Best practice, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Perhaps you have seen many a promising innovation do more harm than good to the complex arrangement of systems that make up your organization. After all, we all have a limited capacity for trying new things, especially when we see numerous initiatives come and go without any lasting positive effect.

Many a consultant is ready to promise that their approach, aimed at solving part of the problem, will provide a total solution. However, total and continuous performance improvement and best practice relies on more than just measuring performance or developing goals or putting in a new system. If you are to achieve sustained performance improvement and best practice, nothing short of a purposeful, total and systematic approach will suffice.

Sacher Associates has identified the following ten essential components of team performance that are strongly evident in all high-performance teams and are basic to achieving best practice.

The ten essential components of team performance

  • A unified sense of direction
  • Strategy or long-term goals
  • Outputs and performance measures
  • Targets
  • Performance feedback
  • Communication
  • Training (skills/knowledge)
  • Systems and processes
  • Structure and job design
  • Reward systems

The better a team develops these components, the better its performance. By developing the ones that need improvement in your organisation, you are able to get on with creating a high-performance environment and culture for your organization. When these ten components are systematically built into everyday activities, performance always continuously improves and best practice is achieved.

Performance problems arise in business when management has not properly designed the organization’s performance systems. Encouraging the workforce to focus on the ten essential components of team performance concentrates their efforts on tackling any problems, rather than fixing blame. Engineering a work environment conducive to team performance gets widespread support within the workforce, and enables you to achieve best practice.

Many people believe that their organisations have been there, done that currently doing all of this stuff. However, many of them are yet to anchor these ten components even minimally, let alone at best practice levels, especially at the workforce and team leader/supervisor levels.

In other organizations, although managers attend in some way to these ten components of team performance, they do not go the distance in ensuring that these components become successfully and permanently entrenched in the work environment or culture – the stage that is directly correlated with the highest levels of employee performance and job satisfaction.

As we are human beings, the potential to improve our performance is limitless, and the competition intense. Our business focus should be on achieving best practice through increasingly more thorough implementation of these ten essential components.

If you are not yet achieving best practice in all ten components across all the teams in your organization, you have the opportunity to improve performance through sharpening your practice within each of these basic, essential components.

To assist you in achieving best practice Sacher Associates has distilled 25 years of practical consulting experience and advice into our Books and EBooks: Performance Measures Applied, Commonsense Approach to Business Planning, Performance-linked Communication, Performance-linked Learning, and Success through Team Performance.

Our latest book  What Do I Do on Monday Morning? is  simple and easy-to-use. This book gives you daily advice on practical ways of achieving sustained performance improvement. The items for each day in January focus on ‘the big picture’ while the daily items for February to November focus on each of Sacher Associates’ ten essential components of team performance. The December entries provide guidance on how to successfully implement high-performance teamwork.