Magazine article Business Credit

Develop High Performance Teams, See Benefits Inside and outside of the Office

Magazine article Business Credit

Develop High Performance Teams, See Benefits Inside and outside of the Office

Article excerpt

Seventy-five percent of the United States work force is not fully engaged on the job. (1) Many work teams struggle and perform at a mediocre level--or worse. In contrast, some teams stand above the normal and are high performance. These high performing teams (HPTs) are known for their positive morale, motivation, productivity and commitment to excellence.

Training and developing your team well provides many benefits. Team members benefit from enhanced skills and higher levels of performance. The internal and external customers your team serves receive better service. And the credibility of the team is elevated in the eyes of those inside and outside the company who see the team in action. As a profession, we all benefit when credit teams perform at high levels and represent the credit world well.

The question is: How are HPTs developed and maintained?

An extensive research project involving more than 2.5 million people in 237 companies sought to find out the common characteristics of HPTs. (2) It was discovered that HPTs commonly share three characteristics that directly speak to meeting three important needs of team members. The following are the keys to developing HPTs:

Key #1: Sense of Fairness

HPTs are first of all characterized by a sense of fairness. People have a need to be treated equitably, and that sense of fairness has three components. The physical component includes a safe working environment, realistic workload, and reasonably comfortable working conditions.

Another component is economic fairness--people have a need to feel they are paid a fair days pay for a fair days work with satisfactory benefits and have a reasonable degree of job security.

The third component is equity--being treated respectfully. Included is a reasonable accommodation for personal and family needs and being treated like an adult, not a child.

One way to monitor the perception of fairness on your team is to conduct an annual team survey and include some questions related to fairness.

Key #2: Sense of Achievement

HPTs are characterized by a sense of achievement. Achievement includes taking pride in one's accomplishments by doing things that matter and doing them well; receiving recognition for one's accomplishments; and taking pride in the organization's accomplishments.

There are six primary sources for a sense of achievement:

* Challenge of the work itself

* Acquiring new skills

* Ability to perform

* Perceived importance of employee's job

* Recognition received for performance

* Working for a company of which the employee can be proud

One strategy that helps build a sense of achievement is collaborating to achieve SMART goals. SMART goals are team goals that have these characteristics:



Ambitious yet achievable

Results oriented

Time specific

Communicating and celebrating progress on goals will help develop a strong sense of achievement within your team.

Key #3: Sense of Camaraderie

Benjamin Franklin said, "we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

HPTs are characterized by a sense of camaraderie--having warm, positive and cooperative relations with others in the workplace (one for all and all for one). Setting and working together to achieve SMART goals helps build this camaraderie. In addition, it's important to have periodic fun and team building activities. …

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