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Is Teamwork Important at Your Place of Business?

Other people are motivated by commitment. They care about the work they do, know that they are valued by their organization and can make a significant contribution to its success. Their organization reaps vitality and excellence.

High-Performance teamwork is more than a group of people working together to accomplish a common task. They have a shared vision and purpose that inspires their performance. They feel accountable for their work, solve problems, make decisions and fully invest themselves in the organization. For a team to achieve High-Performance, they must be allowed the time to set their purpose, operating norms, characteristics and desired performance results.

High-Performance teams have been defined as self-managing, multi-functional groups of people who are organized around a whole process and empowered with full responsibility for their success. To achieve High-Performance teamwork, certain elements must be present.

Within the teamwork model, three elements must be understood by team members. These include the charter, design, and relationship.

  1. The CHARTER (or the “why”) is the definition of why the team is in existence and provides clarity for team members. It focuses on the customers, purpose, team goals and team vision.
  2. The DESIGN (or the “what”) is the architecture of the systems and structure of the team. It focuses on the core work processes, roles and responsibilities, procedures and norms, and systems.
  3. The RELATIONSHIP (or the “how”) is the area in which team members understand how to relate to each other. In this element, the focus is on trust and respect, communications, cohesion, and synergy.

In High-Performance teams, these areas are not independent. They all impact each other and the outcomes expected of the team. However, there is a sequence that must drive their development. The charter must be clear before a team can be designed and a team must be designed well to reduce relationship problems.

Once the team’s charter, design, and relationship are established and agreed upon, the team will show the following characteristics:

  • A shared mission
  • Autonomy and authority
  • Interdependence and shared leadership
  • Broadly defined jobs
  • Meaningful participation in decisions
  • Higher performance

In a teamwork environment, the group is enabled to become self-governing with facilitative guidance. This is possible because it is organized around core processes and employees possess multiple skills, are governed by principles and view each other as partners. They also demonstrate an atmosphere of shared leadership and can make decisions.

High-Performance leaders create teamwork by helping them understand their charter, their design, and their relationship. Empowering leaders have a vision and the ability to develop and share it with the entire team. They are driven by a strong motivation and passion for this shared vision.

Additionally, such leaders can establish high levels of rapport and trust among team members. They avoid controlling and coercing team members. Rather, they inspire and induce a high degree of enthusiasm from team members toward meeting the agreed-upon goals.

However, to get to this point, leaders and team members must work through certain processes. The processes that go into building teamwork includes:

  1. Understanding how teams work
  2. Learning effective meeting management skills
  3. Delegating
  4. Clarifying team members’ roles and responsibilities.
  5. A system for measuring performance, setting goals and tracking progress

When a team has successfully moved from high potential to high performance, three results are visible. They can:

  • Raise their goals to meet new business demands
  • Successfully identify and eliminate the most threatening problems and obstacles
  • Effectively develop and implement action plans to reach established goals

Is your team performing at this level? You will be better prepared to face the ever-changing dynamics facing organizations across the globe.