In order to make effective change a standard for your company, you have to first build high-performance teams. You can have the best-laid plans but without the right team in place, the mission will always fail. Is doing this easier said than done? Not if you have the right planning, preparation, and people.
Planning and preparation work hand in hand but are two different things. Planning involves outlining the vision, assigning tasks, and going over possible contingencies. Preparation involves knowing the plan but having the skill and foresight to pivot when things take a turn. This ability to adapt is sorely missing in many organizations. Often it only takes one problem with the plan and no one is prepared for what comes next.
This unpreparedness leads to burnout, panic, and low morale. Strong organizations need leaders who know how to communicate effectively and can switch direction when needed. Here’s how to get started building a high-performance team.
Put the Right People in the Right Positions
Many companies promote managers rather than leaders. Without training, tools, and information of how to achieve top team performance, potential leaders stop short at the management level. Managing a team involves coordinating logistics, providing coverage when a team member is out, and delivering on given deadlines. These are all good qualities to have but it doesn’t automatically equal leadership status.
To lead a team is to inspire others to accomplish their goals, empower them to perform their best, and guide them when the road gets rocky. These characteristics are different from those of a manager because they don’t only require skill and experience; they require the ability to connect.
When companies seek new hires or promote from within, it’s important to review what makes them stand out as a leader. Not everyone is made for leadership but many think they want it.
Require Effective Communication
When there is low performance in any area of the company, follow the trail to the root of the problem and you’ll find missed communication. It’s the most important tool we have to help us succeed. Unfortunately, many go through their whole careers not understanding how to communicate effectively. Bad habits get passed on to their own teammates as well as cause disruptions throughout an organization.
Worse, if the manager does not communicate well, this means the employee isn’t receiving the information they need to complete the task. This causes a ripple effect among teams who depend on more than one person to achieve a common goal, as is the case in most companies. An incomplete task can lead to frustration and blaming. Before you know it, what starts out as a relatively minor problem has spiraled into a more complicated situation.
Set the example for your employees for what you expect in regards to communication. Remove any broken links in the system or remedy immediately. The longer that poor communication permeates a team, the more negative of an impact it has overall.
Trust is a key leadership quality to inspire others. It’s needed to problem solve and move forward. In order to build trust among teams, there has to be true accountability. People need to know their leaders can be counted on to get the job done. Every time a team member misses a deadline without communication, creates more problems than solutions, or is disengaged from the team, the trust and subsequently, performance, dwindles.
A team cannot move together at its most effective and efficient rate unless the relationship is strong. Building back trust that’s been lost can take months, if not years to repair, which is not an ideal timeline if you are aiming for high performance. The lesson here is it’s best not to break trust if you already have it.
High Performance Means Higher Success
Leaders must be empowered in their positions, able to communicate on all levels, and have the trust of the teams they’re leading. To build a team of leaders that embody these characteristics, it requires ongoing discipline, accountability, and dedication. Once you have built a high-performance team, you’ll experience change at a faster rate. They can then transform a company for the better.