There is no substitute for great performance. In all industries, from manufacturing to professional services, the businesses that lead ahead of the pack tend to be the ones that emphasize and aim for great performance. There are several aspects of achieving great performance. Great performance can be achieved on an individual level by one person, by a team of talented people, or by an entire business made up of many small and large teams.
Here are five valuable ways that you can improve the performance of your small team:
- Make integrating into the team part of your performance appraisals. Many people thrive independently but struggle to work as part of a team. This can result in great performance on individual projects but slow, inconsistent results in an environment where communication and teamwork is important. Instead of focusing solely on individual productivity, make integrating into the team a major priority of your management. It’s not just skills that matter, but also being a good team player and someone that others can depend on.
- Don’t just focus on team members, focus on the team’s leadership. Even a team of top-performers will struggle to achieve its goals without an excellent leader. Does your team have a leader that sets the right goals and keeps members of the team motivated? Effective leadership means understanding each team member’s role and priorities, then ensuring all team members can work effectively together. It is important to be just as attentive about leadership as the individual performance of each person.
- Set goals that can be achieved on an individual and team level. Does your team have goals that can be achieved both individually and collectively as a team? The best goals are ones that can be achieved as a team, as well as being able to be broken down into small goals that can be achieved by individuals. Create major goals, then break them down into sub-goals for individuals or smaller groups to focus on. This gives your team a major goal to work towars, but one that is not so large it seems impossible to achieve.
- Make sure communication between team members is a priority. Communication is the key to effective teamwork. When people with different skills can communicate with each other clearly and openly, problems that can otherwise hold progress back are quickly avoided or overcome. Is your team designed for open, simple communication? Create an environment in which communication is encouraged and you’ll make your entire team much more focused, effective and productive.
- Keep morale as high as possible by celebrating every achievement. It’s important to stay focused on achieving your team’s goals. It is also important to occasionally step back and view the progress you’ve made in order to keep morale high and team members energized. When your team achieves a major goal, take a moment to celebrate. Achieving large goals not only helps your team move toward its objective, it also strengthens the ability of each team member to work effectively with their peers.
Remember: communication, cooperation and collaboration equal teamwork, and teamwork is one of the important elements of working with small groups of your employees.
Hedley Lawson, Contributing Editor
Aligned Growth Partners, LLC