In this best practice, you can learn how to use Leapsome to build high-performing teams.
Explore the following sections:
Why are high-performing teams important for your organization?
High-performing teams make things possible. They keep improving products, themselves, and the business. High-performing teams explore new ideas, drive innovation, and are a pillar of your organization’s success. They take ownership of their goals and have a big impact on the business.
This best practice guide provides you with the tools to use Leapsome to create a high-performing team.
First - let’s look at what a high-performing team is:
They are defined as a group of focussed people with specialized expertise and complementary skills who collaborate, innovate and produce consistently superior results.
Ultimately this means that high-performing teams are collaborating and working together to head in the same direction. This makes collaboration and direction the two main anchors of high-performing teams. While each high-performing team is unique, they all share common characteristics:
- Purpose: they strongly believe in a purpose and work on common goals towards that purpose. High-Performing teams define success together and have a strong understanding of how they reach their goals.
- Talent & Skill: High-performing teams consist of diverse skills and continuously strive for development and growth. They recruit, train, and retain the best talent.
- Leadership: High-Performing teams have a strong leader who empowers, is committed to results, fosters self-management, and builds strong relationships
- Understanding: Members of high-performing teams understand how they contribute towards the team’s goals. They are aware of their impact, and they communicate openly.
- Identity: High-performing teams share a strong identity with strong relations. They have rituals and celebrate their success.
Let’s have a look at how you can use Leapsome to foster these characteristics across the platform:
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How Surveys in Leapsome can help you build high performing teams:
These allow your employees to give anonymous feedback on their leadership experience, and the leaders will gain insights into how they are being perceived. This can be a precious tool to discover blind spots in the Johari window. The Johari window is based on the idea that revealing information about yourself increases trust and learns yourself from the feedback you receive from others. It consists of four quadrants shown in the graphic. With open and honest feedback, we can decrease the blind spot.
Topics you might want to assess with our in-app questions are:
Manager - Team relationship:
- I trust my manager
- My manager listens to my concerns
- My manager clearly communicates expectations
- My manager provides me with the support I need to complete my work
- My manager is a great role model for me and other employees
- My manager actively supports my development
- The overall strategy set by the management is leading in the right direction.
- Goals and strategies set by management are clearly communicated
Those are just a few of the available questions in our Best Practice Mix and Match library, and of course, you can also create your own.
Allow your team to point out things that are running well and areas where they see room for improvement to understand your team’s needs.
Topics you might want to assess with our in-app questions are:
- I can count on my co-workers to help out when needed
- We hold ourselves accountable for great results
- I find my workload manageable
- I am able to arrange time off from work when I need to
- We value open and honest communication
- My co-workers are open to opinions different from their own
- I have the opportunity to do challenging things at work
- Most days, I feel a sense of accomplishment from what I do
Engagement Surveys and Pulse Checks
Both are valuable to gauge your team’s motivation, inspirations, frustrations, and expectations. They will give you the insides to unearth areas for improvement, take the right actions, and as such, boost your team’s well-being and performance.
With recurring rounds, you can compare a change over time. Engagement surveys are usually longer and less frequent, whereas Pulse checks can be conducted bi-weekly or monthly with a shorter questionnaire to ensure high participation rates.
Once you see the results of the surveys, Leapsome provides you with action plans based on the answers to your survey.
We recommend you share the results of the survey with the team. This gives your team the feeling of being heard. Once they see their opinion has an impact, you create a solid base for high-performing teams.
How goals in Leapsome will help you to create purpose and alignment - the basis of any high-performing team
OKRs and goal cycles
Direction, being one of the main two pillars needed for any team, builds the foundation for the purpose- the why and the how. High-performing teams define these goals together to shape their purpose. The direction or vision you are heading towards should create purpose and contribute towards long-term success.
Setting team goals during goal cycles is a best practice to ensure that your company’s vision translates to all levels and that employees know how their work supports and impacts it. Employees are more likely to find work meaningful if they understand how their contribution affects their growth.
Objectives describe the direction the company wants to grow towards- they should be bold, concise, and straightforward. Key results define the action plan of how you will reach the goals. They must be measurable.
Bringing together different talents and skill-sets to work together on a team goal is fun; tracking progress together creates a feeling of accomplishment. With goals and OKR’s, you fuel both direction and collaboration in your teams. While ensuring they know how they contribute, and by giving them a road map to success, you make your team effective and efficient.
They can be business goals as the goal of an individual contributor, or they can be development goals. Both can be drawn into your assessments to build your performance evaluation on the individual’s stretch and growth.
Individual objectives follow the same OKR logic described above. Whether they are about skills and competencies, career plans, or business contributions, they create motivation and nudge your employees to stretch and learn, improving their skills set continuously. From this, the entire team will benefit. Some ideas for your individual goals:
- Learn how other departments function
- Learn a new technology
- Create a new tool
- Develop a new skill.
