Create your own high-performing team

Now even more than ever, the team you’re working with is one of the most important aspects of a company and its survival. At The Talent Institute, we were already focusing before COVID-19 on the importance of a high-performing team and how we can actually create a high-performing team.

A lot of components can make a team high in their performance, for example working with a clear structure or having happy & dedicated employees, and as a company, it’s important to create an environment where your team can thrive.

A couple of months ago I started with doing research on how we at The Talent Institute can improve our structures and ways of working to become a high-performing team.

There are a lot of ideas written on how a team should work together to become a 
high-performing team. Google, for example, mapped out 5 key dynamics that make a high-performing team.

  1. Psychological safety. Team members need to feel safe to be critical, make mistakes, and give each other feedback.
  2. Dependability. There needs to be enough trust between team members that team members do their job well.
  3. Structure & clarity. There is a clear structure in the roles in the team, and people understand who is responsible for what.
  4. Meaning. Team members find their job personally important and understand how their job fits in with the team goals.
  5. Impact. The team has the feeling their job is making an impact on the world.

There are a few things I personally missed within the dynamics of Google. For example the role of the management and the relationship between the management and the team. Also the importance of employee happiness, the importance of personal development, and ways of keeping your employees engaged with their job and the company.

Therefore, I decided to interview our entire internal team and our management, to find out what they think are the components of a high-performing team and what they think we as a team needed to improve in order to become a high-performing team. Interviewing our own employees was really insightful because it showed that everyone experiences the dynamics differently, but it was still useful in being able to highlight things that we’re doing great and of course areas that we could improve.

Based on the research online and the interviews with the team, I was able to create our own 4 pillars of what we at The Talent Institute see as a high-performing team and on what we still need to improve.

  1. Psychological Safety
    The first pillar is focused on the feeling of safety within the team. Team members need to feel respected by their team members and management. Every team member should dare to be critical, give feedback, ask silly questions, make mistakes, and express their ideas openly.
  2. Team & Culture
    At The Talent Institute, the relationship between team members is really important for us. Both on a professional as on a personal level. On a professional level, this pillar focuses on team effectiveness, productivity and trust in each other’s expertise. On a personal level, we encourage a personal relationship between team members and try to maintain a good culture.
  3. Structure & Clarity
    The third pillar of our high-performing team is focused on how we work together as a team. It’s focused on our structures, the way we set goals, our responsibilities & alignment, the organizational structure, and our performance reviews.
  4. Meaning & happiness
    The last pillar is focused on the intrinsic motivation of every individual in the team. By making sure employees have the feeling of autonomy, mastery, and purpose they will have high motivation and therefore are more productive. Within this pillar, we also focus on the wellness of the employees, the feeling of recognition, and the feeling that we as The Talent Institute are making an impact on our talents and clients.

What do we do with it?

Based on our pillars, we measure our team on a regular basis on their experience, what we’re doing great, and what we can improve. This is our employee engagement survey, and it helps us to have happier employees, better structures, and therefore a high-performing team.

One of the pillars we worked on during the last quarter was the third pillar of Structure and Clarity’. After the interviews with the team and the management, we found out we needed to improve the way we were setting goals, our alignment within the team, and a clarification of our responsibilities. Therefore we decided to implement the OKR goal settings structure. In my next blog, I will explain what this is, tips on how to write good OKRs, and how to implement it within your team.

Now is the perfect time to invest in your team’s intrinsic motivation & happiness, and create your very own high-performing team to carry your business through these uncertain times. If you need any advice on this, feel free to contact Alexandra de Bruijn directly!

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Guest blog by Alexandra de Bruijn
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