Creating a perfect team is as difficult as making a perfect cake. With any cake recipe you can have a multitude of ingredients, a little tweak here, a bit of vanilla there, all in search of perfection. Some prefer whisking, some prefer beating, some prefer cold ingredients and some say room temperature is better…quite frankly it is a minefield.
The same applies to getting the perfect recipe for team performance. You may read articles saying do these 9 things, or 10 of that, 25 ways to do the other. There are many views on the key ingredients for effective team performance. My mantra is get the basics right and the rest will follow.
(We want to make a light, fluffy, not too sweet sponge cake.)
The starting point is for everyone to understand the goal. What are you all aiming for? Does everyone know and understand this? Is everyone ‘on the same page’? Is everyone committed to it? If each individual were asked what the goal is would they all say the same thing? Do your actions support the goal? Do your policies and procedures support the goal? Do the team openly communicate about the goal and how to achieve it? Is there openness and honesty about the challenges to reach to goal and a positive and proactive approach to address these issues?
If you answered yes to all these questions, you are ready for:
Skilled and confident team
(We need quality ingredients, the right tools and a belief in the end product.)
What do you need your team to be able to do? What skills do they need and what do they have? What knowledge is required? What qualities are essential? Are the baseline competencies known? How can these be enhanced? How are these measured? What are the strengths of individual team members and are they coaching others? Do your team members know what their strengths and development needs are? Do they know the pathway for improvement? Is there a shared commitment to continuous improvement? Is there belief across the team that they are the best? Is the team leader proactively managing performance? Does the team leader ‘see’ everyone working? Is feedback open, honest and established as a process for improvement?
Evidence and evaluation
(The proof is in the eating.)
What is the evidence of reaching your goal? Do you have feedback from the people being supported, feedback from relatives, and feedback from the team and independent inspections? Most importantly, what do you do with this information? Are the team involved in addressing areas for improvement? Has the evidence indicated the need for skill enhancement, process improvement or knowledge development?
Whatever the outcomes are, there is one certainty – effective team performance is a continuous journey of action and reflection. Click here to read more about measuring success.