What makes a high quality team?

June 20, 2016
Elsbeth McSorley

By Elsbeth McSorley 

What every supervisor hopes is that he or she will be the leader of a high performing team.  What every good employee hopes is to be part of a high performing team.  High performing teams get things accomplished, team members keep physically and mentally engaged, and they reach a level of satisfaction associated with accomplishment.

How does a team become high performing and what can a leader do to help facilitate that kind of performance?

  • Set a vision:  Even if every employee is good at what they do, they cannot achieve all that is possible if they don’t each understand the vision and goals they are asked to achieve.  The leader must be the one to help provide that vision and help the team strive toward accomplishing it.
  • Work together: There may be a project in which employee “A” has a great deal of knowledge, so he or she is a natural leader for that project.  The rest of the team will need to understand that that person has expertise and they must have a willingness to defer to them.  The next project might be something that employee “B” is an expert at.  Roles change with ebbing and flowing of expertise, while all team members maintain maturity and work ethic, supporting each member of the team no matter their role is key.  

 So what kind of people make up a high performing team?

    • Hard working:  Nearly everything worth attaining in life comes from hard work.  This counts for work too.  A high performing team is comprised of people who encourage each other, challenge each other, and push each other to work as hard as needed to achieve their shared vision and goal.
    • Interested in learning:  Even the smartest people will find things they know little about.  In that situation, the people on a team who are behind in the learning curve will work hard to catch up with the rest of the team.  They will not expect the rest of the team to carry them.
    • Behaves ethically:  They will share ideas and give credit for suggestions rather than take credit for things they are not responsible for.  When it comes to looking good for supervisors, the work talks for them.

    High performing teams do not have to have promises of monetary rewards to work hard and accomplish the shared vision.  Often they work for internal satisfaction and a shared feeling of success.  Monetary rewards are appreciated, but members of high performing teams do not work hard and work successfully just for a bonus.  Good leadership lets these people know they are not taken for granted.

    These teams are made up of  people who are not afraid of conflict, with management or with each other.  They understand that disagreement is part of the process of working, but they equally understand that eventually everyone has to pull on the rope together, and in the same direction. They put disagreements behind them and work together to accomplish the vision and the goals set forth by their leaders.

    There are many things that are necessary to make a successfully high performing team, but most of the important qualities must be noticed by leadership who will put the team together.  Mostly, a willingness to communicate is the basic skeleton to begin any successful team.

    Learn how to avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings amongst your high quality team with our blog post, The importance of defining the rules of engagement.


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