Building a High Performance Team
Building a high performance organization is directly related to the quality of the team members of the organization. A high performance organization needs to recruit the best people, retain the best people, communicate expectations of excellence and recognize outstanding performance consistently.
 Rules of thumb
- Recruit high performers
- Retain high performers
- Expect and demand excellence from all members in the organization
- Do not retain personnel that do not fit the culture or meet the performance standards of the organization and of other personnel in the organization
- Constantly assess your team, including comparing to your peers and competition
- Recognize high performance
 Accomodation of Poor performance
Accommodation of poor performance is a very bad message to all members of the organization. A common mistake is not realizing that “every knows” in the organization that certain employees are slacking, making mistakes or not being held accountable. This is demoralizing to all employees that are working hard to do their jobs well. The word circulates quickly in an organization that low performance is tolerated. Fundamentally this comes across as an issue of fairness and the rules and expectations applying to everyone equally.
 Recognizing High Performers
Management needs to recognize its high performers in the organization. If they do not sooner or later the competition will, or the employee will seek other employment. Organizations with rigid rules about advancement, compensation changes, no incentive pay structures will need to identify other methods to recognize outstanding performance. The danger in not recognizing outstanding performance is that the message down through the organization is that outstanding peformance is not valued.
 Related Best Practices
 Other Resources
- Wikipedia article on Wikipedia:High-performance teams
- Wikibooks on Wikibooks: Managing Groups and Teams/How Do You Build High-performing Virtual Teams?
- "The 6 Benchmarks of High Performance Teams" by Jesse Stoner is based on research of 500 employers that developed an assessment of visionary leadership behaviors and good management practices and the performance of their team.
- KSL Training in the UK offers a free downloadable PDF copy of their guide (copyright protected) on building high performance teams as well a basic description on their website.
- Teampedia has a team building tools, icebreakers and activities list and a global directory of Team Building Companies on their website.
The author of this article is Terry Gardiner.
Terry Gardiner is the founder and President of Silver Lining Seafoods and NorQuest Seafoods - a medium size Alaska seafood processing companies; and currently Board member of the Anvil Corporation, an employee owned company specializing in oil and gas engineering.
His co-operative experiences include member director of the Commercial Fishermen Co-operative association; creation of legislation for the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank; and advisor to the US Dept of Health and Social Services for the state Health CO-OPs.
Terry served ten years as a member of the Alaska House of Representatives -several legislative committee chairmanships, Speaker of the House, Chairman of the Alaska Criminal Code Commission and board member on various state and federal boards and commissions.
Terry authored the leadership book, "Six-Word Lessons to Build Effective Leaders: 100 Lessons to Equip Your People to Create Winning Organizations".