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  • Writer's pictureaden sanlano

How to Build High Performing Team Without Burning People Out

Picture source : Redbooth

In today's dynamic and ever-changing environment, the need to build high performing teams has never been more important. The past two years have been a real challenge for all organizations and managers. Dealing with a global pandemic, dealing with constant supply chain disruptions, and increasing talent attrition in the job market face unprecedented challenges for many leaders, but building high-performing teams. To do so, it's not enough to just gather a group of talented people with the right skill sets. Critical traits, behaviors and best practices must be carefully developed and maintained. The characteristics of high-performing teams depend on your business goals, but one thing is certain. High-performing teams help improve motivation, productivity, and profitability.

These are seven main areas for managers to focus on to build a high-performing team. Here are some possibilities:

1. Prioritize Communication

Effective communication is one of the most important characteristics of high-performing teams. By prioritizing communication, managers can drive increased motivation, productivity and profitability. To foster effective communication, managers should focus on team communication and prioritize information sharing with their direct reports. It is important to help members of the team understand their own and others' preferred communication styles and determine the best approach.

2. Create a Stable Team

According to McKinsey's article on Proven Techniques for Building High-Performing Teams by Senior Partners Scott Keller and Mary Meaney, team composition is the cornerstone of building effective teams. They believe that high-performing teams should ideally be kept small, but if they are too small, "lack of diversity leads to poor decision-making, and lack of bandwidth leads to slow decision-making." Certified Scrum Trainer Mike Levison emphasizes in his article how important it is to build a stable team. In his opinion, careful selection of a stable team requires an investment of care and time, and once a team is formed every precaution should be taken to maintain its stability.

3. Create a completion time

If possible, managers should establish a completion time for the day. If managers are not clear about the length of their working days, they risk decision fatigue, reduced revenue, and even negative revenue from their employees. A toxic manager finds it impossible to set a proper hard stop for the day. Trade managers consider it a necessary evil for employees to complete their working hours for the day. The change manager insists on setting an appropriate time for employees to leave.

4. Ask for a little less than maximum capacity

Effort and fatigue can confuse people regarding the quality of their performance. People sometimes confuse the perception of maximum effort with what actually leads to maximum results. However, best effort doesn't always translate to best performance. Managers can take advantage of this by inviting team members to work slightly below their perceived maximum capacity (see diagram below).

5. Encourage 85%-right decisions

When making decisions as a team, don’t push for “100% perfect.” Let people know when an 85%-right decision is acceptable. Research has uncovered two distinct types of perfectionists. The first is “excellence-seeking” perfectionists: people who hold high standards for themselves and others. The second type is “failure-avoiding” perfectionists: people who are consistently anxious that their work is not sufficient or adequate, who fear losing the esteem of others if they fail to attain perfection. Demanding an 85% correct decision relieves the burden on top performers and keeps the team moving forward, rather than waiting for a 100% correct decision before taking action.

6. End meetings 10 minutes early

A study from Microsoft's Human Factors Lab found that our brains function differently when we take a 10-minute break between meetings. This short break prevents stress from building up while back-to-back meetings affect attendees' ability to focus and participate.

Cooler colors in the visual indicate a lower level of stress due to breaks between meetings. But those who didn't get a break showed a gradual increase in beta wave activity, suggesting that stress built up over time, which is reflected in the image's color shift from cool to hot. This graph shows the relative difference in beta activity between resting and non-resting states at the start of each meeting. A manager can ensure that the employee is "blue-brained" rather than "red-brained" by ending the meeting 10 minutes early.

7. Set your own intensity level to 85%

It's also important for managers to set themselves to 85% intensity and reassure the team that it's okay to not lose their minds all the time. When managers tell employees that they shouldn't be working late nights and weekends and should be sending emails at 2am on Sundays, their actions speak louder than words. Research shows that employees want far more from their managers than many think. In an interesting finding, the researchers found that baboons stare at an alpha male "boss" every 20 to 30 seconds, and humans may be no different. Therefore, if you plan to send emails on weekends or late hours, schedule them to be sent at least Monday morning at 9:00 AM.

Source : HBR, Thomas International,

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