If you can lead and coach your team to a level where they are performing to a very high standard, they will be doing great things for your business. A lot of what it takes to build up a high performance team, is making time to coach your team, and being available for them for issues that arise.
Creating a high performance team also counts on you empowering and trusting your team and not trying to micro-manage every aspect of their work. This type of approach leads to mutual respect and will motivate most individuals in your team to perform to a high standard. Creating a high performance team takes time and energy on your part.
You will need to guide your team and lead them effectively, helping them to learn which are the best kind of decisions and which have the potential to cause problems for your business. You also need to create the right kind of culture, one in which your team are able to perform to a high standard. A lot of this is about your behavior.
Your team should be able to come to you when a mistake has occurred and work with you to fix the problem, putting in place procedures to ensure that the problem does not recur. This is about developing an open environment with effective two-way communication. How to develop a team that reaches levels of performance excellence Below are seven tips for how to go about coaching your team to become a high-performance team.
- Set clear targets and expectations for your team
Your team do not know what their goals and targets are unless you tell them. You need to do this in a manner that is clear to understand. This is really divided up into two main areas: targets and expectations.
- a) Targets
Both your team and every individual within it need to understand how they fit into the team and how they need to contribute to its success. This is communicated to your employees and team through clear objectives that are SMART. SMART is a simple acronym used for objective setting. The acronym stands for: Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timeframe Each objective that you set for your team and the individuals within it needs to meet this set of criteria.
Take a look over recent objectives that you have set individuals. Do they really fit all of these? Maybe they had a timeframe but were not realistic within that timeframe. Maybe the target simply wasn’t measurable at all.
For your team to be able to work towards their objectives effectively those targets need to have all of the SMART elements. If an objective is not realistic, the team may just dismiss it as being impossible, or they may try to work on it, but it is unlikely that they will achieve it. If it doesn’t have a timeframe, the team will work on it at their own pace, which may not meet company requirements. If it isn’t measurable, it is impossible to know whether or not the person achieved the goal. If it isn’t achievable, the team are setting out to fail from the get-go. And if it is not specific, then it won’t be clear what the team has to achieve and they may not work on the right thing for the business.
Targets that you set should always be stretching but within reach. Those targets that are out of the team’s reach will quickly be given up on. And those that are not stretching will not motivate your team. With SMART objectives your team will be clear about what they need to achieve, how and by when. This will go a long way towards making them high performing.
- b) Set The Right Expectations
Expectations are to do with being clear about the behavior that you expect in the office, especially in relation to areas such as start and finish times, length of lunch breaks and other breaks throughout the day, how to book annual leave and the process for sickness or other necessary absences from work.
These may be areas where you think things should be obvious, but your staff may have a different understanding, or may have worked in businesses where the expectations were different to yours. Simply spelling out clearly what the procedures are in these areas can go a long way towards avoiding misunderstandings in your team, or having your team make their own decisions about the processes for these areas, that do not work well with your thoughts.
One example of this is that a member of staff might think it is OK to request annual leave just a couple of days before they want to take the time out, rather than giving you sufficient notice to plan for someone to cover for them. To avoid problems such as the type outlined above, which can lead to resentment, it is advisable to have clear policies and procedures for all of the types of issues highlighted here.
- Communicate well and Often
Good communication is critical to the running of a high performance team. Poor communication will ultimately lead to mistakes, issues, misunderstandings, and poor decisions being taken. One of the most important steps that you can take in coaching your team to high performance is being available for communication with them. If you are always too busy or unavailable in other ways, this will not help them to understand what you need and to grow and develop. It also may lead to them believing that you think that they are unimportant to the success of the business.
Finally, you can’t coach your staff effectively if you don’t communicate with them. Be clear with your team when you are communicating. Allow as little room as possible for miscommunications and misunderstandings. Some messages may need to be communicated a number of times, perhaps first through a group meeting, then through a written communication such as email, finally following up with a one to one discussion if necessary. Other messages may only require a brief email or a one to one meeting. Don’t use flowery words or make things sound more complicated than they have to be. This will turn off your team and not get the best results from them.
Be sure to communicate to your team what is important and why it is critical. If you don’t, your team can’t be expected to know or to be able to make effective decisions. Conversely, providing them with all of the appropriate information will help them to be able to do a great job for the business, as they will be making decisions based on knowledge and information, rather than guesswork. Be sure to use communication effectively to also give both positive and constructive feedback where required. If you do not communicate to your team when they have done well and why you think that, they won’t know for sure whether they have done a good job or not.
Positive feedback is also extremely motivating for most people, encouraging them to continue to do well. Providing of constructive feedback through coaching helps an individual to understand where they may have improved upon their performance, enabling them to do a better job next time, so is also essential.
- Be Intentional and consistent
In addition to having clear objectives and good communication, it is important that you are coordinated in your approach towards the work that needs to be completed. If you change the goalposts or priorities every few weeks or even days, your team will quickly become confused about what they should be doing and when. Additionally, if you give them too much to do and don’t help them to prioritize, they may make poor decisions about what is important.
Always be clear and consistent about what is important and be sure to coordinate the plan for the work that needs doing so that your team can achieve success and be high-performing. Uncoordinated teams that receive inconsistent messages stand little chance of performing to a high standard.