5 Keys To Unlocking Team Performance

Do you have what it takes to lead your team to success? Managing teams is often one of the most difficult parts of holding a leadership position in your workplace. How can you create a successful team and then achieve your business goals together?

Almost any team can be shaped into a successful team through time and effort of the leader. If you have an underperforming team that you want to improve, a new and untested team, or an average team under your direction, try using these 5 best practices to guide your existing team to higher performance levels:

Team Performance


1. Make Responsible Goals – Then Share

How can a team be expected to do the right work and make forward progress for the company when they don’t even know where the company wants to go? If higher up, corporate goals are unknown to employees, or if those goals seem completely disconnected to what the employee does every day at work, performance will not be at its highest.

To improve performance, you have to let your team in on what the corporate goals are for the organisation and show them how their individual work contributes to that goal. Without this link, employees can engage in work activities which are unrelated to the company goals or lose their motivation based on a lack of knowledge about how they are helping to advance the company.

For this to work out properly, you will have to get feedback from your team about the daily goals they will be working towards. Are the goals useful for meeting objectives? What might be a better way to do it? Does this metric accurately reflect on the work activities done by employees? Answers to all of these questions get your team thinking about how they can help reach business goals and provide a source of motivation, as the team is now completely aware of how they are contributing.

Avoid vague goals such as “do the best work you can”. The American Psychological Association found in a study that employees who are given such types of goals generally do not perform as well as those given specific and challenging goals.

2. Balance Supervision and Self-Management

Balance Supervision and Self Management

Micro management of your team is a mistake many leaders make when the team is new or when the team is underperforming. Unfortunately, this usually leads to lower performance levels and does nothing to improve the team overall. Pay attention to how your team members work and ask yourself this question: how much autonomy can I provide this team?

Teams made up of self-motivated employees need little to no supervision as long as your give clear direction about what they should accomplish. However, teams with employees that are not self-motivated will require more supervision of daily activities to make sure that goals are being met.

Creating a system of accountability will encourage team members to keep track of their own progress without falling behind on work. If employees are each accountable for what they accomplish during the day and what they add to the overall goals, they are more likely to work well on their own without you having to spend your time checking up on everything your team is doing.

3. Build Trust with Your Team

Teams with higher levels of trust for management and leadership figures are more likely to perform well and to have a more positive impression of the company in general, says a study published by Delft University in The Netherlands. While it’s sometimes hard to see the impact of great leadership, it will show up in the successes of the team. If your employees don’t trust you to make good decisions, to think about their well-being, and to lead fairly and responsibly, they will not give all their efforts to your team projects.

Many team programs focus on building trust between employees without paying much attention to how trusted the manager of the team is! This is an oversight which might end up costing you a lot in the form of wasted time, missed goals, and general team lethargy.

4. Acknowledge Individual and Team Efforts

acknowledge team successWhen your team members put forth great effort in order to reach a goal, it’s worth recognizing their actions. If you fail to show your employees that you are appreciative of their hard work, they will be much less motivated to work hard in the future.

Imagine if employee X and employee Y are on a work team together. Employee X is a hard worker that usually has to pick up the slack for underperforming team members and do extra work in order for the team to accomplish daily goals. Employee Y is an average employee that sometimes underperforms, but usually does nothing more than what is absolutely necessary. If you acknowledge the team’s success as a whole and do never recognize individual contributions, you are subjecting employee X to feelings of frustration and bitterness, as their extra effort seems worthless.

5. Show a Great Example

You as the team leader are the one whom all team members are looking towards for guidance on how to participate in the team. If you are not doing your part or are showing poor working behaviors and a lack of respect for the organisation than many of your team members will follow suit. However, if you are a hard worker and you are modeling good employee behavior, then you will lead your team to follow that positive working example instead.

Applying Team Performance Strategies To Your Own Team

Just as no two people are exactly alike, no team will ever be the same as another. When you are applying these performance improvement strategies, you must be conscious of how they are affecting your team so that you can adjust them to fit your needs more realistically. Don’t be too static and stuck on one way of doing things, or else you may risk ruining team performance and morale even more!

For more information about how Total Team Building can help you and your team contact us today.


The Positive Impact Of Team Building

Research has clearly shown that team building has a significant positive impact on teams that find it difficult to work well together. (1) Team building, as the name implies, involves helping employees and management alike learn how to work together as a team. Companies all over the world use a variety of techniques and strategies to help company workers get to know each other and learn how to solve problems, boost personal and collective creativity and work well towards achieving a common goal.

positive impact of team-building

Goal setting and role clarification are particularly effective, as they help each employee better understand his or her individual role, inspire people to set goals, increase motivation to reach company and individual goals and reduce conflict in the office. Teams of ten people or more tend to benefit the most from team building activities; however, such exercises are still effective when used for small groups of people.

