What differentiates high-performing teams from the rest? Why do some teams excel while others struggle? These are common inquiries that come my way regularly as a HR expert. From a variety of perspectives and different words, the essence remains: understanding the factors that build a productive and happy team.
As someone deeply immersed in the field, I’m constantly engaged in addressing a multitude of concerns, untangling problems, and ensuring that every voice across organisations be heard.
However, it’s the overarching focus on team productivity and well-being that consistently takes centre stage in the minds of the organisations seeking my guidance. It’s no secret that making strides in these areas has a ripple effect, solving issues across nearly every other aspect of the organisation.
Take a moment to explore these five essential factors in building your dream team:
Put Well-Being Front And Centre
Employee well-being is a holistic journey. Often, it focuses solely on individuals, overlooking the support that line managers, teams, or departments need.
Start by integrating well-being language into job ads, descriptions, and interviews. This showcases the organisation’s commitment to well-being.
During interviews, it’s a great idea for candidates to openly discuss their well-being needs. This ensures that these needs become part of their local onboarding process with their line manager, and allows the right strategies to be put in place even before the employee starts their role. Teams must address biases for well-being challenges that might not be apparent whilst respecting privacy and consent.
Create A Common Language
Leaders should craft policies and processes that infuse language with positivity, empathy, and understanding. The goal? To break down barriers and foster genuine human connections, so employees naturally feel at ease discussing their issues and concerns. This unique approach not only helps employers gauge their overall state but also pinpoints areas where they can grow and custom-tailor programmes to their specific needs.
When leaders put human connection first, they can cultivate an environment of trust, loyalty, and mutual respect. These elements are important in understanding the happiness level of team members within an organisation.
Giving employees autonomy significantly impacts their job satisfaction and engagement. Encourage autonomy by letting them shape their work schedules, establish flexible deadlines, support hybrid work, and offer remote options.
With remote work becoming the norm, many companies are transitioning to hybrid models. This setup lets employees choose between working remotely and being in the office on specific days.
Over the past 2.5 years, we’ve observed the power of hybrid work in offering flexibility and improved work-life balance. While challenges remain, this approach allows employees to tailor work around personal commitments, lowering stress and enhancing overall feeling of fulfilment in both work and personal life.
Address The Cost Of Living Crisis
Employees value employers and organisations that acknowledge the ever-increasing cost of living. With necessities like housing, healthcare, transportation, and education expenses on the rise, employees are under growing financial strain, impacting their well-being.
Organisations can establish a charitable arm to provide financial aid, including assistance for energy bills, travel, and other household expenses. Consider creating a food bank run by employees or setting up accessible food bank stations.
Exploring flexible work arrangements can help employees travel during off-peak times, reducing transportation costs. Moreover, arranging tailored financial workshops can empower employees to make their money go further.
Always Lead By Example
Strong and supportive leadership is the cornerstone of nurturing content and high-performing teams. Leaders should serve as guides, empowering their team members and providing support, rather than applying undue pressure, especially in significant projects.
Encouraging both professional advancement and personal growth, along with providing resources, is crucial. Leaders should exemplify the values and behaviours they wish to see within the team.
When both parties uphold their responsibilities and obligations, it paves the way for heightened employee contentment, enhanced communication, more effective conflict resolution, and a reinforced sense of unity within the team.
High-performing teams stand out due to a combination of factors. The influence of employee well-being and the current global economic landscape has sparked a notable focus on well-being. A surge of businesses and coaches providing services that improve happiness and productivity emerged during the pandemic, indicating a widespread demand.
Factors like the “Great Resignation” and hybrid work arrangements have prompted organisations to prioritise investing in their employees. Legal obligations and the tie between happiness, productivity, and profitability contribute to this shift. These dynamics serve as catalysts for change, suggesting a lasting presence for workplace holistic initiatives.
However, this shouldn’t be a mere checkbox exercise. Organisations genuinely committed to employee satisfaction will enjoy the fruits of their efforts. These factors fuel optimism about the trajectory of a happy and productive workplace.
About Jennifer Opare-Aryee
Founder and Director of JOA HR Consulting Limited, Jennifer found her passion for HR during a work placement at university where she experienced first-hand the strength and power of employees’ voices in shaping and influencing policy development. Today she provides customised people management solutions to businesses within health, hospitality, construction, housing and social care to ensure that processes are legally compliant, people-centred and user friendly.