There is a buzz in the office today, a sort of energy, a vibe, periods of laughter followed by moments of hush and a tap tap on computers. Everyone is clear on what they are doing and if not have asked their team mates to help out. We have a common goal, a clear vision, well-defined roles and it’s fun…..this team is high performing!
So, what is it that makes it different to any other team and why do I describe it as High Performing rather than just a good team working together…………for me it is all about the ‘MAGIC’
In conjunction with the more traditional components of a good team such as strong leadership, a common purpose, the right skills, clarity of what needs to be done, by whom and when, there are a number of key attributes that can turn a good team into a great team.
Meetings are kept to a minimum and when they happen are short, pacey and action-orientated; no lengthy meetings to leave people disengaged and robbed of time.
High performing teams are Aspirational going beyond the sum of the individual as they adopt a highly collaborative approach. There is a genuine desire and drive to Grow both as an individual and as a team. Interaction and engagement is high, there is clear visibility of what everyone is doing and, there’s real-time access to succinct and relevant information. However, and probably the most key aspect for me, is a Collective accountability and collaboration in the way the team chooses to deliver.
What is the digital influence?
If I was sat at this desk in 5 years time how would the digital age that is increasingly upon us play its part in this MAGIC.
- To start with, my desk maybe somewhere else as location begins to play a decreasing role. Location agnostic working practices can be delivered at low cost and enabled by digital technologies. Digital takes it to the next level: e.g. enabling true collaboration (no longer “working at home” but “anytime, anyplace anywhere”). Utilising the principles of collaboration and technology, employees can become empowered and perform more efficiently.
- Team meetings may become less ‘face to face’. Pacey and action orientated yes, but predominantly online.
- High performing is about delivering beyond expectation and is greater than the sum of the individuals. With so many digital tools at our finger tips, crowd-sourcing allows us to have a greater access to the knowledge of others, the best people that we know to help us.
- New technologies are bringing a radical new learning experience direct to users, wherever and whenever in a more cost effective and with greater leverage than traditional methods.
- It’s not just about e-learning either, but using smart learning solutions e.g. learning delivered to an iPad / phone, making it easier to access. Platforms with social features, for peer learning, coupled with web trainings/web casts for diverse teams across geographies, are being increasingly adopted by companies across sectors.
- With the use of social media we have real time access to what people are thinking and feeling. It can also provide a channel for employees to engage directly with management, which is particularly important for non office based roles and to understand how the team needs to perform.
- Digital tools provides us all with increased transparency of what people are doing, help us to understand where to best play our part in the team and how best to manage their performance Gamification turns traditional notions of business to employee communication and involvement schemes on its head. Businesses now are starting to apply game thinking into their processes and existing activities.
So how might this affect HR?
In order to allow a team to perform at its best HR need to appreciate and recognise that the way the employee operates in the workplace is changing, and respond to this. Boundaries are merging between the in and out of the workplace; the way in which people engage with one another, interact and share ideas is different.
HR need to help and support their employees to learn the new skills needed and recognise that people will be at different stages in the journey. When has the organisation asked an employee to learn in such a fast, open and transparent way before? Policies need to be supportive and organisations need to trust their employees and give them access to the tools they need. When pulling teams together digital know-how is a key skill to consider, whether from inside or outside the organisation and has to be given importance.
I believe that the High Performing Team of the future will be an exciting place to operate. The digital tools and ways of working can only enhance our performance, interaction, energy and common purpose. We will continue to engage with one another and using a blend of how we work and how we will work, continue the laughter.