Everyone from venture capitalists to Michael Jordan has praised the value of a synced, talented team. LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman captured the sentiment perfectly when he said, “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”
A high-performing team can have big returns, too. According to McKinsey research, “there is a 1.9 times increased likelihood of having above-median financial performance when the top team is working together toward a common vision.”
There is a 1.9 times increased likelihood of having above-median financial performance when the top team is working together toward a common vision.
ou know when your team is performing at the top of their game when the goal-focused group can do things like communicate and collaborate effectively, navigate conflict in real-time and use their complementary skill sets to continually innovate.
And because where and how we work is changing fast – thanks in large to advances in digital technology – the topic of teams has become increasingly relevant. With remote and hybrid work environments emerging as the norm and more freelancers supporting the workforce, leaders have to be extra intentional about nurturing strong, functional teams.
This primer on boosting team performance offers actionable ways to do just that.
Have a purpose + set ambitious goals
For your team to be as impactful as possible, they need to work as a unified force in pursuit of a common goal.
But it’s not all about the end game. Having clear milestones identified over the course of the project ensures your team stays on track and accountable to the rest of the group. By committing fully to one another as much as the project, challenges are mitigated while the chances of success skyrocket.
To be fully aligned, each member of the team has to understand their individual and collective role while trusting that everyone will own and execute their portion of the project. Make that project purpose-driven too and there’s no limit to what can be achieved.
A team is only as strong as its equipment
Regardless of whether your team operates remotely or in person, they’re going to need digital tools and updated devices to accomplish their work.
The right IT solutions will depend on the specifics of your project, but there are a few universal tools your team will inevitably need to maximise its productivity.
In general, focus on digital solutions that support your team in:
- Mind mapping and brainstorming
- Analysing data
- Automating where possible
- Managing all aspects of the project
- Utilising a variety of apps
- Sharing documents and files
- Staying secure and cybersafe
Collaboration tools are key
As you’re picking your equipment and assessing potential programmes, be sure to spend some extra time evaluating possible collaboration tools.
Invest in hardware and software that make virtual meetings and real-time communication as easy and accessible as possible.
With the rise of remote and hybrid work, collaboration is more important than ever. From here out, there’s no guarantee your team is going to be in the same place at the same time. Invest in hardware and software that make virtual meetings and real-time communication as easy and accessible as possible.
Diversify your team and focus on talent
A diverse team is a strong team. Bringing together individuals with differing educational and/or cultural backgrounds is the best way to add a breadth of skills to your team.
The key is to build teams of appropriate size with complementary talents and attitudes.
Size wise, that’s usually somewhere between seven and 10 people. McKinsey cites research that suggests, “the team’s effectiveness starts to diminish if there are more than ten people on it.” Too big and sub-groups start to form, eroding the team’s cohesion. Too small and you run the risk of slowing the team’s progress.
Top teams also uplift under-performers or help them transition to a different role within the project that better utilises their inherent talents. Doing so typically has a positive impact on morale – and ultimately the group’s performance.
Pair it all with a little mutual respect and individual accountability, and you have yourself a high-performing team.