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The Voco View on... building high performing teams

Voco Team
Image of a team of rowers at sunset

We all want our teams to do well but we acknowledge that pushing people too hard can backfire. So how do we create teams that perform well, without the pressure?

Create clarity:

Clarity is more than knowing what you need to do. It’s about knowing how what you do contributes to the overall success of the team and the organisation. Give your teams a clearer understanding of this and they will find it easier to align to the goals that need to be met.

Teams should be given the opportunity to actively engage with the set strategic direction. This happens when they are afforded the opportunity to question decisions, clarify information and suggest actions. This requires a certain amount of autonomy…

Encourage autonomy:

We all need to feel that we have agency. We need to know that the work we do matters and we need to feel a sense of ownership in how we do our work.

There will always be some things that just ‘have to be done’ but taking some pressure off a team, while communicating their parameters, creates the space for innovation and collaboration to thrive. People work best when they feel trusted and take responsibility for their work when they are being treated like the adults they are.

When work works for us, we won’t mind working harder (now, there’s a tongue twister).

Ensure social safety:

In order to be at our best, we need to take some risks. We can only do this if we feel fully supported; if we know that we are allowed to fail in the honest pursuit of excellence.

Social safety at work means that we are more likely to suggest new ideas, do something differently or try something new. If we want high performing teams we need this innovation to happen and we need to give everyone the opportunity to contribute.

More information:

‘5 things high performing teams do differently’, HBR

‘How to lead with clarity, purpose, plan and responsibility’ Wavelength

‘Forget flexibility, your employees want autonomy’ HBR

‘What is social safety - the key to well-being and performance’ LinkedIn

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