What Exactly Does Team Building Do And Does it Work?

The impact of team building is felt in many ways. The following list of benefits that can be gained is by no means comprehensive, but it can give insight into why sacrificing time, resources, and even money for the sake of team-building is well worth it.

Boost Engagement

Recent statistics show that companies with engaged employees earn up to 2.5 times more income than competitors whose employees have a low engagement level. What is more, employees with a high engagement level are 87% less likely to leave a company than employees with a low engagement level.(2)

10 Shocking Stats About Employee EngagementInfographic crafted with love by Officevibe, the corporate team building and employee engagement platform.

Team building, when done properly, fosters friendships at work. Research has shown that having a good friend at work can boost one’s engagement level by up to 50%.(3) Team building exercises that are effective in helping employees make friends with workmates include a weekly or monthly “Happy Hour”, a company volunteer project and seminars hosted in turn by various employees.

Another important aspect of team building involves building trust between office supervisors and managers and those who work under them. A 2015 Gallup study shows that a highly engaged leadership team can boost employee engagement by up to 39%. Company leaders can improve engagement by setting individual and company goals in collaboration with employees, being transparent about company progress and creating a company culture. Good team-building exercises that would boost manager-employee friendships include group challenges with mixed teams of managers and employees who would be required to work together as equals to solve a problem or win a game.

Improve Communication Skills

Over 85% of all workplace failures have been attributed to lack of collaboration and/or ineffective communication. Additionally, a recent survey revealed that fewer than 50% of employees believe that their organization discusses issues in a truthful, effective manner. (4)

Team building activities that require team members to communicate with each other to resolve a problem or win a competition can be effective in helping employees become effective communicators. At the same time, these activities should be coupled with office policies that promote team bonding.

One idea that has proven to be effective with a large bank was to rearrange the coffee break schedule so that each call center team could take a break together as a group. This simple move lowered the average call handling time by up to 20% and increased employee satisfaction by more than 10%, leading to a profit projection increase of more than $15 million. (5)

Team building involving social media platforms can also be effective, especially if a large number of office workers are millennials. One recent study shows that nearly half of all Millennials support the use of social tools to increase workplace collaboration. What is more, the overwhelming majority of young people interviewed in this study would be willing to pay for such tools out of pocket. (4)

Improve Creativity

Many of the world’s largest companies realize that creativity can significantly boost a company’s bottom line. Google, 3M and Gore and Associates all allow time for employees to get away from their regular jobs and come up with new ideas, procedures and products. What is more, these large companies all credit “company creativity time” as being the inspiration behind some of their most successful products.(6)

Team building improves creativity in two ways. First of all, it puts employees in a new environment and requires them to perform tasks and/or solve problems that are not a part of their day to day work routine. Second, creativity-based team building exercises make it clear to employees that company managers and executives value creativity.

It can be worth it for a company to hold monthly or annual team building events at a venue that is far removed from the office environment. A hotel conference room can be a good place to hold creativity-based team building games and activities; alternatively, an outdoor setting can be ideal if all employees are physically fit and able to engage in active team sports and activities.

In Summary

While hiring the right employees is certainly important, it is clear that choosing good people for your company is not the only key to success. Helping your employees work well together can not only boost your bottom line but also reduce workplace friction, prevent good people from leaving your company, help your company solve problems more easily than would have otherwise been possible and even lead to the creation of new goods and/or services that will propel your company forward into the future.

Team building events help employees get to know each other, learn how to work together and make it easy to communicate about workplace issues. However, knowing which team-building strategies are right for your company can be challenging. That is why it can be a good idea to work with professionals who specialize in team building events, activities and programs. Getting professional help in this field will ensure that your team is effective and that employees enjoy working with you and their colleagues to try new ideas, solve problems and reach company and personal goals.

If you would like to speak to us about how we can help you with your team, Contact Total Team Building today!



