What Does It Take to Be a Top Performer?
A team of top performers achieves their business goals consistently and seemingly without effort. We witness and envy their success. Their abilities are a near perfect match for their job function; they are a seamless fit for the workplace culture in which they operate; and they help everyone around them to perform at their peak.
The 3 R’s of Building a Team of Top Performers
The most common mistake most team leaders make is that they start with their people and try to design everything around personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. While we all have to deal with the realities of the team we have and should play to people’s strengths and desires, the ideal starting point is with the work to be done.
You will know you have correctly defined the job when you can clearly describe what defines high performance for each role, how success will be measured, and the line of sight to strategic priorities and customer needs.
For example, one of our clients defines five core capabilities of high performers as those who:
— Perform even when roles are unclear
— Foresee and handle difficult obstacles
— Take ownership and get the job done
— Lead and embrace change
— Make everyone around them better
Whatever approach you decide upon, be clear about what it will take to deliver undisputed high performance in each role.
Then you need to determine how to fill the key capability and people gaps in a way that is aligned with your strategy, culture, and values. Just know that training alone won’t do the trick to ensure that the way work gets done aligns with how your people think, behave, and act. You need frequent, consistent, and quality coaching to reinforce the desired skills and behaviors into the daily pattern of your team’s activities.
The closer you can match personality, motivation, and skills to the job and the culture around the job, the more likely you are to build a team of top performers. If you do, you will find that success breeds success.
The Bottom Line
According to Bain & Company, about 15% of all employees on average are what you could consider both high performing and high potential talent. And these employees, according to a study published in Personnel Psychology, produce 400 percent more than an average performer. Why wouldn’t you do all you can to build a team of top performers?
To learn more about how to build a team of top performers, download 3 Must-Have Ingredients of High Performing Teams for New Managers
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