23-April-2014 in Granite Consulting Community by Lucy Thomson
Last week’s HR Professionals event was facilitated by seasoned Granite speaker Leigh Coutie, an experienced project manager with an eclectic background that includes engineering, coaching and project management, on the topic of Getting The Most Out of Your Teams.
So why do we want an effective team?
Leigh defines a high performing team as a group of motivated individuals who achieve outstanding results, an outcome that is desirable for every organisation, lowering overheads when people are working efficiently.
At the very basic level, it is human nature to come together as a group or tribe. Working as a team builds synergy and happiness and striving for a shared goal builds a sense of belonging. It has to be enjoyable, to keep people going, and two (or more) heads are better than one.
One of the key themes that proved to be prominent was the need for a breadth of skills and experiences, bringing together a variety of individuals with different backgrounds and skillsets to gain a dynamic and well-rounded team. People need to be challenged to make the work worthwhile, and are motivated and empowered by a drive for excellence.
Attributes of a High Performing Team:
- collaborative atmosphere
- continual learners
- diversity of thinking, styles, personalities
- combinations of complementary skills
- ability to adapt in a changing environment
- strong communication skills
- a sense of excellence and a drive for qualityThe working environment must also be conducive to high performance and success. Good values are essential and a high performing team will conduct themselves with honesty, integrity and trust, and without a blame game should things not happen as planned. That said, team members know and respect their accountability. Clearly defined processes, roles and responsibilities all contribute to a team that can work efficiently, each member knows how, when and where they need to be involved, and how to get things done correctly the first time. Similarly stakeholders are managed effectively with clear communication lines and their expectations reset as required.
Probably one of the most important features of any high performing team, is simply an atmosphere fun. Celebrating the milestones and the wins, rather than focusing on what is still left to be done builds a sense of achievement – the camaraderie of a team experience is one of the main factors to success. Often in a particularly high performing environment, at the completion of a project and the adjournment of a team, members express a period of depression, so the management of that phase is equally important. The relationships forged in a successful team environment will often stand the test of time, with people remaining in contacts for years to come.
Once again we thank Leigh for facilitating another discussion for Granite, and to the members of our HR Professionals community for attending during the busy and shorter pre-Easter week.