HRM Five: Elements of a high-performance team

Building teams that perform and excel together is the goal of every HR professional. Here are a few tips for that journey.
By: | September 2, 2018

In HRM Five, we offer pointers on everything you wanted to know about HR practices today, but were too afraid to ask. Check out previous editions of HRM Five here.


The notion of the ’high performance’ team has been around since the 1950s when the term was first coined in the United Kingdom. Since then, the concept has been used to describe the anatomy of winning sporting sides, business units and other successful teams.

In today’s increasingly complex business environments, many of the best results are achieved when an effective team is in operation.

Here are five top tips on how help organisations can build their own high performance teams, via Hays.


1. Appoint strong leadership

Leadership plays an important role in building high performance teams and achieving success.

Leaders show the passion, loyalty, commitment and drive it takes to surpass expectations and achieve key goals.

Above all else, they show themselves to be talented people managers and drive the performance of their team.


2. Think about what each person brings to the table 

Skilful players make skilful teams. Although it is the team rather than the individual that ultimately provides an organisation with its competitive edge, the most effective teams are made up of skilled individuals.

They are specialised in their respective roles and have the commitment and drive to succeed.

Crucially, each and every one of them is determined to do their best for the benefit of the team.

3. Unite through a clear purpose

The high performance team is united by a clear purpose that is so compelling that each member willingly provides the extra effort – or discretionary effort – required to make peak performance their norm.

Each member understands not only how their role impacts their fellow team members but also the overall success of the organisation.

4. Consider the team as a whole

From a manager’s perspective, considering the team as a whole offers a challenge of its own.

High performance teams trust in the competencies of their fellow team members and stand together in the face of change whether that is a change of management, the technology they use in their work or to the business conditions they operate within.


5. Constantly monitor performance

However, even a high performance team requires monitoring to identify what is working and what isn’t and making changes as needed.

The relationships and behaviours of a team need to be reviewed to monitor how a team is working together, handling conflict and developing trust.

This should apply to both self-managed teams and those that are led by managers.