A high-performing work team is a group of people with special expertise and complementary skills who work together for consistently superior outcomes. The work team has shared goals, common leadership, open communication, collaboration, rules and expectations, quick conflict resolution, and good accountability and trust among the members (Aldagand Kuzuhara, 2015).
Surveys in an organization aim at enhancing high performance and effectiveness of individuals and teams and are especially useful in teams with such diversities as ethnicity, age and gender. Whereas a diverse team improves creativity and productivity, it can be a challenge to have people from different backgrounds working together effectively; posing potential for either great accomplishment or great conflict (Peters, 2015). Surveys hence harness team’s synergies for greater understanding and cooperation among the members.
The provided high performing work team survey aims to positively impact team performance by highlighting various important dynamics of a team and an organization including mission, goals, roles, procedures, relationships, effectiveness, satisfaction and conflict resolution. There are a set of questions for each of the mentioned areas.
The mission and goals that are set during the forming stage of a team highlight why a team exists. Each member in the work team needs to comprehensively understand and be totally committed to the team’s mission and goals as shown in the survey. The team members should clearly understand the value and meaning of the mission and how the short-term and long-terms goals of the team help it to achieve this mission. Notably consensus among team members regarding the team’s purpose is sought, with the team’s purpose contributing to the company’s ROI(Boxall, and Macky, 2008). A high performing team usually has very ambitious goals, yet these goals are related to the goals of the organization as reflected in the survey. Hence, the survey will help the team understand how its mission and goals relate to the company’s mission, objectives and strategy, leading to total individual and collective commitment to their work.
The survey also encourages each member to appraise individual and collective roles and procedures. Clear and fair roles and procedures, that are also defined during forming of the team but that evolve through the various stages of the team’s development, increase a team’s potential since each member knows how to do their job. Each member in a high performing work team needs to understand and appreciate their and other member’s roles and procedures in relation to the mission and goals of the team. The team’s procedures emphasize the importance of the team over the individual through encouragement of constant, open communication among the members including feedback mechanism, agenda setting and having mutually-agreed actions and schedules (Murphy, 2016). This enhances ownership, interdependence and trust among the members.
Focus on clarity and fairness in defining and evaluating the roles and procedures makes the team develop certain norms that guide the team’s behavior that include strong work ethics, respect and regular evaluation. A ‘loose-tight’ dynamic develops where the group constructs working boundaries with enough space for individual members to make certain empowering decisions(Aryee, Walumbwa, Seidu and Otaye, 2012).
The survey will help gauge ability, diversity and commitment of the team members. Apart from the technical skills, high performing work teams require certain team-oriented abilities such as decision-making, problem-solving and interpersonal skills. These skills need not be possessed by each member but the members can complement each other by contributing different team skills. All members in the team nonetheless require a sustained commitment to excellent performance, accountability and respect. Members who exhibit these qualities should be retained in the team with those who do not sustain their contribution and commitment to the team being redeployed elsewhere. Departure of members or inclusion of new members should be managed well to ensure it does not disrupt the team’s dynamics. This can be through laying out the norms and expectations to new members and recognizing the contributions and achievements of departing members (Peters, 2015). Continuous evaluation of the group (e.g. through surveys) will help identify the team dynamics enabling it to adopt accordingly.
The survey further alludes to leadership in a high performance work team by asking the respondents to confirm whether there are members who attempt to maintain harmonious relationships within the group. Suffice to say high performing work teams hardly need any oversight because all members are highly motivated and focused. Hence leaders of these teams perform pull rather than push management, basically leading by example by being heavily involved in the various tasks (Posthuma, Campion, Masimova and Campion, 2013). The leaders strive to keep the team’s mission and goals relevant, enhance confidence and commitment among team members, encourage members to improve their knowledge and skills and strengthen relationships. These high performing leaders greatly benefit each member, the work team and the entire organization.
A major cornerstone of high performing work teams is the ability of team members to have strong relationships that enable them to effectively fulfil their missions and goals. Each member should be able to freely express themselves and receive constructive feedback so as to ensure the team’s synergy through implementation of the best ideas. Moreover, each member should feel appreciated by the other members by having the chance, ability and responsibility to contribute effectively to the overall success of the team.
By having strong relationship between and among team members, the team has effective and efficient meetings with little or no conflicts, where all issues are discussed leading to good decisions that ensure tasks are completed on time. That a high performance work team has different albeit complementary talents and viewpoints mean there will be differences in styles and opinions. Where conflicts and problems arise, strong relationships and mutual accountability ensures that these are quickly resolved through open communication and to the satisfaction of everyone involved; in the understanding that monetary and nonmonetary rewards are based on collective more than individual performance.
Indeed conflict resolution is crucial in building high performing work teams since it marks the development of the team from the storming stage to the norming stage, with the members handling the conflicts constructively and using it as an opportunity to tap the diverse viewpoints to improve the team’s learning and performance as well as foster a better understanding of tasks and people(Aldag and Kuzuhara, 2015). Depersonalized, open communication during conflict resolution between or among team members is geared towards coaching rather than directing with the issues causing conflicts being addressed openly and honestly such that cooperation, motivation and performance are not only maintained but enhanced.
Strong relationships hence lead to quick problem-solving, decision-making and responsiveness to arising demands and challenges since members are able to take strategic risks to achieve the team’s mission and goals because not only do they trust their abilities, they are aware that they will have the support and guidance from the rest of the team.
A high performing work teamensures that each member’s knowledge, skills and attitude are harnessed to achieve the purpose of the team. Such a supportive working environment where members are committed to each other and to their purpose is evident at the performing stage of the team. The collaboration boosts morale with each team member deriving job satisfaction from their contribution and enjoying being part of the team (Peters, 2015). These nonmonetary motivators positively impact on the team’s performance leading to increased productivity.
There are no teams that are identical. However, high performing work teams develop through the same stages of forming, storming, norming and performing. The team may also go through disbanding depending on whether they are project teams or work teams. Teams also have various common characteristics as highlighted in the survey that include purpose, relationships and conflict resolution. Hence, it is possible to compare the performances and effectiveness of various teams (Murphy, 2016). The survey enables this through self-appraisal of the team in relation to other teams.
The survey therefore encourages establishing of a team’s dynamics with a view to performance excellence. It helps development of a clear work plan that will help a high performing work team effectively and efficiently meet its mission and goals to the satisfaction of all team members and to the overall benefit of the organization. An effective survey guides compensation and rewarding of the team and individual members.