Great Teams

Building A High Performing Team 

08.12.20 04:17 PM By Mark Pym

Measuring the values present in the team is  very important because research shows that there is a strong link between financial performance and the alignment of a team’s operating values to the employees’ personal values. (more information & research reports available on request)

In a service based economy achieving optimal performance from the people who work for the team is increasingly becoming more important to delivering outstanding team performance, year on year.

Values are therefore important because:

Values drive team culture. Team culture drives employee fulfilment. Employee fulfilment drives customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction drives profitability.

At our most basic level our behaviours and actions are driven by our values.

Values are therefore the building blocks of any team.

If these values can become part of the wider culture of the team they will inform the future decisions, behaviours and natural way the team operates & functions.

This will strengthen the team.

When we work with people who lead through values that matter to us and work with people who share similar values to us, we create deep connections that matter and make a difference to us, as well as creating amazing energy in the team, that can be focused to achieve incredible results.

Most of us are attracted to teams and people who have the same values as us and similarly we tend to pull away from those teams, individuals and situations that do not meet our values. These values help build the character of the team. We are attracted to and can become truly engaged with, teams that meet our values.

Some of the most iconic brands reinforce this attraction strategy.

So how do we really know what people value most?

We can measure these, both at the individual and team level, as well as the organisational level. Whilst it can help to promote certain behaviours by only identifying the preferred team values, then implementing these as part of a team initiative, this doesn’t re-solve the important issue of connecting with each individual, in a way that matters to them. As individual’s we like our own values to be met. We also have desired values, that we would like to see present, in the team and company.  When these values are in alignment, connection and engagement levels go up. 

However, where the gaps between individuals, the team(s) and organisational values are significant, we tend to see higher level of entropy and dysfunction in the team.  

Getting this alignment of values right, can create a major boost in individual and team energy. We call this team mojo.

When the individual’s, team's and organisation's values are closely aligned, this will feed through to improved performance.  We utilise a toolkit, from the Barrett Values Centre, which can supply a complete overview of the current and desired values at an individual, team and organisational level, with can then be reviewed to make further decisions around practical ways to improve engagement, the employee experience, organisational culture and ultimately further improve alignment.   

Great teams don’t have many of the problems of under- performing teams such as limiting behaviours, negative values and internal frictions, relationship issues, systems  problems and  structural  miss  alignments.

When these  are  present  in a team, they work  against  the achievement of the team’s mission, vision, strategy and goals. We call these presenting symptoms of under performance, cultural entropy and they can be measured financially.

Teams can measure the impact these presenting negative symptoms have on their team culture.

Once the underlying causes of these symptoms are understood, a range of options can be introduced that will help to improve the team’s performance.

So how does a team measure its cultural entropy?

We start by measuring the values at an individual(s), team and if in scope, organisational level. 

Before we explain how to do this we need to understand the role values play in a team’s performance.

We also use a methodology called team-shift to assess, as a guideline how the team is performing over all.  The diagram below shows you the four Cornerstones of a High Performing Team.  

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