Three steps to create high performing teams

The past three years have presented a variety of unprecedented challenges for small to medium businesses

Three steps to create high performing teams

The pandemic, cost of living and economic uncertainty have forced businesses to operate in a constantly changing landscape. This has made planning for the future and managing budgets difficult. 

Business leaders today, face the challenge of enhancing productivity among their employees. In response, many are examining their office policies and work models as potential solutions.

However, the key to improving productivity, and ensuring that employees remain invested in their work for the right reasons, lies in intentionally creating the right culture. This culture should be underpinned by three key elements: technology, ethics, and equal opportunities.   

Technology which enables high performance

As today’s world is increasingly global, it’s no surprise that the future of work is about connecting people regardless of their locations and time zones. This connectivity is crucial for true collaboration, allowing global projects to run smoothly and enabling employees to contribute from anywhere in the world.  

To foster high-performing teams, it’s essential that employees have access to the right technologies. Implementing a comprehensive technology stack not only facilitates collaboration but also empowers employees by taking care of admin and allowing them to focus on tasks that matter. 

For example, AI-powered tools can help sales managers summarise a call and prepare for the next one without having to take notes while speaking with the customer. As a result, they can be more present and attentive to non-verbal signals and the body language of a customer, to offer them a truly personalised and fitting solution. 

A company ethos that drives purpose

In today’s working world, people look for roles and companies that offer a tangible sense of purpose in their daily tasks. SMBs that want to retain and attract the best talent, can tap into this potential by identifying their company ethos–a combination of purpose-driving values, business goals, and people strategy.  

Consider a software developer at a tech company whose primary role is coding, but who is also passionate about sustainability. To add more purpose to their professional life, they could create an initiative team to educate peers about sustainability in network architecture. This might include hosting workshops, writing blogs, or speaking at conferences about sustainable system design.

Introducing a sense of purpose can bring remarkable results for businesses. At Dropbox, we develop tools for remote collaboration. Adopting a ‘Virtual First’ work model three years ago allowed us to stay true to our principles and build on them. Now that we all work remotely, we are the first testers for our products internally before their release. Living by our values maintains our company culture and ensures the business’s success, as 93% of our employees feel productive in a remote setting.

To bring any purpose-related initiatives to life, business leaders need to demonstrate clear communication and skilful leadership. It’s crucial to involve all employees in unlocking this purpose, helping them see themselves as an integral part of the company’s present and future. 

Equal opportunities

To enhance productivity, SMBs need to focus on recognising and retaining their top talent and promote examples of excellence across the company. However, to make it work, employees must feel they have an equal opportunity to succeed. 

For SMBs amidst the widening skill gap, nurturing top talent is essential, and employees need to be able to envision their own path to reaching this level. Business leaders should consider implementing a dedicated top talent programme that includes learning and development opportunities, stretch projects, shadowing, and being engaged in–or owning–new and meaningful initiatives. Such a programme, when thought through, can be cost-efficient and, in turn, drive not only employee satisfaction but also a renewed sense of opportunity and motivation amongst the team.

What comes next

When looking towards the next year and beyond, it’s important for businesses to understand exactly what is needed for their employees to do the best job possible whilst navigating tight budgets. 

By re-evaluating the processes currently in use and focusing on three key elements: technology, businesses ethos and equal opportunity, it can allow for a fresh sense of optimism and promote enthusiasm and creativity within the workplace. 

Andy Wilson
Andy Wilson

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