Supervision & Team Leadership

What Every Team Leader Should Know

Good team leadership is defined by only a few easy to learn techniques, you are about to find out about one of these techniques ..... How to build a high performing team!

“Building a High Performing Team – Discover the techniques every team leader should know”



A Great Place to Start

If you want to build a high performance team one of the first things that you will need to do is to eliminate all undesirable conduct and poor performance. High performing employees are normally dissatisfied with the lower performers who seem to getaway with their under-contribution.

Identifying the undesirable behaviors and poor performance in your business can easily be done in a brainstorming session either by yourself or with your peers/manager.

  1. Brainstorming all undesirable behaviors
  2. Identifying employee's with low productivity (poor performance)


For example

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Now, one of the most important qualities of a team leadership is fairness, in that you treat all people the same. To ensure that you are seen to be fair you can use the Performance Matrix shown below to group your staff. This grouping is used to categorize your people into four groups based on both their performance and their behavior.


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You now can allocate each employee to a box in the matrix below, (the red arrows indicate the improvement required). One of the principle of good team leadership is respecting your employee's privacy, so do not share this completed matrix with anyone other than your manager or Human Resource adviser.


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Now, for the fun part of team leadership ......... in your next team meeting you reward with a chocolate frog or similar everyone in the good behavior / good performance box and thank them for their performance or contribution.

Following the praise, after your meeting, you catch up informally at first with each of the other employees and explain their performance gap. In this discussion you sit down with each of your people and graphically show them which box they are in and explain why they are in that box ………. Then ask them to tell you what they can do to shift to the desirable box!

See the example below, it is a very powerful visual aid to use in your one on one or fireside chat discussions.



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Note: You should always seek advise from your Human Resource Adviser before you commence any performance related discussions



Team Leadership Tip

When each of your people improve make sure you give them a chocolate frog or equivalent too! Keep rewarding good performance with compliments, certificates and praise – with an occasional low value gift.

Note: You may find that you need to revisit the undesirable behaviors more than once with some people though most will simply fall into line.

And ........


The employees who need to improve their productivity may require some additional coaching or training to get everyone up to the required standard.

The next step is based on research that demonstrates that informal feedback has the largest impact on employee performance.


Now its time to assess your team leadership

The next step is to find out how you can improve your team’s performance by improving your leadership …….. you can do this by completing a targeted brainstorming activity with your team where you ask your people the following questions. Alternatively you may choose to survey your team.


  1. Do you get enough feedback about ….
    1. The quality of your work
    2. Your technical skills
    3. Your productivity
    4. Are their any other areas that you would like to get feedback on
  1. Do you get enough communication on …….
    1. How the team is performing
    2. What is expected of us in the future
    3. How the business is going
    4. What other areas are doing
    5. Other … what other type of communication would you like?
  1. Do you understand the required performance standard for 
    1. Productivity?
    2. Quality?
    3. Code of conduct?
  1. In your formal performance reviews
    1. Do I emphasize your performance strengths?
    2. Do you believe I am knowledgeable about your performance?
    3. Do you get feedback that helps you to do your job better?
  1. Are you free
    1. To raise issues?
    2. Be innovative and take risks? 
    3. Communication openly?


Then  ….. listen to your team and action their suggestions.


(Some people want to have a few months to make sure they are doing the things on the check list. Don't over think this activity, just ask your people and then adopt the changes they want the most)


The next team leadership challenge .... identifying your teams morale


Team Morale

No need for expensive surveys all you will need is a white board, some post it notes and about 40 minutes

Draw a horizontal line across the white board, at one end write high morale and at the other write low morale. Give each of your people a post it note and ask them to place their note on the board where they think their morale currently is. (no names on the notes). Leave the room for 5 minutes while your team completes this activity and then return. When you return thank your people for the feedback.

Example of the spread of notes


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Take a look at the pattern of post it notes and ask your people, what do we need to do to improve our morale?


And ....... take notes – do not comment ….. at the end ask them to prioritize the issues. Ask them to be reasonable …. Some things cannot be fixed quickly such as your mainframe computer systems.

Then after the meeting type up the collated feedback and pass a copy back to your people, then work with your people to implement some of the changes, where possible involve your people along the way as much as possible.



Team Leadership for High Performing Teams


Then …….. Do it all again (Start at step one only this time identify all of the desirable behaviors and high performance and give token gifts, certificates and public praise).


Other pages that will help you to build a High Performing Team

  1. MBWA - A strategic influential approach
  2. Discovering leadership skills
  3. Leading rapid culture change


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