It’s no secret that the most important part of your business is people. When you treat them well, you and your company will reap the rewards ten times over. That’s probably why every manager who is worth his salt asks himself one very important question: “How do I go about building a high-performing team?”
Some managers make it look so easy; we all know at least one. What is it they know that you don’t know? It’s not that they know more, but instead, they utilize different behavior aids, emotional intelligence, and effective communication skills; they also genuinely care about the people who work for them. This article focuses on the six key actions that you can start taking right now towards building a high-performing team.
Know the condition of your team members.
This first action is crucial as it builds trust between you and your teammates. It’s important that you get to know them at the team and individual level. Professionally, it’s important to know how they perform their work. This allows you to notice progress or regression in their habits, and then intervene with praise or correction.
Get to know and appreciate them on a more personal level. As managers, we are often too afraid of crossing a line from professional to unprofessional, which is reasonable. Just take an interest in them as people. It doesn’t get any more professional than that. Make sure you are engaging them on a regular basis as well. They will enjoy your attention and feedback.
Identify with your team.
Identifying with your team is more than just an action or set of phrases you use to feign interest; rather, it’s a chance to be a role model. When you identify with others, you give them the power to be authentic and compassionate which bleeds through every facet of their work day. Provide them with a cause or daily mission for which to reach by inspiring them to grasp at high standards and meet the conditions of the company’s vision.
Give them everything they need to get the job done.
Empower your people by ensuring that they have what they need to get the job done. This isn’t always physical material, either. For example, keeping your people well-informed about the company’s achievements and setbacks shows that you value and appreciate transparency. They need this to do their jobs because it provides a sense of security, no matter the consequence. It also avoids the potential of leaving problems to fester at the watercooler chatter.
And, since variety is the spice of life, make sure you are offering the same when building a high-performing team. Play games, switch up roles, do something that really makes their day just a little bit different from time-to-time. It keeps the work fun and interesting.
Give constructive criticism when necessary.
Nobody is perfect, and nor should we expect the same of our people. However, there comes a time when you must deal with giving constructive criticism to every team member at least once. This is often management’s least favorite activity, as it occasionally leads to direct confrontation or the termination of employment. You cannot avoid this major step.
Look at it this way: when you offer constructive feedback with actionable steps then you are demonstrating that you care about you, your team, your company, and the customer. As tough as it may be, you will be respected for it.
Be able to see the forest through the trees.
No one likes a manager that has no earthly clue as to what is going on in the bigger picture. Being able to address the bigger picture gives your people a sense of where they are going, the team and company goals, and what is expected of them. No one wants to follow the manager who is completely lost. The team will discover this weakness whether you think they will see it or not.
Most Importantly: Have a heart.
This last step isn’t just lip-service: when you are a manager that genuinely cares about his or her people, you will see a remarkable reaction of your team rising to the occasion. It will inspire you, which will inspire them. And it will build on itself. In other words, you could say that managing with heart is a way of life, not just a skill to pull out of your tool box when you feel that it will serve you best.
There you have it: six actionable, bite-sized steps that will make a huge difference for yourself- and your team. Also, remember that you just can’t reach some people, no matter how hard you try to persuade them to put out high-quality work. Separating the wheat from the chaff is also a big part of building a high-performing team. It keeps your current group free of social poison and allows everyone who wants to fulfill the company’s mission to do so freely.
At Happy Tax, we know all about high-performing teams. The next step to owning your own business and being a high performing entrepreneur is just a call or click away.