The 10 Characteristics of a High- Performance Work Team Member

The 10 Characteristics of a High- Performance Work Team Member

 “Individual commitment to a group effort – that’s what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi

As a Work Performance Coach, I assist individuals, ranging from CEOs to Front Line Leaders, in improving their skill sets and performance by focusing on what it takes to be a Member of a High-Performance Work Team. Through 20 years of coaching Team Members to improve their performance, the performance of the Team and of the entire organization, I have established 10 characteristics Members of a work group must have for that work group to become a High-Performance Work Team.

However, before examining those 10 characteristics, the definition of a High-Performance Work Team and its importance to an organization needs to be examined:

What is a High-Performance Work Team?

As defined in The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization, by Katzenbach and Smith, a common definition of a work group is “a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed in a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.” In today’s work environment, work groups are essential to an organization’s success and nearly every employee is a member of a work group.

But a High-Performance Work Team is more than a group of employees working together. It is Team Members who

  • Share common goals,
  • Are committed to the Team,
  • Support other Team Members,
  • Understand and fulfills their role on the Team,
  • Pursues performance excellence by continuously working with other Team Members to become more efficient and effective, and
  • Holds themselves and other Team Members accountable for superior results.

Why are High-Performance Work Teams so important?

Because High-Performance Work Teams provide organizations with a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace by

  • making better decisions,
  • implementing decisions and plans more quickly,
  • doing better quality work and
  • are up to 50% more productivity then average work teams, resulting in superior performance,

The 10 Characteristics of a Member of a High-Performance Work Team

Now that we understand what High-Performance Work Teams are and why they are so important to an organization’s success, let’s examine the essential characteristics of the Members of a High-Performance Work Team:

  1. They have a strong work ethic that is focused on results.
  2. They respect and trust other Team Members.
  3. They understand what the Team must achieve are committed to the success of the Team.
  4. They understand their role on the Team, know how to do their jobs and constantly improve their skill set.
  5. They provide support to other Team Members.
  6. They maintain open communication with other Team Members and immediately address issues openly and honestly.
  7. They seek feedback about how they’re doing.
  8. They identify and solve problems together.
  9. They hold themselves and other Team Members accountable and do not tolerate mediocracy.

10.They celebrate individual and Team success.

The Bottom Line: After 20 years as a Work Performance Coach, I can unequivocally state High-Performance Work Teams are the foundation of a successful organization. While developing High-Performance Work Team Members is an effort that requires serious investments of time, energy and resources failure to make that investment ultimately means the failure of the organization.


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