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High Performing Teams Part1

5 months ago - Mark Ashton

High Performing Teams Part1


I recently attended a presentation and took some really valid points on board that I thought would make an excellent couple of blog posts.  The first is the subject of high-performing teams.  Something we have all been part of at one time, and it’s something that all businesses need in order to succeed.

The Selection Process

The individuals that make a successful team are there because of a specific skill they have. Personality needs to be secondary to their skills, but can we honestly say that we hire solely on skillset, or on team fit, or do we hire people because we think we like them?

Each member of the team is needed because they can individually help bring the team closer to the end goal.  The overall objective of the team is more important than the individuals who make up the team and should be a significant focus when the selection process is in play.

It should be expected that members of the team need to spend time together and also be respectful of one another.  Recognising that their feedback, comments, and overall cooperation are essential to help the team attain and set goals.  They are each accountable to one another and need to recognise their own performance metrics.

As a recruiter, I always try to understand the culture of a business; I like to meet the team members and take a tour around the business. For me, this is all part and parcel of providing a value add service.  I whole heartedly agree that team fit and culture are two crucial elements in the recruitment process, as is having the ideal skill set. Would I place a candidate who had the right skillset into a company where I felt they might not gel and end up leaving in under a year? Most definitely not.  Have others before me done this, most likely.

The Tuckman Model

I have heard about this model before and the presentation I attended formalised this.  Below is just a short and snappy overview of this model.  It outlines how there are several stages the team needs to go through before it reaches the stage that it becomes effective.


This is the stage where the objectives of the team are being defined. At this point, there is a high dependence on the team leader or senior members of the team. Tolerance is being tested, and often proper processes are not always followed.


This is where the team are developing their standards and building effective relationships. Decisions within the group are not often achieved in the most effective way as individuals will vie for position and they are trying to establish themselves. This is the stage where so called power struggles can develop.


A general consensus is achieved by this point. Commitment is good, unity has been developed, and smaller tasks are now able to be effectively given to responsible individuals to make. The team might even start to socialise and have fun together. Processes and styles of working are being developed cohesively.


The team is aware of what it is doing, and they are more strategically aware with a shared vision.  Criteria are dictated by the team leader, but decisions are made from within the team. There is a high level of autonomy within the team.

So, how will you know you have got to the final point and are now part of a high performing team?

These four things will occur within a team when it reaches the final stage in The Tuckman Model.

  • Team members will listen to each other
  • Team members will communicate well with one another
  • Team members are supportive of one another
  • Team members are comfortable giving feedback to each other

I am going to do a follow up to this post with a second on the same subject. I found it a really interesting and engaging topic and as always, would welcome your thoughts on the model and the content.

Also, for those joining a new business, with what is already considered to be a high-performing team; how easy is it to integrate a new member into the team successfully?

Are there any tips or advice you give a new employee or do you just let them figure it out for themselves?

Is offering a buddy-system considered to be a little amateurish or do you think this type of approach works well in today’s workplaces?