How to Manage High Performing Teams

Managing a high performing team in the workplace is necessary to increase employee engagement, performance and productivity. Here is a comprehensive look into the best practices of managing high performing employees.

  1. Employees that may not get along

Sean Flannigan meets his budget and deadline and is very keen on details while Irma Trujill is prone to compromising on the set standards and goals. Sean and Irma may not get along because Sean is candidly outspoken and will always point out where mistakes are occurring while Irma will take this as a betrayal. Irma’s character is seen in last year’s report.  Although she is deadline oriented, a report showed that a dozen ordered items arrived late because procurement agreements are poorly negotiated. When questioned, Irma passed the blame to the engineering team for altering requests often and even got angry at Sean for taking the matter to the manager.  Sean likes to meet his goals on time and any time Irma delays, she will be questioned and most probably reported to managers and this will create a negative environment in the organization.

Peter Brueggeman is analytical and uses strategies but on the downside, he is comfortable with unclear intentions and meanings. Sean is process oriented and therefore likes to understand every detail before starting on projects. This compromise on Peter’s side will cause problems of managing high performing teams in the future and Sean may not be able to tolerate standard results.

  1. Strategies to ensure team members work together

To ensure that conflicting employees work efficiently and perform together for the organization, there should be clear ways of avoiding and solving conflicts. Irma should put in place strategies to penalize suppliers if they deliver items that do not meet the set standards. This will address Sean Flannigan’s problem with substandard items. Sean should ensure that before a requisition is sent to Irma, all questions are asked and consideration made for future changes in design and specifications. Any changes should be communicated in time so that Irma is able to procure the required items fast and be in a position to penalize the manufacturers if the specifics are not met.

In case of queries and failures, Irma and Sean should identify ways to solve the arising problems before forwarding the matter to the manager. It will foster a good working environment when they solve their problems before involving other organization members. Peter should ensure that he is understood and that he is clear in his requirements and contributions in the organization. It will ensure that no conflicts occur because of unclear communication of matters in the organization. Once everyone has gained clarity in his area of conflict, they should come together and map a plan to enable them to stay on the same page and look ahead together.

  1. Conflicts that may arise between employees

SolarComm Company is likely to experience interdependence conflicts that could affect the process of managing high performing teams. According to Farrell (2014), most employees depend on each other to give results. If one person is late to present a report, everyone else in that line will most probably be delayed.   For example, when the procurement department delivers items to the engineering department late, Sean is not able to meet his goals and budgets in time as he likes.

There will be leadership conflicts in the organization especially under sales region manager, Aardash Bhatnagar. His leadership technique is facing challenges in that he does not trust his term’s decision-making skills. This has led to high employee turnover rate and might lead to reduces sales and increased hiring costs.

Miscommunication may arise between employees especially under peter Brueggeman’s watch. This affects how leaders manage high performing teams. Brueggeman is lenient with ambiguity, therefore, for him, clear communication is not very crucial. This will present problems to other members since everybody has a different perception of things and in cases where policies change and are not clearly explained; misinterpretations will occur (Pais, n.d.). Candid communication can make or break an organization (Javitch, 2004). Knowing the different types of conflict will help resolve the problem.

  1. Conflict intervention

Interdependency conflicts can be overcome by ensuring that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.  An efficient delegation of powers is also very important and therefore, able team members should be assigned tasks to ensure timely delivery. Irma should ensure that her department has proper training on procurement and inspection of delivered products.  There should also be consequences to failure, for example, a penalization system where the person responsible is charged. Every team member should understand that their output affects the functionality of other members and therefore be willing to give their best.

To enhance effective strategies of managing high performing teams, leaders should also be able to accommodate the opinions of other staff. They should trust their coworkers and make queries and suggestions without intimidating or trashing their skills. Aardash Bhatnagar, the sales manager, and all leaders should develop a synergetic culture and values that guide the workers.  Farrell (2014) states that the set culture should offer consistency in decision making and be strong enough to direct overall involvement in the organization. If employees feel that their value and potential is recognized, they become more confident and productive.

Assumptions in any workplace are one reason for miscommunication. People ask very few questions then jump to conclusions. Cristal clear statements are important to reduce misinterpretation (Polevoi, n.d.). Peter should make sure that he understands and explains any changes and requirements to avoid people interpreting policies for their own convenience. Good communication skills should be emphasized on ensuring there is no room for ambiguity.

  1. Attributes that foster collaboration and high performance

The first attribute that fosters a high performing team is having a shared vision and goals. This creates an environment of “we” instead of “I” and unifies everybody’s mission. Osak (2014) identifies unification of how customers are welcomed and served, similar targets and destination and subscriptions to the same values as the main drivers of high-performance drivers. Having the same goals ensures that team members are not confused about deadlines and increases the ability to focus on achieving specific targets.

The people working in an organization always have different great skills and talents. It is important to recognize these abilities and work with them to increase collaboration and performance. So many strengths appear among team members, for example, analytical skills, mission focus, empathy, and implementation skills. Recognizing good performance and developing merit systems of rewarding outstanding performers will not only bring equity within the organization but also shape the culture and motivate workers to perform highly. It will also help empower authorities; clearly explain expectations and standards at all levels, and develop transparency (Abdallah and Ahluwali, 2013). Performance management supports other organization tributes like respect, and result-orientation.

