High performing teams

Key tips to build and manage high-performing teams

High performing teams are not created when you just put together a few skilled people to work together. Hiring is just the beginning. Teams become high-performing when you manage them effectively post their hiring. 

This responsibility naturally falls on the leaders and the team managers. From meeting the expectations of the employees, aligning employee goals to that of the team, and to simply grow together.

Every manager has a unique leadership style. However, there are a few basic hygiene practices which are sure to assure good results.

We talked about this and more with our guests in The Shape of Work podcast. These guests include experts in the HR fraternity. Let’s go through what they have to say about creating high-performing teams.

Common leadership mistakes made while managing a team

As Stephen Bates (Co-founders of Tech Leaders) mentioned, leadership mistakes can take a toll on the productivity and wellness of the employees. It can disrupt the engagement level of the organization.

“The key is to align the organization’s goals with those of the employees.”

The key is liberty 

The one thing that employees value the most is liberty. Managers have to allow them to work with liberty. In Tushar’s (Principal Product Manager at Walmart) words, management ego is the ‘recipe of cultural disaster’. 

Cooperating with the expert in the role is mandatory.

Why is maintaining a feedback process a priority 

A manager’s duty is to become a better coach. A culture of feedback is a necessary constituent of your management strategy, especially while working from home. Feedback process should be conducted at least every 3 or 6 months. 

“The manager should focus on the consistency and productivity of employees. The manager and the employees should build a one-to-one relationship.”

Adam Stonehocker, Head of Sales at Gemini

According to Krishnan, (Chief Business Officer- SEA, Redbus.com, & Head- Perf Marketing) the solution is continuous feedback: At Redbus, conduct a regular process of asking employees certain questions at regular intervals to make them feel empowered. These questions can be around whether they feel valued, if their team considers their opinions, etc.

These questions can change from time to time but the goal remains the same- employee’s self-respect, contribution, how valued they feel, etc. Through these steps, employees can open up about things they aren’t comfortable talking about with their managers.

Give employees the voice they need

What are the basic yet key necessities of a good team? – Collaboration and problem-solving.

“It is necessary to give the team members wings to fly to come out with original ideas.” 

Sandip (Founder & CEO of Experience Commerce) shares a few effective team-building practices that they follow:

  • The manager should listen to each team member’s suggestions and opinions. A different idea can arise from anywhere and be a hit in the future.
  • Encourage team members to pursue creative and innovative ideas. They should be available for financial and emotional support in the starting stages of innovation.
  • Top management is not afraid of a risk-taking path and can take ownership of whatever outcome is generated.

See how they’d solve a problem

“The work of the manager is to manage and the work of the leaders to enable.”

Ambica Chaturvedi, SR Director and Head of HR, Ashoka University

You will be elated to see your team learn, grow, and be able to take responsibility and ownership. But how can we ensure this growth? 

One simple key aspect is to give challenging assignments to your employees and test how they resolve the issue.

Ambica mentions that there are various ways in which you can manage your team- it is not a “one size fits all” approach. Each employee demands a different management approach in order to be motivated. Team’s success is equivalent to the managerial skills of a leader.

Without alignment, there’s no performance.

If your company’s goals are different from that of the employees, you will not be able to reach your target. Hence, the first step is to lay a foundation of a culture that integrates both the employees’ and the company’s target and aligns them well. 

This brings in more productivity and accountability among the employees- hence, eliminating any sort of confusion.

Also, ensure that you focus on good communication and engagement. Leaders need to engage well with their employees to keep them active and involved. 

The best thing we heard:

“Organizations are mainly about people. So if a company creates the right team and knows its employees, it will definitely achieve success.”

Seema Singh Bhadoria, CEO of Gyan Batao the Learning Hub

Set the right expectations with these employees and you’re good to go.

One format doesn’t fit all

Our guest, Atma Godara (Manager- Human Resources, Netflix), explains to us how especially when you are working with people from different geographies, the expected work culture is the major differentiating factor.

People from different locations have different temperaments, expectations, and set-patterns. A leader needs to be mindful of the kind of people they are working with, and how to lead them accordingly.

Your role as a leader

Leaders have to be all-rounders. From good technical knowledge, industry knowledge, to mastering the soft skills- they have to win it all. 

“The biggest part of a leader’s role is trying to groom the next leader.”

Nitin Agrawal, Director of Engineering at Housing.com

Who you hire is naturally a key factor to the kind of team that you create. Ensure that it is topped with more factors as mentioned above to ensure a high performing team. More importantly, lead with action. Until and unless you don’t follow your own words, your team will have a hard time following you.

About The Shape of Work: 

Springworks started this journey of positive interaction and exponential growth on March 31st, 2021. Today we have 530+ episodes live- filled with knowledge, interaction, and most importantly, the mission to make workplaces more happy and productive. 

Dhristi Shah

I am an Associate Content Marketer at Springworks. I love writing new content that relates to and helps you all (aka my readers).

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