(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_building#Effect_on_performance
(2) https://www.officevibe.com/blog/disengaged-employees-infographic
(3) http://blog.desktime.com/2016/02/11/team-building-events-that-work/
(4) http://blog.clearcompany.com/7-workplace-collaboration-statistics-that-will-have-you-knocking-down-cubicles
(5) https://hbr.org/2012/04/the-new-science-of-building-great-teams
(6) https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-daydreaming/201002/sparking-creativity-in-the-workplace

Effective Strategies for High Performance Teams

If the last decade of business research has taught us anything, it’s that if you want to know how to increase productivity, raise job satisfaction, and create a healthy working environment you need to learn about creating and managing a team. Effective, high performance teams are the one thing that almost all top companies have in common.

effective high performance teams

Not all organisational teams can be considered as high performance teams. High performance teams are those that are committed to working together in order to accomplish the business goals, individual goals, and personal goals. These teams are able to improve your business in a way that no ordinary company team or individual workers would be able to.

In this article you can learn about how to make your own high performance teams and how to manage them in a way that keeps their performance at an elevated level.


Not every team has the capability to be a good team. There must be a proper mix of people and talents if you intend to create a team that will perform well. Building a team can be the hardest part of team management, as you must be able to make a calculated guess at how certain members will work together. If a particular member is not a good contributor to the team, you must be able to evaluate if they are a necessity in that team and figure out if you can replace them or not.


  1. Look for the best workers inside and outside of the company.

High performers may take some time and some work to acquire, but the difference between them and an average performer can make a lot of impact on how well the team works. Taking the time to look for high performers to add to your team is a good way to use your time to create a great team.

  1. Find workers with skills that match your team’s needs.

Don’t add anyone to the team unless their knowledge and skills are needed for the work. If there are already enough team members working in those same skill areas, you may create a frustrating situation where there is too much labor and not enough work to be done. Nothing creates disgruntled employees faster than not being needed for the job.

  1. Prioritise a healthy teamwork environment to achieve results.

Instead of trying to force new members onto a team, think about what s best for the team. Will this new member add or detract from the current teamwork level? Are they a good fit with the other members? The team mix is very important if you want to have a great team, so think about this before you add a new team member.

  1. Remove or replace non-productive team elements.

On the other hand, if someone on the team is not being productive and not performing well, it might be a good idea to remove or replace them. When other members have to put in extra efforts to cover the incomplete work from one member, they can easily become very dissatisfied with the team itself and the whole performance level will be brought down.


Even if you have created the “perfect” team, your job is not over as a manager. You are now responsible for managing that team in a way that will help them to stay productive and keep up the high performance. Many times if a high performance team is managed improperly their performance can suddenly become quite average or even poor. It’s up to you to make sure that you are getting the best results from your team and creating an atmosphere in which high performance teamwork can thrive.


  1. Give recognition and credit when it is due.

When the entire team or any individual on the team does great work or goes beyond their responsibilities to get something done, acknowledge their efforts. This can be accomplished by something simple like audible recognition during a team meeting or something more such as an individual or team reward.

  1. Delegate responsibilities and avoid micromanagement.

One of the worst things you can do as a manager is to try to manage everything the team is doing. If you want your high performers to do the best job they can, you have to let them have some space and responsibilities. Delegate some tasks and expect them to be done well; there is a good chance that your high performance team will not disappoint.

  1. Involve team members in the goal-making process.

How can you help employees become more engaged in the work that needs to be done? By including your team members in the process of making goals, they will know that their thoughts and opinions are valued by the organisation. This can help increase employee engagement in the goals of the business.

  1. Create measurable progress assessments and keep team members accountable.

This step goes hand-in-hand with delegation and goal-making. You will want to make sure there are measurable performance matrixes set up so that each employee can know what they have accomplished and what still needs to be done. Doing this will help you as the manager make sure that work is getting done by your team without any micro-management from you. It also allows team members to keep themselves and each other accountable for their work.

  1. Promote organisational goal transparency.

True engagement in the work means that employees must be able to see how the work they do actually affects the organisation as a whole. Goal transparency can help with this. To achieve goal transparency you should be able to show your employees what the strategic goals of the organisation are, the operational goals of your sector and other sectors of the business, and then demonstrate in a logical way how these things all work together to improve the business.

  1. Give useful and relevant feedback.

Make sure your employees always get the necessary feedback to perform well at their job. If they do not know that they are doing well or poorly, there is no way for them to be confident in their work. Feedback can help your team members become confident that their contributions are relevant and appropriate, giving them a greater sense of being appreciated and useful.


Both creating and managing a team are important skills to learn if you want to keep a high performance team in your organisation. If you cannot create a good team mix, it’s highly unlikely that any amount of great management will turn the team into high performers. On the other hand, you could put together the perfect mix of people, but due to mismanagement they might become disgruntled and highly dissatisfied with the work, leading them to do mediocre work as a team.

