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5 critical needs of high-performing teams

When Google spends two whole years studying the secrets of team effectiveness, there’s probably something we can all learn from the findings.

by Jo Foster
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When Google spends two whole years studying the secrets of team effectiveness, there’s probably something we can all learn from the findings.

Especially when their own people analytics manager Julia Rozovsky describes Google’s original hypothesis as “dead wrong”!

Turns out, throwing the best and brightest together and expecting them to magically transform into a high-performing team doesn’t usually work out.

Instead, Google’s analysis of more than one hundred and eighty teams and two hundred and fifty team attributes revealed some key variables all high-performing teams share.

If you’re a business builder looking to create your dream team, you’ll want to foster these five critical factors:

1. Dependability.

This one’s not really a surprise… Google found that teams who can depend on each other to get things done to a deadline are the ones that succeed.

While it seems pretty obvious, it’s good to know if factors impacting team dependability  (think time management, communication, accuracy and organization) are a blind spot for you or anyone your team, so you can nip it in the bud before it takes your team down.

2. Structure and clarity.

Similarly, Google also uncovered that high-performing teams have clear goals and well-defined roles within the group.

This is where people analytics really comes into play.  When a business has clarity on how their employees’ talents fit into the overall puzzle, they’re able to structure roles and responsibilities accordingly.

People analytics is already being used to supercharge businesses, and it powers the F4S toolkit – our world-first platform that allows people to uncover their strengths and weaknesses in entrepreneurship, as well as build strong, cohesive and higher performing teams.

3. Meaning.

Teams do best when the work has a personal significance to each member, Google found. Understanding individual motivations is key here because ‘personal significance’ is just that: personal.

Finding out what motivates members of your team (and yourself) in a business context, and even fine-tuning those motivations puts your business in the best position to thrive.

Knowing where your team’s motivations lie also helps you adapt roles to align with each person’s natural motivations and passions – where they will do their best work.

4. Impact.

High-performing teams tend to believe that their work is authentic, purposeful, has a positive impact and is important the success of their organization.

A word of warning here! You just can’t assume that everyone wants to impact the world in the same way. Most likely, your team is made up of folks with different and diverse impact needs.

Some people may find most meaning when they feel their work is impacting on individual people, while others might find more meaning in impacting society as a whole.

The challenge is to ensure everyone on your team has a sense of personal purpose; to engage and motivate them at a core level. (Luckily, we can help with that…)

5. Psychological safety.

Last, but certainly not least, Google discovered that high-performing teams feel safe and supported in sharing ideas, taking risks and voicing their opinions in a business context.

It’s no surprise then that our research into successful CEOs found huge benefits in taking time to listen and bond with your team.

“Telling others what to do may get the job done, but it does not necessarily activate the creativity or hearts and minds of your team,” says founder and CEO of F4S, Michelle Duval.

“Ask questions, invite input and be open to your team challenging your ideas. This facilitates critical thinking and ultimately an empowered team that can think on their own.”

As a founder, no-one is more responsible for the success of a business than you. You owe it to yourself to invest in your team, to give your venture the best shot of realizing its fullest potential.

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