Every organization needs its teams to deliver a high level of performance to succeed in today’s business environment. Author Omar L. Harris offers clear guidance on how to hire for, support, and guide high-performance teams.
What are some tips to hiring employees to fit into high-performing teams?
My top tip for hiring employees to fit into high-performing teams is to understand the key mix of attributes that the high-performing team members possess. Look beyond IQ and pedigree and focus on more attitudinal attributes such as work ethic, passion, solution-orientation, and the maturity to productively manage disappointment and conflict.
What are the stages of forming a high-performance team?
The stages are:
- hiring the right W.H.O.M. (work ethic, heart, optimism, maturity),
- effectively onboarding each team member by getting to know them on a deeper level,
- helping them accelerate their learning curve,
- setting clear expectations of their roles,
- building trust between the team members by encouraging vulnerability and open dialogue, and
- crafting a clear mission with superordinate goals that bring the team together to achieve something that no one could achieve on their own.
What are the hallmarks of a high-performing team?
One hallmark of a high-performing team is a level of professional intimacy among the team members, meaning they know each other well both as professionals and as people and enjoy working together. A level of transparency and passion for the work being done that leads to productive conflicts resulting in better decision-making. An adherence to norms that define how every member works together. And an absolute focus on delivering results. The characteristics that make this happen are simply people who work hard, have shared passion, search for solutions with a sense of urgency, and have the maturity to overcome inevitable conflicts and disappointments.
How can senior leadership create a culture of strong teams?
Focus on creating a team of managers who love achieving results by putting their people in their strengths zones and developing their capacity and talents.
Do high-performance teams vary across companies, industries, or geographies?
I've had the opportunity to lead teams across the world in the U.S., Middle East, Asia, and Latin America, and people are the same all around the world. People want to be valued. They want to believe in the mission of their organization. They want to have opportunities to develop. So leaders who want to create high-performance teams anywhere in the world need to be able to tap into these commonalities and work tirelessly to create the condition for the success of their people.
How can leaders help struggling teams?
First understand the source of the struggle. Most issues occur during the team formation and team storming stages. And then level-up their own leadership skills to respond to the challenges of the moment. The best advice I can give is to look to deepen the understanding and connection with each member of the team and by improving each members focus and alignment, you improve the team dynamic by default. Lastly, recognize if the ingredients are off and make the necessary decisions to move poisonous people out of the environment.
What are other things to remember about managing high-performance teams?
Performance is relative and the goal posts must be continually stretched to keep everyone engaged. Also, plan for succession so as people on the team achieve results and receive greater opportunities, the next generation of team members are ready to step up and continue on the mission.