5 Ways to Build High Performance Teams

November 18, 2021

Zooming in on the tasks people need to complete – instead of emphasizing the end goals and outcomes – can suck the life out of them and even create zombie employees. This is why HPWP Group Founder and Principal Sue Bingham cautions companies against setting off their own zombie apocalypse. She says the focus should be on treating each person as a responsible human being. 

It all starts with believing in the people you’ve hired. Ultimately, you’d want high performance teams that are alive and willing to slay goals that mean something to them.

Easier said than done, right? But while this is a tall order for leaders and managers, there are several tactics to help you breathe life into your employees and achieve company goals along the way:

5 Ways to Build High Performance Teams

1. Establish a Common Vision, Mission, and Purpose

Employees that feel empowered to make decisions form part of the basis of a high-performance organization. However, this does not happen by accident. You must take the initiative to provide them with a baseline for managing their choices and actions.

People want a sense of purpose and belonging now more than ever. It’s time to evolve from a focus on your company’s vision, and/or core values and think about the purpose of what you do and how employees contribute. People are more motivated by what they do and for whom. 

2. Clarify Roles and Responsibilities

Too often, managers become prone to developing tunnel vision because they see tasks as stepping stones toward achieving desired outcomes. However, micromanaging tasks can force your employees into doing things out of mere compliance. And that is definitely not a scenario that depicts high performance.

The best way to counter this practice is to focus on responsibilities and outcomes instead of obsessing over tasks. Communicate the end goals you want to accomplish for the company, not the steps.

What are some practical actions you can take to help reset your focus? You can start by being intentional about setting expectations, engaging employees to explore their creativity and passion, and letting them know you’re there for them when they need help. 

3. Set High Standards

Raising the bar is another means of boosting employee performance. And this can be done from the get-go: during the hiring process. In crafting job descriptions, make sure to steer away from task-oriented language and set expectations based on goals.

This should be done at all levels. Let’s say, for a vending machine technician role, you usually say, “Repair and maintain various vending equipment at customer locations.” Now, try changing the wording to, “Maximize revenue for both the customer and the company by preventing vending equipment breakdowns.” 

In the revised job description, you are enabling individuals to see how they’re going to contribute positively to the company’s goals. This should also speak to a job’s sustainability since people tend to stay if they feel they are doing work that matters.

4. Build and Communicate Trust

Having positive assumptions about the people you’ve hired not only boosts morale but also affirms their desire to do a good job. According to Bingham, 95% of employees take pride in their work and care about their company’s overall success. Ensuring that you maintain a positive outlook towards your employees may motivate them to continue or exceed what they’ve been doing.

How do you communicate trust to your employees? Don’t just say it. Show that you trust them. When employees raise an issue, make sure to resolve it. Another tip is to give them autonomy, such as in deciding how they will fulfill their responsibilities and work toward the company’s goals. 

5. Provide Proactive, Inspirational Leadership

A high-performing leader inspires employees to be responsible and excellent while enjoying the autonomy their leadership provides. This kind of leader makes each person feel that their contributions are truly valued. But how is proactive, inspirational leadership exemplified?

Getting to know your employees is a good place to start. This allows you to support and challenge them according to their skills and abilities. At the same time, being open and honest to them about various things, from company challenges to personal performance, should reinforce trust. Of course, engaging them in projects with clear goals is another surefire way to get them more involved and committed to overall success.

These 5 tips were adapted from an article that originally appeared in Tweak Your Biz.

Engage Employees Effectively

To lead high performance teams, leaders and managers should undergo a shift in how they view employee performance. A focus on outcomes and results should be prioritized over tasks. This way, you can maximize the potential of each employee and drive them to work toward  desired outcomes. Your team is more inspired and you get better results.

Improve your leadership and employee engagement capabilities through a strategic, hands-on learning experience with HPWP Group. We have various training programs to choose from according to your needs. Talk to us today to learn more about how our solutions can help you bring about transformation in your organization.