  1. Attributes that hinder collaboration and high performance

One attribute that limits high performance is negative interpersonal relationships.  Conflicts within the organization are the main hindrance to effective collaboration. Team members should challenge one another to stimulate creativity and reduce single-mindedness.  Sometimes, questioning and criticizing each other’s decision may cause misunderstanding especially if there is a feeling of disrespect among members. Vital information will be withheld and employees will be unwilling to utilize their skills. Lack of understanding and social cohesion will lower productivity because of job dissatisfaction.

Leaders’ management style can also influence how leaders manage a high performing team performance. If employees feel excessively managed and monitored, they will be frustrated and disempowered. This will lead to substandard performance and results.  Also, if new employees feel unfairly reprimanded for mistakes, they may hold back their potential which would have boosted the organization performance.  Over-direction will cause frustration while lack of directions will bring about mistakes.

  1. Actions to promote collaboration and high performance

For solarComm communication to achieve high performance and collaboration there is need to create common goals and visions. For a team to score, its aims and strategies must be clear, aligned and obvious to its members. Definite targets will be set within the organization.  Strategies to achieve them will be put in place to avoid contradicting and conflicting approaches, ensuring effective teamwork. Unified creeds will be put in place to develop a sense of purpose and history so that even new employees will know the basic values and narratives which the organization is based.

Performance measures and awarding systems will be put in place to motivate employees.  Sandra is looking forward to a promotion which she knows is determined by the success in the current position. A reward system will be put in place to entice every employee to give the best performance so that they can get a promotion or increment. This will in turn increase collaboration and high performance among team members as they look forward to recognition.  Every member will have a chance to grow in the company, supported by the right coaching and training.  With this strategy, employees will see themselves as important assets and therefore give and receive the best to and from the organization. All special performances and loyalty will be awarded.

Sollarcomm Company will invest time in team building to reduce conflicts. According to MacDonald (n.d.), this will pay off with increased performance. Social cohesion will be built upon to ensure job satisfaction and increase productivity.  Important corporate culture traits like respect, trust and communication and problem-solving will be instilled in members so that there are reduced misunderstandings and less time is used by managers to solve conflicts.  Changes in policies will be clearly communicated to minimize conflicts and create comfort in development. Trust reduces the fear of change and improves collaboration. Trust among team members can be built by involving them in decision-making processes fostering better interpersonal relations both vertically and horizontally.

Leaders will be given regular training in leadership skills. If a leader is performing well but some areas of his performance are weak or questionable, he will be advised accordingly in order to improve. For example, In the case of Aardash Bhatnagar, his turnover rate is alarming and he should be asked to make changes where needed.  An ideal leader should be able to adjust to mixed and situational needs and adapt to the needs of his subordinates. SolarComm company leaders will receive training on how not to over manage or undermanage staff. They will be able to apply different leadership styles for each situation and customize their ideas to accommodate staff opinion. They will empower and built moral for staff which is important for high performance.

  1. Leadership strategies that promote collaboration and high performance

One team leadership strategy for teamwork is group problem-solving. Making team members work together will develop a cooperative culture. The diverse range of ideas and opinion will stimulate new and effective changes. People working together toward a common goal create long lasting relationships and brings new concepts together. It also nurtures the “we” rather than “I”.  Working in groups ensures the oneness of goals, therefore, members will not simply be working rather they will perform together for something bigger than individual needs (Leadership Training 2016).

For SolarComm, the employees’ team will always come first. Most corporations put clients before staff but the key to happy customers is happy and satisfied staff (Medland, 2015).  We are looking to create a powerful culture where staff comes first. With appropriate reward systems and empathy within the organization, employees will be valued and assured that their job is important. They will be able to share their problems and get help within the organization and therefore be better placed to serve clients. Benefits like training, growth and job security will also be part of the incentives to ensure job satisfaction.

  1. Strategies to ensure effective communication

Two strategies to ensure effective communication will be honesty and Empathy. When handling employees concerns, the managers will listen as human beings before professionalism. They will not remain detached to other staff members but rather, they will demonstrate sensitivity and care towards the people they work with (Effective Communication, n.d.). This does not mean that professional boundaries be compromised rather, they should be used to solve problems. If employees do not feel cared for, they will not mind about the organization needs when it comes to working. Empathy should be genuine and not manipulative.  Genuine words and actions call for honesty with oneself and others.

Honesty is a sign of integrity and it builds trust which is important in effective communication. For one to be able to speak candidly and provide appropriate information in an easily understandable manner, one has to feel safe and be sure he will not be lead astray. Honesty is paramount in our day to day trends and its said to be the best policy. The organization should create an environment where there need to lie is minimal.  Openness should be upheld to break communication barriers.

  1. Ways of applying effective communication strategies

According to Mind Tools (n.d.), the first step to using empathy is putting aside personal viewpoints and seeing things from other people’s position. When this is done, one is likely to understand the other person’s reaction is due to the situation they are in and the knowledge they have.  In SolarComm Company, the region manager, Aardash Bhatnagar, who is considered an effective mediator by upper management, seems to be facing challenges with consultants in his jurisdiction. If he tried to understand their decisions from their point of view, he would not underestimate their decision-making skills.  The engineering team and procurement, where problems seem to be arising, will also be compelled to listen and understand each other. Listening is also crucial in empathy and should be practiced.

Honesty will be applied by ensuring that the environment in which employees conduct business does not foster the need to lie or be unnecessarily defensive. There will be room tolerating mistakes more so for new employees.  Issues will not be sugarcoated, rather they will be handled with due diligence. Employees will feel safe while sharing information because they know it will be handled with integrity.

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