The New Zealand team brought 45 medals home from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, 14 of them gold. Most would agree that this was an excellent performance for a New Zealand team performing offshore. It’s hard to argue otherwise because, personal best times aside, the acknowledged measure of performance in the Commonwealth Games is the medal count.
It’s much harder to measure performance when standards of performance are not so clear cut.
From an organisational perspective, high performance can be defined in different ways.
Achieving financial targets is important for some organisations, others say having happy and engaged staff is the true measure, while for others it’s having a supportive and nurturing environment to allow high performance to evolve.
Over the years we have run many High Performing Team programmes and have observed the elements that contribute to a gold medal performance in organisations.
• having clarity on the team’s purpose and aligning each individual’s purpose to this
• having effective guidelines for working together and sticking to them
• defining how the team get things done together and checking in to ensure they maintain guidelines
• investing and developing each other to continually grow the capability of the team
• relating to each other and building effective team relationships
Let’s take one of these as an example.
During a recent client review session, we were pleased to hear that the Altris High Performing Teams programme had caused a significant increase in the area of “how my manager responds to my needs” in the latest employee engagement survey. The time, effort and energy this organisation had invested in relating to, and understanding, their people had made a significant difference to how their people perceived their manager. This had led to a sense of an increased level of high performance across the organisation. This was their gold medal.
Relationships within a team are just one area where you can put measures in place to focus on your high performing team journey. In our experience, people who work in high performing teams that do well at relating:
• put in effort to having a constructive relationship with everyone in the team, not just one or two people that they feel comfortable with
• will be at a level where they trust and respect each other for who they are and what they bring to the team
• will genuinely care about each other and their wellbeing
• will know and value what each team-mate is good at and the value they bring to the team
• will know and cherish what is different about the individuals in the team
• will feel good about being part of the team
• encourage diversity of ideas and opinions and listen with an open mind
If your key relationships are not serving you and the team in the best way possible have a look at the elements above and pick a couple to start working on. Very soon you’ll be claiming your own gold medal.