Dec 20, 2022
5 min read

7 Characteristics of a High-Performing Team

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Constructing a team composed of unique individual members who are also able to collaborate as a whole is a rare gem. Achieving this type of collaboration can lead a company to big things—like business growth, the realization of team goals and overall high performance.

So, how do you make that happen? A recent study by MIT has found that there are specific characteristics of high-performing teams that set them apart from the rest.

High-performing teams use trust and communication to create good energy, strengthen group engagement and explore together to grow and improve, as one cohesive unit.

In this article we will be pointing out 7 essential characteristics of high-performing teams, explaining how programs like are used to build this dream team and mentioning a few common mistakes to watch out for along the way.

7 Characteristics of a high-performing team

  1. Trust

    A strong bond involving trust and respect is the number one contributor to high-performing teams. Undoubtedly, trusting fellow team members leads to increased productivity and an overall feeling of togetherness in the workplace.

    When mutual respect is present in the office, teams can work as a consolidated group and get tasks done more efficiently. Collaborative teams are a big contributor to a high-performance business environment because they work like a well-oiled machine—orderly, systematic and calculated for the best results.

  2. Open Communication

    Building trust is a gateway to cultivating a working environment where open communication is not only common, it's encouraged. Teams who feel confident expressing their opinions, asking for help when needed, or sharing new ideas are often using healthy conflict to make necessary changes within their department.

    A great team grows as a whole by allowing its parts to speak up and give critical feedback that's required to learn and improve. When workmates communicate effectively they boost overall team development, leading to high performance.

  3. Shared vision

    High-performance teams are also able to be transparent, find synergy and gain common understanding among their members by agreeing on one collaborative vision. Having this shared vision helps contribute to a team's success by providing obvious expectations and making sure everyone is on the same page.

    All members of a high-performance team work toward one united objective. This means that they strive to accomplish the same goals, using the same ethics. Knowing and understanding a company's mission statement is usually a good way for teams to provide clear direction.

  4. Diversity

    Well-rounded teams involve a diverse and equally represented demographic within the workplace. Working effectively as a whole requires a mixture of experience, strengths and viewpoints. Having different perspectives heightens a team's performance by opening doors to new projects and opportunities that may otherwise have been closed.

    Diversity is like a chameleon—making it possible for an adaptable team to fit into and belong in any surrounding. Adaptability is an important characteristic of a high-performance team because it prepares the best teams for any situation—no matter the diverse backgrounds required.

  5. Continuous learning

    Continuous learning is key to positive team development. Education is an excellent motivator that keeps teams striving to reach their goals and improve both their strengths and weaknesses.

    A team leader is responsible for making sure individual members of a team have the tools they need to succeed. It's within the team's best interest to constantly learn and better themselves. The lessons learned during regular training and development contribute to higher achievement in the company as a whole.

  6. Measurable objectives

    Not only is it important for high-performing teams to have a collective purpose, but they also benefit from measurable objectives. These specific statistics or analytics make it clear to teams whether they have achieved their desired outcome.

    These objectives should be specific, relevant, manageable and time-sensitive. Having measurable targets makes team members aware of exactly what they need to do and provides insight on how to do it. These assessments can track the team's progress and address any mistakes to ensure future success.

  7. Acknowledgment

    Team effectiveness can be significantly improved through the constant acknowledgment of hard work and dedication in the workplace. When team members succeed, it's essential to pat them on the back to keep them motivated to continue in their success.

    It may even be a good idea to offer rewards for the achievement of measurable objectives. These rewards can include extra vacation time or bonuses. Anything that keeps team members interested in doing well can lead to higher achievement.

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How to build a high-performing team

Building high-performing teams involve a few principle concepts that all businesses should implement. To find success and create well-rounded individuals in an organization it's imperative to…

  • Encourage constant multi-channel feedback

Ask for feedback from your team. Regular check-ins with staff provide team leaders with valuable insights into their team's psychological safety, personal opinions and overall happiness in the workplace.

Team assessments should be professional, timely and specific. HR software such as makes this a breeze by helping to manage personnel evaluations through 360-degree feedback, surveys or reviews.

Lastly, feedback should always be done regularly—this involves bi-weekly, weekly or monthly meetings to encourage high performance. Consistency is key!

  • Make learning a part of the work culture

Investing in professional development means constantly improving. One of the essential characteristics of a high-performing team is the ability to learn and grow.

Challenging teams to be better and learn something new every day propels growth. Create space and opportunities for people to improve communication skills, take training courses and master new technology.

Encourage staff to share what they know with their teammates. Helping each other out permits teams to become well-rounded, and is a huge part of what it means to be collectively successful.

  • Develop clear goals & purpose

When workers are unaware of their specific objectives and intentions at work it can severely hinder performance. This is why team leaders should assure that their team is certain of their work goals and that they have a clear view of the company's common purpose.

Working as a unit to form and accomplish unique goals strengthens team culture. Stating these clear goals keeps all individuals in the loop so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to team performance expectations.

Mistakes to watch out for

When constructing high-performing teams it's easy to miss steps and get lost in the hustle and bustle of the everyday office grind.

To avoid this from happening, here are some common mistakes to watch out for when encouraging healthy behaviors in a company that help build high-performance teams.

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1. Don't miss out on the opportunity to provide staff education.

Education is the baseline for a well-prepared team to have the necessary skills to use in the workplace. Ask yourself:

  • What mistakes are being made?
  • Why are they being made?
  • What can be done to make it easier for team members to complete tasks correctly?

Then it's time to give individual team members the tools they need to succeed. This could be education, technology or training to strengthen knowledge and ability throughout an organization.

2. Don't rely solely on financial compensation as an incentive for your team.

Another common mistake that people make when forming teams is relying entirely upon financial compensation to incentivize good behavior and promote productivity. Yes, getting a raise or bonus is much appreciated, but it's not the only way to reward people in the workplace.

It's also important to pinpoint what behaviors should be rewarded and which should not. If you reward the wrong behaviors it could lead to sloppy and incorrect work. If the speed of work is prioritized over the quality, for example, the company will get many things done but they are completed with 50% effort—counterproductivity at its best.

3. Don't forget to consistently provide necessary feedback.

As stated above, feedback is a crucial part of a high-performing team. Without constant feedback and communication, team members tend to lose themselves in their routines and are unconcerned if they are doing tasks correctly or not. This makes it a struggle for them to get back on track and leads to inefficiency at work.

Critiques are most effective when they are done as close in time to the criticized behavior as possible. Regular scheduling of one-on-one meetings with staff can help to manage a team's mistakes and result in great improvement.


To sum it all up, high-performing teams are the cream of the crop in the business world. Vital attributes—such as trust, frequent feedback and open communication—separate them from other teams in the game.

All teams striving to boost performance and strengthen their office culture should take note, making it a point to acknowledge success and celebrate it together. To manage team performance more easily, don’t forget to sign up for Effy and make the process smooth and easy! 


What are 5 characteristics of a high performing team?

5 main characteristics of a high performing team include:

  • Trust
  • Open communication 
  • Shared vision 
  • Diversity 
  • Measurable objectives 

What are 3 top characteristics of a strong team?

Although there are many qualities that high performing teams share, top 3 include a shared vision, trust and open communication. These characteristics can strengthen a team and enable it to handle all tasks with great success. 

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