By RedBalloon for Business

Building a high-performance team starts with a strong leader and a foundation of trust

In the fast-paced business world, you need a team that is not only engaged and in tune with your company strategy, but also packed with high performers. In order to reach that point, your employees must be equipped with the right tools and have a common purpose to strive towards.

Leading from the front

A strong team starts and ends with a strong leader. Before you can craft that high-performance team, it’s important to look inward and recognise your best traits as well as your flaws. Only then can you start to work on improving any faults that may impede your ability to lead. Seeing as a recent study found only 42% of managers said they received leadership training, it’s well worth seeking out fellow leaders – at the very least – to improve your abilities as a leader.

Shared experiences = trustworthy co-workers

When you think about the most famous leaders in the world – whether that’s business, politics or sports – money is often an overriding factor in their success. But a Deloitte study found that only 10% of millennials define a “true business leader” as someone who’s focused on financial results.

What does this mean for modern leaders? It means the definition of “leadership” has a very different description for the new generation of workers. You can start to build a solid foundation of trust with your employees by taking the time to understand what they see as important. And by discussing – and creating – shared experiences together, you can foster social capital that will automatically feed into a higher-performing team.

A common purpose

Everyone has their own goals. Some are short-term personal targets, such as completing a self-development course or finishing a half-marathon. But others are tied to their workplace. Those are the goals you should know about as their leader.

Take the time to sit down with each employee – as well as together as a team – to get clarity across how each staff member fits into the business as whole. From there, you can build outwards and begin meshing the team as one that’s focused on mutual goals.

What are some proven team-building activities?

Once they see themselves as a team, your employees will gain a sense of group empowerment. But don’t praise your leadership skills just yet – that trust in each other must be constantly fed in order to blossom.

Team-building activities are a great tool to harness the collective strength of your employees and also improve their engagement levels both inside and outside the workplace. Escape rooms, fun runs, cooking classes, social nights, team trivia, bubble soccer – the choices are endless, and it’s key that your employees have a say on which team-building exercises excite them the most. You have shared goals in the workplace, so why not have them for external exercises as well?

Recognise and reward your employees’ good work

It’s not enough to simply go out for a game of footy a couple of times a year and expect the team to build itself. Your employees want you to invest in them as people – not just as worker bees. In fact, Deloitte found that one-third of millennials would choose employee wellbeing, growth and development as top priorities if they were in charge. But they also think just 20% of their leadership team are making the same choices.

To truly invest in your staff, you need to invest in their goals. That means not only working with them to create shared goals within the framework of your business operations, but also rewarding them along the way. This could be something as small as praising their good work or starting a leader board that recognises the best performers for each week. Whatever promotes a positive work culture is good for both business and your employees.

Common hurdles – and how to overcome them

Even if your workplace is made up of the most intelligent and hardworking individuals, your team will still encounter hurdles along the way. However, a simple three-step process can help you clear those hurdles before they have a chance to knock your legs out from under you:

  1. Use technology to build relationships in your team: Whether it’s introducing a rewards and recognition program for your employees, or keeping everyone on the same page with a social communication platform, the smartest workplaces investigate and implement new technologies to help their teams succeed.
  2. Keep your team motivated: Know what motivates staff? When their leaders have a stake in their success. Whether it’s daily interactions or in more formal review settings, always take advantage of moments to discuss opportunities with your employees. Could they take on an additional task that will teach them a valuable new skill? Are there training programs that could upskill them and put them on the leadership path? By investing in your employees, you invest in the growth of your company.
  3. Establish and document your processes: It’s easy to get caught in a rhythm of managing employees ‘fast and loose’, and while it might work in the short term, when inevitable new hires arrive you’ll have to start all over again. Instead, document your processes – both formal and informal – so you can refer back to what does and doesn’t work. A minor investment of time today could prevent any hiccups occurring down the line.


  • A strong and successful team starts with a committed leader who can build up trust with their employees.
  • Millennials place high priority on wellbeing, growth and development – and successful managers will foster mutual goals to invest in their employees.
  • Effective communication, motivation and documentation will help managers to overcome hurdles and build social and trust within a team.

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To find out more about how the RedBalloon for Business team can help your team reach high performance, contact us today.