Everyone wants to drive their team to the best possible performance, but it’s often hard to know which practices and incentives will yield the best results. While bonuses and other incentive programs work on a short-term basis if long term lasting growth requires good leaders to create a culture that values and encourages personal growth.
Here are five steps that will help you improve your team’s performance:
1. Create clear expectations and goals.
In order for your team to meet or exceed expectations, it’s first important to clarify what good and great performances look like. If employees don’t know what goals to reach for, they won’t have an accurate way of measuring their own performance. Present everyone with measurable results you expect the team to reach. While these goals can adapt throughout the year, presenting overly vague ideas rather than a clear road path to success will lead to misalignment and confusion.
These goals and expectations should be set on both a group-wide and individual level since responsibilities and expectations will vary depending on each person’s role. However, it’s essential that each person on the team, from managers and supervisors to entry-level hires, know exactly what their goals are for contributing to the team’s success.
2. Hire the right talent and create a diverse, well-rounded team.
Diversity and inclusion is essential for a team’s success. In fact, diversity has been shown to significantly improve a company’s financial performance, with companies in the top 25% for racial and ethnic diversity being 35% more likely to see financial returns greater than average.
Diversity should be a priority for your team, especially if you’re hoping to improve performance. This diversity can and should include diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, age, personality, and more. Different perspectives and opinions will help your team make well-rounded decisions.
As your team gains diversity of thought and personality, it’s important that you place people in the right roles, based on their unique strengths. Everyone has their own set of skills and energizers. Part of having a well-rounded team is ensuring that these differences are represented and utilized in the best possible way.
You can learn how to place candidates in roles that best fit their personality by getting started today with Crystal’s hiring tool.
3. Manage conflict effectively.
Conflict is an inevitable part of collaboration and management. However, when not dealt with effectively, conflict slows progress and stifles creativity. When there isn’t room for empathetic communication on your team, tension builds and creates lasting problems.
In order to improve your team’s performance, make collaboration easier, and prevent fallout by creating a culture of empathy on your team. Teams that prioritize empathy and communication are less likely to have conflict caused by misunderstanding and pent up frustration. Rather than jumping to conclusions and allowing frustration to build, this understanding will help your team ease tension, resolve conflict when it comes up, and collaborate effectively.
Learn more about how you can manage conflict with your team here.
4. Increase access to training and development programs.
Perhaps one of the more obvious solutions for improving your team’s performance is to increase access to training and development programs. Incentivize regular growth and allow easy access to reading material, videos, conferences, and more to help employees learn how to improve their own performance. Give your team access to the tools they need to grow.
Not only will this help improve performance, but it will also lead to increased employee retention. A recent LinkedIn study found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if the company invested in their career. People don’t want to remain stagnant in their knowledge and performance. By offering a way for them to improve, you’re benefiting them in the long run too.
Learn more about training and development in our full-length blog post here.
5. Hold regular 1-on-1 meetings.
Create a space for open, honest dialogue with team members. 1-on-1’s are the right time for you to offer feedback that helps drive an individual's performance and gives individuals a forum to provide feedback about your management, their role, and their overall thoughts on team goals. Holding regular 1-on-1 meetings can help resolve real problems, clarify expectations for employees, and let them know that their voices matter.
Learn more about holding effective 1-on-1 meetings in our full-length ebook.
Push your team toward growth.
Helping your team improve their performance is beneficial for everyone. Not only will employees feel more at home in their positions, but they will also grow and develop to become better in the future.. Improving your team’s performance should focus on making work life better for everyone, rather than being solely focused on strict financial performance. By putting your team first when working to improve their performance, you can create an effective, efficient, and productive team while achieving lasting results.
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