How Reviews help you to design the team’s skills, which you will need
Taking Stock - Upskilling- Motivating
With a 360 feedback cycle, you will see a data-based summary of your team’s skills and talents. You will also see where you are missing skills, where you have room for training, or which skills your recruiters should be looking for. By adding values to the review, you can align performance with the company’s and team’s culture and identity.
Project Reviews allow you to reflect on what went well and what you as a team would like to do differently while at the same time providing you with the opportunity to give valuable feedback on each team member’s skill-set and performance.
Assessments: We all crave recognition and want to understand how we contribute as individuals. We want to grow and develop ourselves. An Assessment that covers all relevant skills and values and focuses on growth and opportunity provides just this.
Upward feedback: This allows you to understand your strengths as a leader and learn from your team members or other leaders in the company by comparing yourself to others.
Analyzing the results
The radar chart gives you an overview of your team’s strengths. You can use this for a Skill-Gap analysis. If you use it for an individual performance discussion, you can see gaps between self-assessment and the evaluation of others
9 Box: This allows you to map two skills or competencies against each other and see your high performers for those selected skills. This is useful for selecting a diverse and highly skilled team to select peers or create the most powerful project team you can think of.
Timeline: This will give you insights into your team’s or team members’ development over time, so you can see if your actions to upskill your team did work.
With the review module and its analytics, you have many tools at hand to gauge your current skill set, upskill for the future, see the development over time and focus on growth so your team can take on any challenge.
How Meetings in Leapsome will help you to foster collaboration and use your team’s time effectively
You can start with a ritual, e.g., for a check-in. This will support building a strong identity and create an atmosphere of mutual understanding. One idea could be to ask everyone how they feel in terms of a color/ a song / a drink / a movie. You could ask every team member to share the highlight of their week.
Next, you want to provide a structure. With the template function in our Meetings module, you assist the team in gathering the thoughts and providing necessary information before the meeting. As everyone will get a reminder to add their talking points two hours prior to the meeting, each member will be prepared with their thoughts structured and having updated the points they want to talk about.
OKR Check-in meetings
They help you understand where everyone is standing and identify roadblocks before it is too late.
You can measure and boost confidence in achieving the goals and promote learning. Where needed, you can calibrate expectations and react to sudden changes. Finally, it will document your way to reaching your goals.
Build strong relationships with each member of your team.
Regular 1:1 meetings with your team members will increase engagement by making them feel valued and creating an empathetic relationship. As a manager, you will benefit from hearing their side of the story and learning new aspects. Not only do they provide room for a private discussion, but they also make checking in with your team members quick and straightforward. Finally, they create a solution-oriented mindset that will help you as a team look for consistently superior results that your team can deliver with the right amount of support.
A few things to keep in mind when conducting 1:1 meetings. Focus on
- Asking rather than telling
- Listening rather than speaking
- Looking for opportunities rather than looking for mistakes
Topics that you can cover in a 1:1 meeting
- Checking in on the progress of Goals / OKR’s
- Bi-directional feedback
- Development progress and opportunities
- Praise and recognition
These will give you powerful tools to foster collaboration, provide moments of celebration, increase development and grow a mindset that focuses on opportunities.
How Instant Feedback will help you to create a feedback culture and promote continuous improvement
Request and give feedback with Instant feedback.
It is easy to give feedback in Leapsome. And it is crucial, as the younger your workforce is, the more frequent they crave feedback. Millennials, for example, want feedback 50% more often than previous generations, and they will compromise 75% of the global workforce by 2025, according to McKinsey, Leadership & Org blog, 2018.
Asking for feedback as a leader will increase your perceived leadership. Forbes found a strong positive correlation between leaders who asked for feedback and their effectiveness. (Forbes, The Best Gift Leaders Can Give: Honest Feedback 2013).
It makes people feel valued and creates an honest and transparent environment, and you as a leader can continuously learn with your team. If your feedback is concrete, constructive, and based on specific behaviors described in practical situations, you give the meaningful feedback that many employees are craving. This applies to positive feedback as well as to constructive feedback.
High-quality, regular feedback increases employee retention, empowerment, engagement, and employee well-being. Here are many good reasons to use the Instant Feedback module to make your team stronger and work happier.
Celebrating success is essential. It means recognition and appreciation for the individual or team. Employees who do not feel recognized are twice as likely to quit the job, according to Gallup. There is a fine difference between recognition and appreciation. Recognition values someone’s efforts for achievements. It is important to create a feeling of belonging. Appreciation focuses on a person’s value as an individual. It helps to foster valued behaviors, even in challenging situations that stop them from achieving goals. Appreciation builds a humane culture and creates the environment needed to build connections and psychological safety. With Leapsome, it is easy to share your appreciation and recognition through the Praise feature- especially remotely and in the office with the option to share all Praises on a praise wall.