For the most ideal results, you’ll need to create a good mix of people for your team and then adapt your management style to deal with the team’s needs most effectively. If you can effectively apply these tips, you may be able to create and manage your own high performance team in your business.

Employee Engagement The Key To Happiness And Organisational Performance.

There’s a good reason Google received almost 1.3 million applications from people hoping to gain employment with the tech giant.

Google’s philosophy is to “create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world,” company spokesman Jordan Newman told the New York Times.

team happiness and organisational performance

For the sixth consecutive year, Google leads the pack as number one on Fortune’s list, the 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Beyond the bounty of perks offered to Googlers, it’s a happy environment that ignites creativity, cultivates innovation, and most importantly, boosts productivity.

Teams are the foundation of its success and the Internet juggernaut spares no expense at keeping its employees happy. It even has a People Operations department with experts whose jobs are to ensure employees stay happy and engaged.

Team building is part of Google’s culture. Having fun together fosters a sense of unity and among employees and creates that engaging environment that people enjoy.

Engaged workplaces are more profitable, have positive customer feedback and a higher rate of employee retention.

In a comprehensive analysis of 225 studies, researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener found a strong connection between happiness and success. The research that combines neuroscience, management studies and the bottom lines of international organizations shows that happiness and positivity in the workplace results in:

  • 3 times more creativity
  • 31% more productivity
  • 10 times more engagement

“People who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge. I call this the “happiness advantage”—every business outcome shows improvement when the brain is positive,” Shawn Achor, best selling author and psychologist, writes in Positive Intelligence, published in the Harvard Business Review (HBR).

Engaged employees are psychologically invested in the organization and care about its overall success. Disengaged employees just don’t care.

The cost of disengagement can cripple an organization’s level of performance. According to Gallup, How to Tackle U.S. Employees’ Stagnating Engagement, actively disengaged people cost the American economy up to $550 billion per year in lost productivity.

It’s not that surprising.

In a lifetime, people spend an average of 90,000 hours at work – that’s almost 11 years of continuous days in an office. Crestfallen workers, trapped in an unhappy environment, are more likely to produce disappointing results.

Creating that positive work environment that engages employees is key to happiness and organizational performance.

Team building is a great way to maximize employee engagement. If co-workers recognize each other’s strengths and learn to collaborate as a team to reach an equal goal, chances are they will feel more connected and communicate more effectively.

A 2010 study in the International Journal of Business Management shows that employee engagement is mostly found in high growth companies.

The study, Employee Engagement, the Key to Improving Performance, reports a: “positive relationship between employee engagement and organizational performance outcomes: employee retention, productivity, profitability, customer loyalty and safety. Research also indicates that the more engaged employees are, the more likely their employer is to exceed the industry average in its revenue growth.”

Google, a dominant force in the tech industry, is proof. The brand is less than 20 years old and generates more than $45 billion annually.

Perhaps you remember the following story that clearly demonstrates the Google culture: building teams with highly-engaged people who are fully committed to the company’s overall performance and growth.

In 2002, co-founder Larry Page is famously known for posting a printout of results from Google AdWords in a kitchen at Google that said: “THESE ADS SUCK.”

Instead of blasting, reprimanding or firing the AdWords team, Page had full confidence that the talented team would correct the problem.

The HBR writes in The Google Way of Attacking Problems: “In most companies, this would be seen as cruel — an arrogant executive publicly humiliating his hapless employees for shoddy work — but not at Google. In fact, his unusual act was a show of confidence, defining a tough problem that he knew his talented engineers would want to solve.”

Page was right. He understood his employees and knew how to motivate innovation. By Monday morning, “a group of engineers sent out an email with a solution that not only resolved the AdWords problem, but helped transform Google into a major money machine,” HBR writes.

Is your company looking to create that environment that boosts engagement, promotes innovation and maximizes productivity? Discover the internal motivators of your team and understand how their values align with the overall goals of your organization.

Your team will learn how to connect, communicate and collaborate – contact Total Team Building today!




Team Building to Create Happy Employees

It’s not often that employees of a multi-billion dollar company will broadcast their workplace satisfaction by creating a YouTube video on happiness. It happened last year when flight staff from Virgin America created a video to Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy.”

The Foundation of Team Happiness

Richard Branson is doing something right to have his staff pay homage to his style of leadership with a crazy dance to the happiness song on a Virgin plane.

