Why do some teams fail?

It is commonly understood that the results of collaboration and working together can yield infinitely more than a collection of individuals working on their own.

As recruiters we hear from hiring managers regularly about their own desire to build a high performing team.

So, what steps can business owners and team managers put in place in order to build an effective team?

In this short guide we will highlight 5 potential barriers that could be affecting team performance:-


Ineffective Leadership

Whilst team composition is critical, an important part of the drive for results comes from the top down. Great leaders provide direction, inspire a shared belief in what the company is striving towards, and empower the team to get there. Results-driven team leaders with high emotional intelligence are the most effective at inspiring their team to better results. Is your leader providing the framework that is going to help your team to perform? Do you ask your team for regular feedback as to how the leader is performing?


Lack of buy in

To start effectively collaborating it is important to start establishing shared goals that team members can work towards together. If teams don’t fully understand the objectives of their work and agree upon them in the first place, then the initial goal setting is pretty pointless and highly likely to fail.


Lack of trust

A lack of trust between people who are working towards a common purpose often has a negative impact on their desire to offer feedback, share their knowledge & perspective and most importantly of all can result in miscommunication and conflict that can further impede your efforts to create a high performing team. Without trust those all-important work relationships that help drive efficiencies simply don’t happen.


Lack of accountability

In cases where certain team members regularly underperform and refuse to take responsibility for how their actions affect a team’s progress, it can be a real cause of conflict. With greater accountability, team members may feel more validated in their perspectives and be more accommodating toward other team members’ struggles with meeting expectations. Therefore, to overcome this barrier, teams can create processes for tracking workflow and keeping all team members accountable for their specific duties.


Lack of diversity

One of the biggest levers for improving a team’s financial performance is increasing its diversity. Diverse teams typically yield 35% higher financial returns according to McKinsey (McKinsey, 2017). Diversity also enhances decision-making, innovation, and employee satisfaction. Have you looked at your recruitment strategy, are hiring managers using effective assessment tools to reduce the unconscious bias in the selection process?

This is by no means an exhaustive list of reasons why a team might not be performing to their full potential. Making small measured changes to the way you work, structure and communicate with each other can have a exponential impact on your collaboration levels and lead to some positive results.

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