Action steps to bring people together to perform at a high level.
As organizations have adapted to changes in the world, we’ve adjusted how we conduct business to serve our members. This includes how we interact in a virtual space, what services we offer and how we promote them to members. The changes being made require staff to have new knowledge and skills so they can both meet members’ needs and achieve organizational goals. These changes also require supporting changes in how our teams function and collaborate.
Many teams place a strong focus on operational education that supports individual roles or functional skills—and forego team collaboration and development. In 2020, Brandon Hall Group’s team development survey found that in the next couple of years, 62% of respondents expect a moderate or major increase in how much work is accomplished through teams. Teams will play a critical role in the future of work, and we need to remember that teamwork requires more than simply selecting talented individuals.
For a team to be successful today, it must be more than your standard definition—a group of individuals working together to achieve a goal. The team of today consists of individuals with complementary skills working together to create an inclusive environment in which collaboration, inquiry and action help achieve results.
High-Performing Team Characteristics and Action Steps
As you work with your team to be as effective as possible, review the following characteristics of a high-performing team and identify actions you can take to strengthen the capabilities of your team:
- Purpose. Provides connection to the organizational values and strategy to guide the team towards a common goal
Action: Identify behaviors for your team that do and do not demonstrate organizational values.
- Trust. Demonstrated through character, credibility and competence
Action: Engage in a discussion with your team to share how all team members add value (through character, competence or credibility) and identify opportunities to strengthen this within the team as needed.
- Accountability. Sense of ownership for not only individual tasks but the goals of the team
Action: Cross-train team members to build bench strength and create an understanding of roles and responsibilities across the team.
- Communication. Engage in respectful debate, acknowledge diversity of thought, and provide feedback that enables others to learn and advance skills
Action: Establish a process for sharing feedback within the team at the start of each meeting, highlighting successes and learning moments.
- Adaptability. Open to new perspectives, demonstrates a willingness to adjust to change and identifies opportunities to create efficiencies/innovate
Action: Create space for the team to share ideas and identify opportunities with an aim for making improvements in processes or projects and to allow change to feel more the norm.
Whether you are part of a work, management, project or virtual team, you play a role in building the team of tomorrow. As we continue to do business with teams in various locations, we have to make a conscious effort to engage.
Jen Scheib is professional development coordinator at CUES.