Enhancing team performance

Enhancing team performance

Leadership & Management

Gopalakrishnan Subramanian

Gopalakrishnan Subramanian

206 week ago — 6 min read


 "Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organisational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." – Andrew Carnegie


Organisations represent the collective wisdom of people working in it. It's only natural that we find ways by which the individuals can work together to achieve the broader goals of the organisation. With the kind of dynamism that industries are facing today, organisations and their leaders must look at creating high performing and self-driven teams. Despite the immense focus, the topic of teamwork has received the results are still varying. What then is required for a leader to drive team efficiency and performance?


In this article, let us look at the essentials that are required to build a collaborative team environment.


With the kind of dynamism that industries are facing today, organisations and their leaders must look at creating high performing and self-driven teams.


Let us begin with the definition of the word “team”.  Simply put, a team is a group of people with complementary skills, technical and behavioural, who come together to achieve common goals and purpose while following certain norms and procedures. They take individual and collective ownership to deliver work products to achieve results and personal development. This definition highlights the essentials that are required for a team to be driven.


Also read: New paradigm for people and business


Common goals and purpose 

One of the most essential aspects that the leader should address is the purpose for which the team exists.  What is the reason the team exists? (The same can be extended to the organisation level). What happens if the team does not exist? What products or services the team is delivering? What is different in the way the team is doing its work? A leader is required to create an environment where the team members can come together to create the purpose statement. The more inclusive it is, the more it will be accepted and internalised.   What is needed is the emotional connection to the purpose statement. This is where the leader, through storytelling techniques, can inspire the team members to stay vested with the purpose. Once the purpose is established, the team can come together once again to define the team goal (please note this is different from the individual key result areas that are set as part of performance appraisal systems)


Complementary skills

A fundamental belief that is required for a self-driven team is that people are capable and come with varying strengths and interests. Can the leader then identify the various strengths, personalities in the team and align the roles and responsibilities such that the team member enjoys the work. In some of the self-driven teams, the members define their own roles and commit to others what they are going to perform to achieve the common purpose.  A leader should be more observant of the team’s behaviour to understand the personalities. Typically, people fall under four broad categories. Emotional, Intuitive, Analytical and Action-oriented. Identifying the types help in understanding their inherent strengths and the roles that best suit them. It also helps in flexing the communication to suit the type and hence avoid interpersonal conflicts.

Moreover, it allows the leader to fill the gaps with the needed personality. As an example, a team can have people driven by ideas followed by people inspired by data. Such a team will then need someone to execute these ideas and plans, or they will tend to remain on paper.

Also read: Subordinates or co-leaders?

Norms and procedures

Once the purpose is baselined, and the roles are identified, what then is required is a set of systems to help the team implement the actions and achieve the goals. The systems should empower the members to perform most optimally than limiting their progress. It is essential to look at the values of the organisation or the team and see how the processes are demonstrating these values. Proper metrics, dashboards, tools need to be used to measure quality, timelines and other key factors that will help in improving the efficiency.

People connect 

A leader needs to practice active listening to understand the pulse of the team members. Active listening includes linear and non-linear listening. A leader should connect with the person and not a resource, appreciate the positives, encourage the team members and provide the necessary support. A leader should be credible to build an environment of trust and respect.


To kick start your initiative on building a high performing team, here is a suggestion. You can start with a simple survey among team members.

  • Ask them to rate the way the team is behaving concerning parameters like Trust, Communication, Openness, Supporting each other, Conflict resolution etc.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, ask the team members to rate each parameter.
  • Calculate the average score per parameter
  • Identify the parameter with the lowest average
  • Discuss with the team to set a goal (Example: Increasing the average score of that parameter) and come up with a plan of action to achieve the goal.


Also read: Manage & motivate your team: 6 effective tips


Image Source: shutterstock.com

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker. 


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Gopalakrishnan Subramanian

I am on a mission to transform millions of lives to lead a life of happiness and abundance by helping them gain clarity and positivity of their self.

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