, Development, and Retention
October 2019

The next question you might ask is, if my company is profitable, why does team performance matter? To put it simply, dysfunctional teams cost you money while high-performing teams make you money. Imagine the possibilities—if you are profitable with a dysfunctional team, how much more profitable could you be with a stronger team?

The following are three steps that you can take this year to transform your team into a high-performing team.

Step 1: Audit Your Culture

Hope is not a strategy. To create a strategy to improve teamwork, you must first know where you stand. As with diagnosing car trouble, you know something isn't functioning properly, but in order to fix it, you must look under the hood. Auditing your company culture works the same way. Using objective means, you should measure the behaviors and traits of your team. The resulting data is an unbiased blueprint of your culture. Then, take that blueprint and compare it to the traits and behaviors of a high-performing team. That comparison becomes your benchmark to build your culture from.

Step 2: Assess Who's on Your Team

After you have audited your culture and have a roadmap of where you want to go, the next step is to make sure you have the right players on the team. Perhaps the most important part of this step—and the key that sets an average team apart from a high-performing team—is to make sure each member is in the right position. Simply having great players on your team is not enough to take you to the Super Bowl, they must be in a position that most effectively leverages their strengths and talents needed to reach company goals.

Step 3: Create a Training and Development Plan

Now that you have all your players in the right positions, it is time to create a training and development plan. Start by uncovering the blind spots of your team and then provide development opportunities targeting those areas. You won't be able to build a high-performing team if everyone has the same blind spots. It's important to have variety in strengths and weaknesses to make sure all bases are covered.

Take the time to implement these three steps and you will see more satisfied employees and increased revenue. It's a win-win for everyone! Here are some great tools that can help you with each of these steps.

  1. Emotional intelligence culture auditThis tool allows you to audit the emotional intelligence competencies of your team as well as individual departments. The results will give you the data you need to understand where your culture is and uncover blind spots for development opportunities within your team.
  2. High-performing team workshop—Conduct a workshop focusing on educating each member of your team on what a high-performing team is, how to build and function as one, and how to communicate as a high-performing team.
  3. Team directory report—Develop a team directory report to provide each manager with a summary of each direct report and their supervisor to develop more effective communication and management of their team. This tool helps managers uncover the blind spots of their direct reports by outlining each individual's unique key motivations and providing a guide on the best approaches for managing each team member based on those motivational factors.

Opinions expressed in Expert Commentary articles are those of the author and are not necessarily held by the author's employer or IRMI. Expert Commentary articles and other IRMI Online content do not purport to provide legal, accounting, or other professional advice or opinion. If such advice is needed, consult with your attorney, accountant, or other qualified adviser.

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