How Do Best Performing Teams Operate and Improve Continuously? (And How Can You Build One)

best performing teams

In a world that’s ever-changing, it is essential to always be at our best. Whether it is in our capacity as an individual, a team, or an organization, we must perform optimally every day and improve continuously to survive. To survive in an organization, it is crucial to practice proper teamwork. To have an appropriate team and grow continually, we need specific requirements. They include innovation, leadership, ability to learn, etc.

Characteristics of Best Performing Teams


Innovation is the foundation for sustainable growth. Businesses that start with innovative ways to tackle day to day problems almost always succeed in the long run. Most changes are subject to changes in the guidelines or rules. Knowing those rules help us identify how we may tackle a given problem in the most efficient way possible. Best performing teams continuously strive for innovation.

Innovation is a series and not a single match.

Change is not a single event. It’s a long-drawn process that starts at one big bang and gradually rises to its potentials through a series of smaller events.

For example, Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin 15 years before the drug could be broadly marketed in its current form.

Innovation is a combined knowledge and effort.

It took a group of distinguished scientists to use Fleming’s knowledge of Penicillin, synthesize it, and refine it to the drug that people can use. Thus, innovation rises when culture meets effort.

Ask the right questions first.

There is no way to solve the problem if we do not understand where it truly lies. Thus, asking the right questions is the only way to reach the correct answers. Ask random questions, no matter how silly it sounds in your mind. Sooner or later, we are bound to conclude that one problem whose solution will solve it all.

No “one size fits all.”

Do not limit an idea just because it seems too vast to implement. Put logistics aside for a while. Concentrating on what can solve the issue at hand is more important than optimizing the solution to our means. That can come later.

The 70-20-10 rule.

Most brilliantly cutting-edge companies follow this rule. 70% of one’s efforts to improve existing technology, 20% for finding solutions to known problems and the rest 10% to see if there are any other pain-points. If it helps, Google, one of the leaders in innovative technology, also follows the same rule.


Being a leader is not a cakewalk. It requires experience, skills, and confidence. However, direction largely determines how efficiently a team will perform. Best performing teams are guided by dynamic leaders.

Do not take out your stress on your team.

More often than not, as a team lead or manager, you are under pressure to get results. However, passing on that same pressure on to your team does you no favor. A hostile team environment only decreases productivity.

Play to your strengths.

Every member of your team has a particular skill that makes them essential to the side. Divide up the workload in a way to utilize that.

Use company resources optimally.

If your team needs some training or equipment, don’t be stingy. That investment is worth it. Every company has an allocated budget for skill-building. Use it to improve your team’s value.

How to lead successful meetings

Hire The Right People

best performing teams

Your team is your asset. It is essential that you have the right mix of skills and temperaments in it. Best performing teams complement the skills of each member.

Understand the candidate’s aspiration.

If a person’s goals align with that of the organization, he or she will be a long-term asset. So, to make sure you have a stable team, it is essential to understand the ambitions of the candidate you are interviewing.

Vet your team properly.

A candidate’s past profile tells us a lot about the kind of addition they will be to the team. Understand their working style. However, do not focus solely on a single mistake made in the past. People change, and often, for the better.

Make sure they gel with the rest of the team.

The success of your organization does not depend on a single individual but their collective effort. Make sure the new person gets along with the rest of the team before making a long-term commitment.

Keep Learning

As a leader, one may often feel they have gathered enough knowledge to last them their entire career. But in a world that is changing every day, that can rarely be the truth. It is crucial, therefore, that one keeps updating themselves.

Best performing teams always keep learning and updating themselves.

Join in on meet-ups.

Meeting people from different stratus of life helps you understand the world around a little better. Learning about experiences faced by others in the same boat as you help develop perspective.

Take a learning course.

There’s no shame in updating yourself. Enroll in a class you think might help your leadership style. Pick up a few new tricks.

Use the internet

The internet is vast and unending, with an array of individual experiences, neatly filed under it. Any time you have a doubt, leverage this knowledge base, and learn a new thing.

Streamline Processes

Businesses are complicated processes. However, the execution need not always be complicated. There are ways you can ensure that our business runs as smoothly and streamlined as possible.

Streamline processes for fewer delays and errors.

Maintain Workflow Inventory

Unless you understand every workflow that needs to go smoothly for your business to run, it won’t run very far. It is essential, therefore, to list down all possible workflows and keep tracking them.

