How to Build a High Performing Team

Building, inspiring and sustaining a great team takes time and energy. It’s very rewarding, both for the team members, leadership and the wider organisation as a whole. Here are our top 9 tips to help you with yours – and please let us know if you have any others you’d like to share – just comment at the end of the post.

(Read time : 5 mins)

1). Choose your direction

Teams without a clear purpose are like a car without a steering wheel. In facilities management in particular, it’s crucial that both you and your team understand how you impact on the wider organisation. You need a thorough knowledge of the business’s objectives, and to know exactly how your team will help in their achievement.

Action: Provide your team with direction and purpose. Outline the objectives of the organisation and how that impacts on FM delivery; detail the team objectives and the specific roles of each individual. Then regularly repeat and update as necessary so that everyone is pulling in the same direction.

2). Understand that teams ebb and flow

Any change – be it to responsibilities, the addition/loss of staff, or new ways of operating – may result in teams, that have previously been well-functioning, sometimes losing their focus or understanding their purpose. When this happens, you may need to revisit and re-clarify roles, purpose and process.

Take the time to listen to any concerns or problems that your team raise, so that you can act swiftly and keep everyone on track.

Action: Take the lead in defining your team’s roles and responsibilities early on, but revisit them regularly and listen and act on what your team is saying and how they are acting.

3). Recruit well

Be clear about each role in your team and then recruit the people that are not only the best fit technically, but also most closely mirror the values of your group. For example, if teamwork is critical, hire people that flourish in team environments, rather than those that prefer to work independently.

Action: Then develop them. Give your team the support that they need as individuals to perform at a high level. This may be training, coaching, mentoring, or simply close management. Knowing your people, their strengths and how they work most effectively, are keys to great management.

4). You’ll get more out of your team if you understand what drives them

Without wanting to pigeonhole people, they tend to fall loosely into one of four categories in the workplace:
1. Success- and status-driven
2. People-driven
3. Recognition-driven
4. Process-driven

There are many different psychometric tools available to identify ‘types’, but if you simply take the time to observe, ask them and use common sense, it won’t take long to understand how people want to managed, communicated with and involved.

5). Team ground-rules

Establish your team-specific ‘ground-rules’ – the unwritten norms that guide how work gets done in your team. These might include agreeing a forum for how the team can make suggestions for improvements; and how communication will work amongst team members.

Action: Take some time to think about how you want your team to interact and communicate and then agree with them how that will work. Do it as soon as you can so that your people know what to expect and what your standards are.

6). Communicate consistently

Consistent communications is vital in developing a well-functioning team. The key here is ‘consistency’. There’s nothing more frustrating than a manager who behaves inconsistently with different team members, or with individuals on different occasions.

7). Don’t run energy/morale sapping meetings

Here are some top tips to get the most out of your team meetings:
1. Only call a meeting if you have a clear reason for doing so.
2. Ensure that every single person in attendance is there for a reason and that they understand their specific role.
3. Before you end the meeting, capture and review outcomes and agreements, along with the responsible parties.
4. Discuss timeframes for the completion of action items, and review next steps.

8). Give your team time to reflect on what is going well

Too often, we focus only on problems, and yet taking some time to think about what is going well can do wonders for morale. In almost all of the meetings that I run, I start by asking the participants to take tell the group about something that’s gone really well recently, something that made them feel appreciated or happy to be at work. I call them ‘sparkling moments’. This always had a very positive effect on the team and puts everyone in a good mood.

Action: Encourage your team to find their ‘sparkling moments’ and help them to feel part of a team that supports the softer side of personal development.

9). Create a collaborative team environment

Build a collaborative environment where every member’s strengths and talents are utilised and appreciated. Whether at a fixed period during monthly staff meetings, or at the annual retreat, allow some time for your team to bond and reconnect with one another as well as you. If it’s at your regular team meetings, order in pizza so people know the mood has shifted to something more social.

Listen out for concerns and frustrations, and to the extent possible, empower them to own the solution.

Action: you don’t need to start doing this, you should be doing ALL of it ALL of the time! List down what you will do to make it happen, now.

Good luck! And please, comment down below with your thoughts.


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