Watching high-performance teams at work is a thing of beauty. Harry, Hermione and Ron; Megan and Harry; Cap, Iron Man, Black Widow and the rest of the Avengers; Bey and Jay-Z; the 2019 South African World Cup rugby team - those are squad goals. Sure, a few of those are fictional, but you get what we mean. When it works, it works.
The question is, what makes it work?
What is the magic ingredient that takes a group of two or more individuals and merges them into an unstoppable force of pure awesomeness?
To get some inspiration on building high-performance teams for enhanced business productivity, we looked to a few high-performance teams around the globe to see what they were doing. Here are 7 insights we gained from actual high-performance teams:
1. Hire for culture fit first and foremost
Companies like Treehouse go out of their way to foster a culture of inclusion and flexibility, and are able to allow most of their team members to work remotely. As such, they take great care to hire for culture fit and to help their employees feel connected even though they don't see each other face to face all that often. Workers use platforms like Slack to communicate and are trained in effective meeting techniques, so web conferences are kept short and snappy.
2. Drive work-life balance from the top down
Rustic Cuff is a jewellery manufacturer and distributor that fosters employee loyalty by offering a work environment that promotes a healthy work-life balance. CEO Jill Donovan believes in nurturing her employees and says that she works best when her employees are joyous in their positions. "I’ve found that when employees don’t have to choose between work and home their loyalty is beyond what I could ever ask for otherwise," she says.
3. Promote a collaborative culture
Arts Council England succeeded in unifying a variety of regional boards to a cohesive whole that streamlined the organisation substantially. They believe that by giving employees the ability to share their skills and tap into a vibrant cross-departmental culture, they support the formation of valuable partnerships that drive the success of their organisation.
3. Recognise and reward good work
Entities like the NY Presbyterian Hospital realise that they need to take care of the workers who take care of their patients. To this end, they focus on rewarding outstanding work and showing appreciation for their employees' dedication to their patients. They underpin this culture of respect and passion by providing employees with access to upskilling opportunities, tuition reimbursement programs, etc.
4. Don't forget to have fun
As pioneers of digital trust and safety space, Sift Science helps more than 34,000 sites and apps to navigate the fine balance between growing revenue and protecting their business. CEO and co-founder Jason Tan believes the toughest problems are most easily fixed when a team has fun together and are open to learning from one another. As such, they take great care to instil a sense of humour in the workplace, and their leaders focus on making everyone feel comfortable in group communications.
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5. Embrace diversity and inclusion
APT (Applied Predictive Technologies), a leading cloud-based analytics software company, is proud to feature a diverse team of individuals from a broad spectrum of backgrounds. This, they believe fuels innovation and as such it has been a top priority to source a variety of employees from all walks of life to form a part of their team since the inception of the business. They create ample opportunities for connection, allowing for organic connections and ensuring that office camaraderie is not only reserved for the most outgoing employees. Professional development and training opportunities also abound, and diversity groups like APT Pride and APT Latin Network lay the groundwork for inclusivity.
6. Focus on talent retention
If there is one thing that can derail a positive business trajectory very quickly, it’s talent churn. A high employee turnover is not only a drain on company finances, it also looks very bad for prospective jobseekers. As such, forward-thinking businesses like Alliance Solutions Group take great care to create a company culture that keeps their star players around. Group CEO Aaron Grossman says they believe an optimised culture is directly linked to their company's ability to attract and retain top employees. As such, they foster a family-style environment that nurtures talent and promotes their core values of taking responsibility for outcomes and choosing courage over comfort.
There you have it - 7 top strategies that have allowed real-life businesses to build effective teams. Take a page from the playbook of the greats and see how it works for your business! At the very least you'll shake things up and create a more dynamic working environment, and if it works, well, then you've set yourself on the path of operational excellence my friend.
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