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  • Writer's pictureSteven Gilmore

How to shape a high performing team

In the dynamic landscape of modern workplaces, the success of any organisation lies in the collective efforts of its teams. For leaders and HR professionals, the pivotal role they play in shaping the conditions for team success cannot be overstated. The essence of a people-positive environment, where people can thrive, and become high performing team, is paramount. In this blog, we delve into the key components that leaders and HR teams should prioritise to cultivate an atmosphere where their teams can deliver their best work.

1. People-Positive Environment

The cornerstone of team success is a people-positive environment. Leaders must prioritise fostering a workplace culture that values individuals, their contributions, and their well-being. This goes beyond the superficial perks; it's about creating an inclusive, respectful, and supportive atmosphere where every team member feels heard, valued, and understood.

2. The Power of 1:1s

One of the most impactful tools in a leader's arsenal is the one-on-one meeting. These sessions are not merely routine check-ins but an opportunity to connect on a personal level. Leaders should approach 1:1s with intentionality, actively listening to their team members, understanding their aspirations, challenges, and providing guidance. By investing time and attention in these moments, leaders build trust and demonstrate a genuine commitment to the growth and well-being of their team.

3. Safe Environment and Trust

Creating a safe space where trust flourishes is fundamental. Team members need to feel secure in expressing their ideas, opinions, and concerns without fear of reprisal. Trust is the bedrock upon which strong teams are built, and it emanates from transparent communication, consistent actions, and a shared commitment to the team's success.

4. Embracing Authenticity

Encourage authenticity within the team. When individuals can be their true selves, innovation flourishes, and collaboration becomes more meaningful. Leaders should promote an environment where diversity is celebrated, and everyone feels empowered to bring their unique perspectives to the table.

5. Constructive Feedback Culture

Feedback is the lifeblood of continuous improvement. Leaders and team members alike should embrace a culture of constructive feedback. Regular feedback sessions, both formal and informal, contribute to professional growth and help teams course-correct in real-time. The emphasis should be on improvement rather than criticism, and leaders should model this behaviour to encourage its adoption across the team.

6. Accountable and high performing team

Strive for a culture of high performance, where the bar is set ambitiously, and expectations are clear. When individuals understand their roles and responsibilities and are held accountable, the entire team becomes more efficient and effective. Leaders must communicate performance expectations, provide the necessary resources, and recognise and reward exceptional efforts.

7. Integrity in Addressing Underperformance

Addressing underperformance with integrity is a challenging yet crucial aspect of leadership. Leaders must approach these situations with empathy, seeking to understand the root causes, providing support, and if necessary, making tough decisions. Fair and consistent handling of underperformance ensures that the team remains a high-functioning unit.

In conclusion, the success of a team is not a product of chance but a result of deliberate efforts to create the right conditions for excellence. Leaders and HR professionals must champion a people-positive environment, leveraging the power of 1:1s, building trust, embracing authenticity, fostering a culture of constructive feedback, and upholding high performance and accountability standards. By prioritising these elements, leaders lay the foundation for their teams to achieve and surpass their goals, enabling them to do the best work of their lives.

high performing team


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