10 Essentials for Engaging and Retaining Team Members With High Performance (Awareness)

group of workers in training

by Stephen Hobbs

Team-related development is an important consideration in the 21st Century workplace.

However, you need to ask yourself an important question before developing a team or teams:

Is “team” the correct structure for the organization of your work?

To assist you in answering this question, consider the following 10 aspects of team members working at high performance. Team members:

1. interact interdependently through mutual support

2. know why they are together, the reason is known to everyone

3. help establish goals and objectives, sharing ownership and accountability

4. demonstrate commitment to trustworthiness, caring, respect and fairness

5. express ideas openly, where questions are welcomed

6. exhibit open and transparent communication

7. work through conflict into consensus

8. utilize skills learned, encourage support given by team members

9. participate in decision-making, and

10. recognize each other

If your answer is no, check out other forms of groupings like groups, communities of practice, peer learning circles, mastermind, etc.

If yes, consider the impact these 10 essentials have on engaging and retaining people while functioning as a team.

The list is not in order. Yet all of these characteristics – when current – highlight high performance and the presence of key “team member” attributes.

1. Leadership and management are participative and evident among all team members while working within the team. Yet, one person is assigned team leadership when needed to represent the team outside of the team boundary. In addition, it’s helpful if everyone on the team uses coaching and facilitating to support each other and the realization of the mission of the team.

2. Alignment of team vision and mission with organization vision and mission. This alignment suggests a cascade and contagious metaphor. The ideas of the organization mission and vision unfold (cascade) into the work of the team where the team reframes the overall statements into those that make the most sense to them (contagious).

3. Task is connected with explicit criteria. The criteria of teamwork are clearly outlined in consideration of what is known about future requirements (must know and do) and requests (might know and do). Everyone is clear about the work ahead, confirm their comprehension and will work from the agreed upon intention: to do great work individually and together. More important, when the criteria are not met and/or inappropriate the team members will bring this point to the attention of the team sooner than later.

4. Accountability for and Responsibility to considerations are made obvious to all. It is vital that all aspects of the job are made clear to each person so they can account for what they are responsible to do and know. In doing their work people must remain flexible in execution and diligent to improvisation for the situation.

5. Ethical decision-making guides all outcomes because the ethics of the team are entwined with the core values of the organization. In all decisions, the team is more responsive than reactive. All members can articulate the most likely effect of their decision on themselves and with those they deal with on a daily, monthly and/or yearly basis.

6. Communication from commitment from each team member. Whether listening, speaking, writing and reading the team member is consciously present and fulfills all promises made. Where it is known that promises cannot be fulfilled the person recommits. All of this mutual commitment for self with others is supported by reciprocated encouragement.

7. Self-correcting action reflection learning when and where innovation and creativity fashion and foster improved performance for the person and productivity for the team. Learning is a continuous process of reflection (detect error and continue what is working) and action (correct error, start doing things that will help today and stop doing things that are hindering now).

8. Team competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes) are written and made known to all team members. These competencies highlight the interdependency of the team members in light of the tasks at hand and what the team can and cannot do to meet the task requirements. Competencies are statements of what an organization requires and requests from its employees and therefore are transparent to all team members.

9. Consensus through hiccups highlights how team members must support each other through principle-centered negotiation before conflict escalates to the disadvantage of the team relationships. Because people are involved, emotions are present. Therefore, a consensus based win-grow scenario is required to keep everyone centered on the work ahead.

10. The following three questions when answered as a team – in concert with the 9 points above – highlight team members working at high performance.

~ Why are we doing this work as a team?

How are we to do this work as a team?

Who is involved (internal and external) with the teamwork?

In answering these questions, you gain insight into what’s possible for moving a group to a team, and then keeping the team mindful and practicing high performance activities.

Additional insights about groups, teams and more are available through [http://www.wellthblog.com]. Also, articles on how to “Improve. Focus. Strengthen.” your organization of work are highlighted. Here you learn about managing and leading organizational culture through mentoring from Dr Stephen Hobbs – Merger and Acquisition Facilitator and Business Transformation Mentor.