High performance teams and the people who lead them understand the link between attitude, motivation and productivity. If your team is not performing as well as you would like, you may have a problem in one of these areas. Some simple adjustments can go a long way to building the type of high performance team required to take your organization to the next level.
High performance teams begin with an attitude. This attitude is present through the entire team, visible in the way they communicate and interact. While certain parts of this attitude differ from organization to organization, there’s a common theme in the attitude of high performing teams.
- Accountability: Members of high performance teams take responsibility for their actions and the impact those actions have on the team. They hold other members of the team accountable for decisions and actions as well. No excuses, just results.
- Teamwork: High performance teams stick together. They build each other up and compensate for weaknesses in the group. Members of this type of team help one another and without keeping track of individual contribution.
- Humility: When you are a part of a high performance team you don’t concern yourself with individual credit. You see each achievement as the work of the team.
Proper motivation is the fuel that keeps a high performance team working toward a goal. As a leader, you can direct your team to take action and they will normally follow your instruction. Unless you motivate them properly, though, you will not get the high level of performance they are capable of.
To motivate your team to high performance you must capture their hearts and minds around a particular cause or goal. As the leader, it is your responsibility to define a vision and sell it to your team. The more powerful and compelling the vision, the more motivational it is to your team.
A motivated team is strategic in their efforts and determined to achieve results. They are willing to increase their own personal effort if required and show initiative and passion in their work. They solve problems, sometimes very creatively, and measure success by results instead of effort expended.
When a high performance attitude is combined with a compelling vision to motivate and inspire, the result is peak productivity. The team pulls together to achieve amazing results. Surprisingly, they have the stamina to continue even when results are difficult to obtain. Instead of burning out, these high performance teams stay engaged and find their work rewarding and satisfying.
Creating the Combination
Wondering how to create this powerful combination of attitude and motivation for your team? Here are some tips to help you create the high performance team you need.
- Accountability: Create a culture of personal and team accountability in your organization. Discuss performance in terms of the individual and that individual’s impact on the group as a whole. Work at communication across departments to create a unified organization, rather than one divided by departmental silos. Evaluate performance objectively based on results. Evaluate yourself by those same standards. Do not make excuses for your failings and don’t accept them from your team.
- Set the Vision: As the leader, it’s up to you to set a strong vision for your team. Give the team a compelling and worthy goal to achieve and talk about it every time you have the opportunity. Be passionate and persuasive and link the organizations goals to them personally. Make sure your team knows what they are working toward and understands the importance of their place on the team.
- Celebrate Wins: Reward progress toward the goal. Celebrate wins as a group, considering each victory a team effort. For example, the new customer your sales group lands is a win for the entire organization. Talk to everyone about how the service, integrity, and dedication of the entire team combined with the skill and dedication of the sales person convinced this customer. Acknowledge individual effort, but credit the team as well. Remember, even a star quarterback needs a strong offensive line to keep from getting sacked.