Web Summit, “the best technology conference on the planet,” is a hotbed of entrepreneurial talent bursting with potential. When it comes to fulfilling that potential we all need support, which is why we’re sponsoring Web Summit’s #SageMentorHours, where startups troubleshoot with experienced Sage leaders, VCs, CEOs and media professionals. We’re also offering up some of the best advice from our Sage Mentors to make sure you don’t miss out if you couldn’t get along to Web Summit. Here Kerry Willumsen, spills the beans on what it takes to create a high-performing team.
When it comes to developing teams aren’t we all striving to develop the same thing – a high
performing team that delivers great outcomes for your customers, and ultimately your business?
I’ve been lucky enough at Sage to bring together teams who certainly fulfill this definition. You know, the sort of team that people wish they could join, and managers wish they could replicate. So, what is the secret formula? Here are my seven steps to creating a high performing team:
- Time for the Team
The team needs time to get to know each other and this is in addition to the day job. Being open, personal disclosure and listening to each other are key elements. Yes, it is hard work but the engagement and trust built is more than measurable. If the team can’t trust each other or the Leader they won’t perform.
- Clear Roles and Responsibilities
Put in place responsibilities so that people can be accountable. Misunderstandings and conflict happens when they are not understood. Check in regularly that they are working so that every person in the team becomes effective.
- Common Goals
This is the most important one for me. In one of my teams, taking the time to agree that customers are always first in everything we did was the greatest success factor and the results reflected this. Every touchpoint, from first to last was focused on delivering this primary goal and by making sure customers were part of the conversation we could deliver services that were right for our customers’ needs.
- Competency and Diversity
Just imagine for a moment that a striker was forced to play as a goalkeeper. You would ask the question: “Why are you doing this? It doesn’t make any sense”. So why would you do this in your team? The most productive and energized teams learn to value each other’s differences and leverage each other’s strengths. They take pride in demonstrating their skills and capabilities.Find out the team members’ strengths and support them to succeed. Link back to the Common goal. Be clear on what the outcome is… then how the team gets there may not be as expected, but incredibly successful.
- Ask Questions and Communicate
A lack of communication creates stress and inefficiency. The more a person knows about what needs to be done, the more they will achieve a better understanding. So encourage people to ask! When different views are valued, the team will be more adept at solving problems. How effectively a team can provide solutions, and focus on their common goal determines their success.
- Challenge with a Supportive Environment
Being able to challenge each other, receive feedback and adapt are the behaviours of a strong and high performing team. A colleague on being present at a round table feedback for customer objectives described it as “Brutal in the challenges but fantastic to see the acceptance and transparency to ensure the right outcome for our customers”
Finally, celebrating success as a team can be far more rewarding than a monetary bonus. A genuine “thank you” means a lot. Recognition of individuals and the team is part of building the team’s brand and ultimately their identity. Celebrating success is part of the Sage culture; it’s important to acknowledge a job well done and our annual Sage Celebrates awards is one such opportunity to say “thank you” and more importantly remind ourselves how our work has made things easier or better for our customers.
So…… celebrate what you want to see more of! (Tom Peters)