Prioritize and Rank Processes

More often than not, employees will find themselves out of breath, trying to figure out how to complete the arduous list of tasks they are assigned for a day. Putting a priority rank on each task will allow them to streamline their activities. This will help your team focus on the most important tasks and help them perform well.

Breakdown Processes to Smaller Tasks

A process, when seen as a whole, might seem gigantic or more straightforward than it is. Breaking it down into sub-tasks allows us to vet precisely how much effort that process needs. This way, the time estimates become far more accurate. 

Automate and Refine

In today’s fast-paced world, automation is the key. Every task that doesn’t need continuous human intervention must be automated. Spend time at the beginning of every project to find out the areas where automation can be fruitful. Spend time optimizing each plan. That way, once you are down to business, everything becomes smooth sailing. Best performing teams know where automation is required and where their presence.

How is AI simplifying managerial tasks

Build Commitment

What makes an employee love their work? Is it just the pay? Yes, an excellent package helps. But what’s to stop them from moving on the moment someone else has a better offer? The answer is simple. An employee sticks around only when they feel they are valued. Every person craves acknowledgment. A little goes a long way.

Say it out loud

Appreciate your team. Compliment them on a job well done. Each time one of your employees makes an effort, let them know you see it. Acknowledge it loudly, in words. Have weekly appreciation sessions if possible. It goes a great extent in keeping up the team morale. Teams perform well when they know that their efforts are being appreciated.

Be a good listener

Listen to each word your employees say. Being a good listener is half the work done towards being an effective leader. Do not dismiss any complaint or suggestions without at least discussing it and listening to everyone’s point of view.

Ask your team if they need help at work or otherwise

Keep an eye out for someone who might need help. If there is a task an employee is struggling with, lend a hand. Or allot assistance from within or outside the team. Ask them about their lives. We can never tell when someone’s personal life might be affecting their day to day work. Be patient. Humans are complex. 

Help your team grow

Each of your team members is an asset. When they grow, so does the efficiency of your team and in turn, your organization. Allow them the leeway to make progress in their field. It can only be a good investment. High performing teams learn and grow continuously.

Say, “thank you.”

leaders of best performing teams say thank you
leaders of best performing teams show appreciation

Say “thank you,” loudly and often. Appreciation helps motivate employees to give a job, their one hundred percent. A little goes a long way.

Resource Allocation

For your organization to thrive, all resources, human or otherwise, must be utilized to their full potential. To do so, planning, managing, and assigning work plays an integral part.

Keep an accurate log of all tasks and resources

Keeping a tab on all pending tasks is a must. When combined with records of each member’s capacity and how long they take to complete a job, you have a complete set. Once you can see it on paper, whatever you plan will never overstretch for time or resources.

Optimize time management

Overcrowding someone with many tasks is not always the best strategy. Instead, distribute similar functions to the same resource, and suddenly, their work productivity will shoot up. Proper allocation is the key to time management.

Plan strategically

Do not overreach. It is vital that we are realistic about what can be achieved in a given time frame, with the resources at hand. Start with making a strategy that works. Even if it seems less effective than what you had imagined, it is the most efficient way to get the job done.

Save capital

The core goal of any business is to make a profit. Effective resource allocation combined with the right strategy will ensure you always push out products in time and under budget.

Improve Continually

One thing that leads to the decline of any organization is stagnancy. It is crucial to keep on reinventing yourself to stay significant in this ever-changing world. There are pressing reasons for it.

Ruthless Competition

Competition among peers allows you to learn something more every minute. Unless you step up your game, there is a prominent chance that you might not be able to keep up. And once you fall behind, with the fast pacing world of technology we are in, there is no catching up. It is essential that you always stay one step ahead of your peers.

Global Marketplace

You are no longer competing with the ten and twenty organizations within your geographical comfort zone. With the advent of the internet, the world has shrunk, and competition has expanded tenfold. With different people of different nationalities bringing in new-age ideas, you cannot afford to not be in the race.

Abundance of Information

Information is the most easily availed commodity today. The internet has it all; one needs the resources to take it from there. And this comes with its perks and drawbacks. One major perk is, it always informs us of whatever is going around globally. The disadvantage, however, is that so is the customer. Unless you are there for your consumers every step of the way, sure enough, there is no shortage of options for them.


All these above attributes are essential for a successful team. Along with these to lead a team, it is necessary to have proper planning and coordination skills among the team members. People should also have a basic understanding and friendship that will improve the performance of the team in the future.

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