In my best-selling book, Building High-Performing Teams, I shared principles that need to be in place to have a team that performs at a high level. Each new year brings about new issues and new focus. It can be challenging for a team to maintain that high level of performance every year. How do you get the best out of a team already performing at a high level?
Here are five simple steps to keep your team engaged and motivated to perform even better this year.
- Review the team’s previous year. It’s a very simple concept – what you measure, improves. In order to know how to go to a higher level of performance, have your whole team identify what worked well the previous year, what results were achieved, what milestones, if any, were achieved and what the team excelled at. Here, you are focusing on successes only. You want your team to acknowledge what they achieved and by writing down all your successes, it automatically inspires team members.
- Identify areas for improvement. It is very rare for any team to have everything go perfectly. There are always challenges or obstacles that slow teams down or even cause them to lose focus. Here, you are seeking feedback from your whole team on what they think the team could have done better. In this step, it is important that no one is ridiculed or belittled. Just as the whole team enjoys success together, improvement should be viewed as an opportunity for the team to improve together. Whatever is shared just needs to be captured and view as a potential focus moving forward.
- Clarify the team’s focus for the year. It is important that the foundational things that are working well for the team continue to be in place. That should not change. In this step, the team can select a few things that have been identified for improvement and set them as objectives or goals for the year. One example could be that the team took on too much and as a result, there were many incomplete projects. So the focus for the year may to reduce the number of projects started and concentrate only on the highest priority projects.
- Focus on results, not activities. It’s very easy to get caught up in day-to-day activities and lose sight of the goal or result the team wants. When the team focuses on the results they want, it becomes a lot easy to overcome challenges or find solutions or even short-cuts. This is so important and I would say is one of the main reasons why teams don’t perform well. They get caught up addressing immediate needs and lose sight of the overall objective. When you know the outcome you want, what activities or actions to take becomes a lot clearer.
- Stop chasing perfection. Instead get results. Perfection is the killer of progress. One of the main causes of frustration in teams is not seeing any progress because of everything needing to be perfect. This does not mean that quality of the result should be compromised. Most times, the best way to improve something is to put it out first then seek improvement from either your customers or the marketplace. Getting results is a huge momentum builder. When team members see projects being completed, it will only spur them to produce more and better results.
These are some simple steps that can be applied quite easily to any team environment which will help the team perform better.
Question: What other steps can be applied to help a team perform better than before?
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