On June 27th Hibob hosted an event in Manchester, What Makes High Performing Teams So Productive? The meetup featured three highly respected experts: Aidan Kearney, business psychologist; Ben Whitter, employee experience expert and Viv Parry, performance management expert.
Below, are the key points I took away from this insightful discussion:
1. Why do we need this team?
One of the most important ways to bring a team together is to define its purpose. It’s a huge mistake to only focus on KPIs and outcomes as the only reason a team was formed in the first place. It’s also important to define a team’s purpose on the organisational level.
2. Circle of trust
Managers can empower their team members by establishing strong working relationships with them. Managers who invest in learning about their people will gain their loyalty, dedication and trust in return. Several studies have shown that the primary reason people leave a job is because of their manager. The good news: people also tend to stay with an organization because of how they feel about their manager.
It’s just as important for team members to trust one another, not just their managers. The science shows that trust takes years to build and forever to repair. A big step in building an open, supportive and trusting culture is to empower people to feel comfortable enough to admit when they’ve made a mistake.
In short, high performing teams aren’t just a group of individuals working in silos.
3. Are we really communicating?
The main problem with communication at work is the illusion that it’s taking place when it isn’t.
At the event, we heard the story of a CEO who would ask his people at every company meeting: “Am I still the right CEO for this company?” Such a bold gesture creates an open environment that makes every worker feel more invested in the company’s success.
4. Am I biased?
Turns out, we’re all Millenials. Our approach to work is changing. The shift from siloing to working as genuine teams is making us more sensitive to the problem of unconscious bias. Labeling colleagues based what we think we know about them, without actual proof, is a problem we all must cope with. On the flip side, diversity of views, cultures and backgrounds have been shown to be a key driver of high performing teams.
One important way to combat bias is to check our expectations since they affect our responses to colleagues. And constant communication between teammates is crucial as well.