Creating High-Performing Teams

The Expert’s Guide to Create High Performing Teams for Project Managers


What is a high-performing team? A high-performing team is a group of people who are goal-focused, individuals with specialized knowledge and corresponding skills who work together. They also revolutionize processes and develop exceptional results consistently. Project managers can follow these seven steps to create high-performing teams.

1. Choose Your People Wisely

To put together a high-performing team, choose who you hire wisely. Take advantage of professional recruitment software, HR managers, and recruiters to pinpoint the best candidates for your team. You might want to develop a technical skills evaluation test to weed out potential employees who have the skills and knowledge that you need for your team.

Characteristics of high-performing teams include focusing on their size. It’s important to establish teams that are not too big or too small. A report published by the McKinsey Global Institute states that teams containing less than six people are not able to function well because there is less diversity. Teams that have more than ten people operate less effectively, so try to keep your team size somewhere in the middle.

According to research, teams are the best source for developing new knowledge and concepts. Staff members work better on teams, and they support a better range of competent individuals. Teams inspire commitment, control uncertainty, and handle new situations.

2. Develop Effective Plans of Action

High-performing teams use effective plans of action. This includes proper planning and deployment. Effective planning is the foundation of teams that perform at a high level. If your company has ineffective rules, then they are likely to create organizational problems or cause trouble with team members assessing information. Ineffective work rules can also prevent employees from taking useful risks and embracing creativity.


3. Foster Mutual Respect Among Your Teams

Members of high-performing teams are familiar with and recognize one another’s skills and working techniques. This dynamic establishes a powerful connection between team members. It also works to create opportunities for building relations and increasing team productivity. Your teams will tackle challenging projects together, and this will bring about the best results, ones that are derived from shared standards and an overall sense of dependability.

Make sure that you’re setting goals that are designed to help your team function better and develop efficient work habits together. Set attainable goals that are specific. That way, your team will know what they need to accomplish, increasing their chances of being successful.

4. Make Sure that Your Team Engages in Open Communication

Create high-performing teams by making sure that your team engages in open communication. Make sure that you’re stating each project’s vision and objectives frequently and clearly.

Teams that perform at an elevated level operate in an environment with open channels of communication between themselves and their leaders. These teams welcome and use constructive feedback. Be open to receiving feedback about how you’re running a project.

Research shows that teams who work together to accomplish a common objective typically work five times better than other employees.


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5. Maintain a Team Dynamic in Every Situation

When you’re speaking to your team, be sure to address the group as a team. Don’t place blame on individual members. If a staff member remains in a work environment where he or she frequently receives the blame for team failures, then this will create employment dissatisfaction, which can impede productivity. It’s important to establish an environment with shared responsibility.

If a deadline or a goal is missed, then discuss the situation with your team members as a collective instead of individual members. Maintain the collective mindset for your team, whether they’ve outperformed your expectations or fallen short.

Foster a work atmosphere that is psychologically safe for your employees. This includes holding sessions specifically for feedback, offering advanced training, and helping people develop their problem-solving skills. A psychologically safe atmosphere encourages people to get rid of their work personality and just be themselves, complete with human interactions and authenticity.

6. Empower Your Team

When work teams are empowered, they take on an enhanced sense of ownership. This makes it easier and more likely for them to develop new skills. It also increases their personal interest in what they’re working on, encouraging them to make decisions about how to proceed. Aim to create balance in your teams so that there are boundaries, but people also feel like they have the power to make decisions.

Consider structuring your team around organizational culture. This type of culture helps you attain certain goals by inspiring your team members to embody desired behaviors, work ethics, and a collective attitude.

While it’s tough to give organizational culture an exact description, it includes elements like:

• Employee incentives
• Creating a shared sense of action and resolve
• Codes of conduct
• Work habits and emotional reactions
• A company’s story and how people are a part of it

A company’s culture is constantly changing. This makes it a challenge to evolve under a formal program. Implement organizational culture as the foundational structure in which you and your teamwork together.

7. Help Underperforming Team Members Improve

Characteristics of high-performing teams include holding one-on-one sessions with each member to make sure that they are performing to the level that your team requires. Provide development steps when needed. When teams are high-performing, it is because of the people. It’s important for each member of your team to perform equally to achieve goals. If you have someone who isn’t pulling their weight, then this will impact the dynamic of your team. In time, it will cause your company to lose business.

High-Performing Teams Require Nurturing

With these seven tips, you’ll be able to create a team that works together, one with good work habits and high productivity. For additional support and direction, reach out to us at the Productivity Intelligence Institute.