Organisations come in all shapes and sizes. However, there’s no denying that every company desires to scale up. Household names we know today such as Apple, Google and Walt Disney all came from humble beginnings and found global success. So what sets apart successful companies with high-performance teams from the rest?

This is where positive leadership comes into the picture. Strong leadership motivates employees to work towards a common purpose and vision. It builds an organisational culture that everyone wants to be a part of. More importantly, it creates stronger personal relationships. This puts the employees at the core of the business.

By prioritising employees, SMEs are enabling themselves to compete with large and global competitors. With the advantage of being nimble, they can recognise and respond to business challenges more swiftly and capitalise on a tight-knit workforce through increased personal interactions and reduced bureaucracy.

Employee foundation

The first step in creating high-performance teams is asking employees to self-reflect – constant self-evaluation is fundamental in a progressive company that seeks to develop and grow. Leadership is about uplifting and inspiring others, so it is vital that employees start with the right attitude. The simple concept of The Betari Box can be applied in explaining the ripple effect of personal attitudes. The ideology states that attitude affects behaviour, both on a personal and interpersonal level. Consequently, the attitude of one person can ripple through to the entire company. This is why it’s so important for employees to evoke genuine optimism in their attitudes in order to collectively realise a company’s aspirations.

Employees also need to understand what is expected of them when working in teams, which puts them in a better position to make decisions both individually and collectively. This doesn’t mean that employees undertake a personality makeover, but rather they must find the best way for a diverse team to collaborate in order to yield the best results for their company.

More than just nuts and bolts

Due to the restraints that SMEs face, most companies naturally focus on the mechanics of their company. This includes managing technical skills and fixating solely on operational aspects of a company. However, the dynamics are equally as important as they have a direct and positive impact on creating high performing teams. This entails building strong professional relationships, building mutual trust, and agreeing on expected behaviours.

By fine-tuning the dynamics of high-performance teams, this opens up employees to converse in genuine conversations. As a result, it creates a safe environment for candid communication, which boosts productivity by removing the possibility of bottled resentment. Creating a safe environment for frank opinions to be shared can only be achieved through putting an equal amount of importance on relationships.

For example, a Priceline Pharmacy franchise business owner witnessed a 20 per cent average increase in mystery shopper scores and cost savings of 10 per cent from staffing and roster efficiencies due to higher productivity levels. These positive changes solely derived from improving team communication and setting clearer work expectations.

Due to constant fluctuation of the economy, advancement of technology, and an increasingly complex consumer demand, it is crucial that businesses have proactive teams ready to tackle and overcome any obstacles thrown their way. A high-performance culture is a powerful source of competitive advantage that drives smaller businesses into sustainable, successful larger ones. This starts with a strong emphasis on shaping up a resilient team, creating your own organisational culture, building a foundation of trust and celebrating team diversity to allow for creative problem-solving. With a well-knitted team striving towards the same goal, an SME can be ready to face the toughest of challenges.

This article was first published on Inside Small Business

Simon Armstrong

Simon Armstrong

Simon worked for Leading Team from 2015-19.