Your success as a company is often based on whether you can create high-performing teams. It stands to reason that when a team is doing well, it results in better performance for the entire company. This can lead to a higher degree of success in general for the organization.

What Successful High-Performing Teams Have in Common

However, knowing that high-performing teams are needed and learning how to create them are two very different things. First, it’s imperative to know what defines a high-performing team. Once you know, you can look for those qualities when hiring new employees.

After the team is in place, you’ll also need to consider how you can ensure that high-performing teams remain supported, engaged, and inspired. If not, the team performance could drop and leave you with other problems.

This article will give you all the information you need about building high-performing teams and keeping them successful both now and in the future.

What’s the Importance of High-Performing Teams for Growth?

As you start to assemble high-performing teams, it’s important to think about the characteristics that matter. This includes an excellent work ethic, diverse skills, a team mentality, and dedication and commitment to doing well. However, another thing to consider is why high-performing teams are essential. Do you know the role they play in creating success and growth for your organization?

When strong teams aren’t created, companies find themselves relying on individual workers. This can breed an unhealthy type of competition and lead to undermining behavior that inevitably hurts the company.

The lack of good teams can negatively affect the culture of the company. In addition, since employees don’t get to work collaboratively on projects and ideas, work can start to plateau. Innovation and progress may slow down or even stop, both among the individual workers and on a higher company level.

Without high-performing teams, individuals have to solve problems on their own. This results in missing the value of workers networking together.

Bringing these workers into a group can solve all these issues. Fostering high-performing teams means better ideas can be tested, the culture becomes more cooperative, and cohesion occurs. Several people can work together and improve each other’s ideas. Over time, this compounds, and the overall thinking of the company accelerates.

What Defines High-Performing Teams?

Creating a high-performing team requires knowledge about which characteristics lead to excellent performance. Having these things in place ensures teams can perform at their best and reach for the stars.

Team Mindset

If all the people on a team are interested only in themselves, it could be a downfall. Each of these individuals might do great in terms of individual performance, but it will be hard to shape them as a unit into a well-oiled team.

On the other hand, high-performing teams love to engage in collaboration. They get creative together and coordinate together to reach new heights. Instead of looking at work as “each man for himself,” it’s considered a group effort. The right people for successful teams know that more can be done by several people than could be done by one.

High Level of Trust

Another essential characteristic of high-performing teams is the presence of trust. Without trust, it’s difficult to work together, collaborate, and come up with innovative ideas. When trust isn’t present, some individuals will struggle to speak up with ideas, thoughts, and options. Others may have trouble working together, leading to lower performance.

As such, trust has to be present on the team. All of the high-performing teams out there have great trust in each other. The team is a place where everyone can be authentic and speak their minds. Vulnerability is possible, which makes it easier to discuss learned lessons and mistakes without fear of retribution.

Focused Direction

Even if you build a team that has everything needed to perform well, it may not always be enough. Without providing a clear direction and structure, success is unlikely to occur. High-performing teams do best when their responsibilities are clear, their roles are defined, and a specific approach is applied for decision-making and problem-solving.

Having measurable, specific goals and a purpose or vision are also essential. Don’t be afraid to take ambitious goals to high-performing teams. When teams have big goals that they are capable of reaching, it can lead to major innovation. It’s a great way to move past a company hurdle or find the next big opportunity for a business.


Committed and passionate workers are needed on all high-performing teams. As you start to create a team, it’s easy to choose those who are overachievers with needed skills. However, hiring a set of clones may not be the best way to move toward success. If you are looking for the high performance needed to move boulders, make sure you work in diversity.

Well-rounded employees are a good choice for a high-performing team. However, you don’t want people with all the same strengths. When you include people with differing experiences and perspectives, that’s where the magic happens.

Instead of hiring carbon copies, choose team members with different strengths. At the same time, realize these people are all meant to collaborate and get things done. You don’t want to hire people with no skill in conflict management. Choose those who understand the different styles of other members of the team.

Tips for Engaging High-Performing Teams

As you know, high-performing teams are integral to a business’s success. Leaders must build those teams but also need to support their performance and keep them engaged. Below are a handful of tips that you can use to ensure performance remains high.

Appreciate Wins

At first, high-performing teams often offer a high level of effort. However, being rewarded and recognized for that is the best way to prevent that performance from dropping off in the future. When you recognize things are going well, it keeps people engaged and more likely to remain at your company.

A study by O.C. Tanner Learning Group shows that almost 80% of workers who quit a job mention a lack of appreciation as one of the reasons for chasing greener pastures.

Appreciating all the wins is the ultimate way to motivate your team to stay at a high level while doing the best possible work. One way to do this is by adding time to the schedule every week where you speak about all the things that are going well. When high-performing teams feel appreciated, valued, and recognized, it leads to better engagement at work. This then creates more success moving forward.

When leadership recognizes the efforts that people are putting in, it can push them to move past problems and work even harder.

Allow Constructive Conflict

It might sound strange to recommend allowing conflict, but the reality is that conflict happens in any team. Some believe that high-performing teams will never argue and engage in conflict. When this is a general belief, leaders might want to step in as soon as it seems things might move to conflict.

However, to perform at their very best, the people on a team should feel safe to disagree, share ideas, and challenge each other. Healthy teams aren’t silent ones. Many of the best high-performing teams are messy. Ideas are built on top of other ideas. Constructive challenges can lead to debate. Inviting a debate can be a better option than having everyone smile and nod.

As leaders, you must ensure workers have somewhere safe and comfortable to hash things out. Leaders can determine the tone of conflict by ensuring that every person has a voice and is considered valuable. Managers can even bring in ideas, start a debate, and provide recognition for healthy behavior. While team members can also do this, it feels more meaningful when a leader does so.

At the same time, conflict shouldn’t rise to the point where your team can’t work well together, or things begin to get personal. For high-performing teams, conflict is otherwise a good thing. Let the workers challenge each other, debate, and disagree.

Implement Feedback

Appreciating wins and allowing conflict can empower high performance. However, it’s equally important to speak up when things aren’t going so well by offering feedback on how the team can improve. The right feedback can help the team get back to top performance. However, poor feedback can be offensive, frustrating, or confusing and do the exact opposite.

There are three guidelines to keep in mind when delivering nurturing and inspirational feedback. It should be about the work rather than the person who did the work. The feedback should also be provided promptly. Finally, feedback must be specific regarding what you saw, what occurred from it, and what might work better in the future.

Feedback is important, but it should be constructive. Give feedback regularly, even if that means you schedule it in. It should be a cornerstone of the entire company, not just for high-performing teams.

In Conclusion

Knowing what characteristics are present in high-performing teams is essential for leaders. However, building those teams is only the initial step. These workers should be managed in the right way to ensure high performance continues and the business sees continued success. The eLeaP People Success Platform, which includes a continuous performance management system provides organizations with powerful options to attract and retain high-caliber team members.