February 20, 2024

Redefining performance: Key characteristics of a highly efficient team

Shifting the way we view employee performance can completely change the work cultures we build. While output metrics are still important for leaders to track and measure, they are not the only metrics that define high performance. 

Global work stress remained at an all-time high going into 2024, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace Report. People are quiet quitting, disengaged, and looking for new job opportunities, both actively and passively. 

If workers struggle to show up daily and stay engaged, how can leaders expect them to operate at their highest potential?

The most efficient and innovative companies in 2024 and beyond will be those that prioritize cultural input just as much as employee output. This requires leaders to build systems and processes that ensure employees are given the training and guidance to yield results that align with the company’s goals. 

Therefore, performance isn’t about getting employees to do more work, it’s about fostering an environment where they can do their best work. 

The first step is for leaders to transform how they view and measure performance, so let’s look at what defines a high-performing team. 

The key characteristics of a high-performing team

At Perfeqta, we believe performance sets the tone for a company’s culture. It’s a visual depiction of an organization’s values and employee expectations. However, performance is more than just the results of work – it’s also how employees interact with leaders, other team members, and the company culture. 

Here’s what we believe a high-performing team looks like:

Employees understand their role and leadership’s expectations of them. Leadership makes performance goals clear and accessible. All team members understand how their contributions align with the company’s objectives. Performance goals are also transparent and readily accessible so employees can easily track their progress.

Employees are not burned out, but instead energized and motivated. They feel their work is connected to the company’s mission and goals. This alignment not only prevents burnout but also fuels a shared commitment to the organization's purpose.

The company provides all employees with growth opportunities. Team members are challenged, but not overwhelmed because they have leadership support. This balance creates an environment where individuals can develop and contribute meaningfully to the team and company.

The culture fosters a sense of belonging. Employees don’t feel the need to hide parts of their identity to assimilate. They feel comfortable challenging company culture and systems, voicing their concerns, and offering innovative solutions without the fear of judgment. 

Employees trust leadership, and the trust is reciprocated. When employees trust their leaders, they are comfortable providing feedback and actively seek constructive input, creating a feedback loop that enhances personal and collective growth.

The company prioritizes collaboration and teamwork. Prioritizing collaboration extends beyond completing tasks; it’s intentional relationship-building that promotes allyship, empathy, and cultural competence. 

Employees are problem solvers and results-oriented. They’re confident in their ideas because the company recognizes and rewards them for their contributions. This acknowledgment boosts individual morale and builds a culture where contributions are valued and celebrated.

When measuring performance, leaders should look at these key areas to determine whether or not the work environment encourages employees to show up as their best selves. Building and maintaining an innovative culture should not solely depend on employees’ output, but should also take into account leadership’s ability to effectively engage, support, and develop team members. 

Download our latest white paper to learn more about building a high-performing work culture

Our white paper explores how companies can put equity back into talent and build high-performing teams.

We want leaders to assess their work culture, get rid of outdated policies and practices, and build workplaces where people feel valued and supported.

Topics from our white paper include:

  • Restoring the employee-employer relationship for enhanced engagement and productivity.
  • Redefining equity and the future of DEI in the workplace.
  • Tackling resistance against DEI and fostering a culture of belonging.
  • Data-driven decision-making for equitable talent management.
  • Practical steps for recruiting, retaining, and promoting top talent with a focus on DEI.

Download your copy here.

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