Any company would be thrilled to have as many top performers as possible. It would mean more productive employees, more revenue and a constant, fast-paced growth. However, turning individual performance into team performance is not an easy task.
Managers face a difficult but rewarding challenge and we thought we’d give them a hand with it.
Individual performance vs team performance
Top performers are undoubtedly a great asset for any company. They are the people whose opinions, work habits and skills are most well-liked.
Individual performers can be easily recognized as the people who put in the extra effort into ensuring that they are good, if not great, at their job. They usually specialize in a specific technology or specialty. Because of their relentless dedication and contribution to essential tasks, they quickly gain access to vital responsibilities that the company values and that they successfully complete.
They are invaluable resources because they are well-known and respected as problem-solvers, as the ones with the answers. They stand out.
Team performance, on the other hand, doesn’t really help with standing out. When the team is successful, everyone did a good job. Likewise, when the team struggles, the team is in trouble. It’s the great thing about teams and also a challenge when it comes to putting high performers together.
An all-star team is invaluable. Imagine multiplying all that individual productivity and performance.
On the other hand, individual performers will most likely engage in power struggles in a team, failing to see the bigger picture. They’re used to being the best, so, naturally, tensions will rise with everyone wanting to be the best.
In order to achieve team performance in such a context, managers have to turn the tables in their favor. The premise is already promising: top performers see their strategic role in the organization and understand the bigger picture.
Leveraging that behavior can make them focus on the strategic imperative of business and the relevance of their team succeeding.
Creating a performing team of top performers
Focus on engagement drivers
Every team has its own dynamic. Putting people together won’t instantly create a team. You need to find out what drives them every day.
Identify the top engagement drivers in your company and capitalize on them. Are your top performers stimulated by new technology? Or by growth opportunities?
With Hppy, we always know the main reasons why our team is engaged. The team manager gets real-time data on why employees are happy or unhappy at work.
These are the top 3 engagement drivers that we’ve identified within the companies we work with and a few tips to capitalize on each one of them. But, again, you need to find out your specific engagement drivers.
Understanding what keeps performers engaged will show you how you can make the team perform, as a whole.
Encourage a team identity
Being associated with a winning, all-star team has a significant value. That need for standing out or being the “GO TO” in case of a strategic challenge can be leveraged to create a strong team.
If the team shines, people will want to join it, management will assign more resources and the best leaders will be running that team.
Culture inspires and engages individuals to work towards the common goal. Have them build their unique #CultureCode.
Offer positive reinforcements
Positive reinforcement is a way of strengthening behaviors through rewards and incentives, instead of eliminating benefits. Your highest performing employees have a set of benefits that they might feel are lost if they’re part of a team.
You need to focus on intrinsic rewards and acknowledgment that empowers them as a team. When the team performs well, the manager should recognize their results and encourage them to recognize each other’s efforts within the team.
As we were developing new engagement features for Hppy, we came to the conclusion that saying “Thank You” to a co-worker or to a subordinate can really make a difference in terms of enthusiasm, results and turnover.
Appreciating people and the team, as an entity, is essential in building a sense of belonging and pride. It’s also a great way to minimize ego clashes.
Foster knowledge sharing
More and more companies are taking an agile approach to business, a term originating from the software development industry. Its key components, collaboration and flexibility, are essential to growing your business.
A team’s performance depends on collaboration and knowledge sharing. Through it, team members get different perspectives and figure out new methods of solving problems.
To this regard, your top performers will have the advantage of being flexible and already possessing essential knowledge. All you need to do is encourage collaboration and team thinking.
Today, technology and collaboration are intrinsically linked. McKinsey research shows that nearly 75 per cent of businesses are using social technologies to collaborate with colleagues, partners and clients. Provide your team with the right technology and make collaboration a cultural element in your company.
Top performers are a valuable asset to any company. It’s not an easy task to turn these individually great employees into a highly performing team.
To boost team performance in such a situation, managers should focus on specific engagement drivers, to understand what motivates each top performer into being the best. The key to putting together an all-star team is understanding how all stars perform.
The next step is to encourage them to create a team identity, to foster a culture of their own and then offer positive reinforcements to strengthen that bond.
And the last secret ingredient: collaboration through knowledge sharing, the agile way of doing business.`
Have you ever worked with an all-star team? Tell us about your experience.