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How to build a high-performing team

Jan 31, 2024

  • 2min

How to build a high-performing team

Candidate Sourcing
Maybe you’ve heard the term ‘high-performing team’ used by HR professionals on LinkedIn, in an industry report, or included in a job ad. It’s a term that, at first glance, could describe groups of people who seem just to get things done. That’s the definition of ‘high-performing’, after all, pumping out the work and focusing on quantity over quality. Isn’t it?

High-performing teams are the exact opposite. They don’t simply churn out work and move on to the next task and the next, and the next. While improved productivity and efficiency are desirable outcomes for high-performing teams, there is much more to it than meets the eye.

High-performing teams are groups of people aligned to the same business goals and focused on moving everything along in the same direction with purpose. Members often have specialised skills and can collaborate to get the job done. Individuals will have a clearly defined scope, and there are clear channels of communication. They work with the utmost clarity and have the tools, resources and freedom to deliver meaningful work to the best of their ability.

high performing team - body image
Effective leaders are excellent communicators who know how to get the best out of their teams.

Organisations can benefit from building high-performing teams in a number of ways, including increased productivity and efficiency, improved employee wellbeing and engagement, lower employee turnover, and improved decision-making and problem-solving among team members.

Start with the right foundations

You need to start with the right foundations to build a high-performing team. This might look different for every organisation, but there are some commonalities that should be considered.

Clear vision, goals, and job requirements 

When you don’t know where you’re going, how can you get there? You can get in the car and start to drive, but you might get easily distracted by roadside attractions. 

The same is true for organisations without clear vision and goals and employees without clear job descriptions. Without these resources to guide you, you can still get things done, but it won’t be as efficient, and the quality of the work will be lower.

High levels of trust

Trust is a fundamental component of the team dynamic. Team members rely on each other, and trust in leadership is established through consistency and transparency. When team members are confident that everyone else is doing what they need to, they can focus on their work without distractions.

Effective leadership

Leadership is about much more than telling people what to do. The most effective leaders don’t tell people what to do – they coach, provide feedback, mentor, and inspire those who work with them to do their best work. Effective leaders are excellent communicators who know how to get the best out of their teams.

Focus on resilience and sustainability

The Covid-19 pandemic has forever changed how we approach work and presented once-in-a-lifetime business challenges. Employees were either faced with the prospect of losing their jobs due to shutdowns and operating restrictions or became busier than ever as organisations tried to navigate the ever-changing situation. 

For many, the lines between work and home blurred as remote work became the norm, leading to hyper-productivity, and the idea of being ‘on’ and available all the time started to take hold.

While there may have been an initial boost of productivity in the short term, working at full speed was never sustainable. 

One of the hallmarks of high-performing teams is working to a sustainable and predictable cadence. Likewise, investing in programs and policies that help employees build resilience – the ability to recover from setbacks or other challenges – contributes to a performance-focused culture. 

Building a high-performing team requires a strategic approach, emphasising collaboration, trust, and effective leadership. High performance is not merely about achieving quantity over quality; it’s about aligning individuals with a shared purpose, providing them with the right tools and resources, and fostering an environment of clarity and communication. Organisations can benefit from cultivating such teams, ranging from increased productivity and efficiency to enhanced employee wellbeing and engagement.

Leading Others is an eight-week workshop series designed to help you get the most out of your team and build your leadership skills. Contact our team for more information or discuss building high-performing teams on 1800 868 254, or set up a meeting.

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