What is he doing?

Branson puts his employees first. Virgin invests in employees with regular team building events to increase engagement and strengthen relationships among employees, which is critical in developing a highly competitive organization.

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients,” said Branson, who credits his employees as being the heart of his billion-dollar empire.

Like Branson, some of the best leaders of the most successful organizations are known for their unconventional way of running a business – looking beyond strategic goals and quarterly results. Employees come first.

Successful organizations profit from team building exercises that fuel stellar employee performance, resulting in exemplary customer service.

The Foundation of Team Happiness

Building a brand on the foundation of happiness creates passionate and engaged employees that drive the success of an organization.

The foundation of happiness is a philosophy that creates an employee-centric management strategy that fosters innovation, passion and engagement from workers, which has a markedly positive effect on customer relations.

And companies that have a reputation for practicing the happiness factor are the ones that experience phenomenal growth.

According to Being Happy at Work Matters, published by the Harvard Business Journal, happiness counts for success. “Happy people are better workers. Those who are engaged with their jobs and colleagues work harder — and smarter.” Conversely, those disengaged are “sabotaging projects, backstabbing colleagues, and generally wreaking havoc in their workplaces.”

Shawn Achor, Best Selling author, psychologist and Harvard University Researcher, says a productive brain is sparked by positivity in the present. In fact, a comprehensive analysis of 225 studies shows that happy employees are 31% more productive and three times more creative.

Achor, known for The Happy Secret at Work – one of the top most 20 viewed Ted Talks, says when your brain is at positive, it “…performs significantly better than at negative, neutral or stressed. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise. In fact, we’ve found that every single business outcome improves.”

You might find that high-performing individuals in leading organizations will tell you that success does not drive happiness but that success is driven by happiness.

Inspiring Engagement with Cohesiveness

Creating a cohesive team across each level in a company anchors trust, opens communication and inspires innovation. More importantly, team building allows employees to experience and overcome challenges outside the work environment, where everyone from senior executives to direct reports, are on an equal playing field.

And it creates a happy work environment.

Just ask the staff at Virgin Atlantic.

Create a culture of happiness within your team! With more than 20 programs and activities to choose from let Total Team Building help you engage your staff…Contact Us Today!



Harvard Business Journal, Being Happy at Work Matters: https://hbr.org/2014/11/being-happy-at-work-matters

Virgin Atlantic, Happy song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJnJ0kanTI4

Wharton University of Pennsylvania, Executive Education, Improve Productivity and Success with Five Positivity Habits: http://executiveeducation.wharton.upenn.edu/thought-leadership/wharton-at-work/2014/03/positivity-habits

Shawn Achor, The Happy Secret at Work, Ted talks: https://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work/transcript?language=en

TTB interviewed on 882 6PR Radio

Jason Theaker was this week interviewed on Perth’s Baz and Millsy’s 6PR breakfast radio program. The topic of team building came into question when prime minister Tony Abbott suggested that the next time all the State Premiers catch up they will be going on a leadership retreat. Have a listen to how the interview panned out?

Rio Tinto – Treasure Hunt Team Day

What a great day we had in Perth yesterday with the team from Rio Tinto during their Treasure Hunt up in Kings Park.

Donning their best “Pirate” costumes, teams went all out to gain extra coins by being the best dressed team and that award on the day went to team “Autoplunder” and here’s why:

treasure hunt team building event







After all activities were completed however, it was team “Motley Crew” that managed to be the 1st team to open the Treasure Chest and collect the spoils.

Treasure Hunt







Fantastic day had by all and here’s a video showing some other photo’s from the event:

If your looking for a fun team building event and would like more information on our treasure hunt, please give us a call.


Department of Agriculture & Food WA – Win it in a Minute

Always a winner! Another Win it in a Minute program in Perth this week and another great result.

The program is a great way to get everyone together on a fun and social level and involve them in a program that creates some fantastic team spirit and cohesion.

The team from the Department of Agriculture and Food WA took part in their Win it in a Minute on Thursday and whatever initial thoughts participants entered with were left at the door as they went against the clock to earn top points and become champions for the day.

The scores at the end of the program were as follows:

3rd Place = Purple 300 points
2nd Place = Grey 900 points
1st Place = Blue 1000 points

It was tight at the top, but the BLUE TEAM won and took home the medals and bragging rights for the day.

Win it in a Minute







See the video below for some great photo’s of their event:

BHP Billiton – Treasure Hunt Challenge

What a fantastic opportunity to deliver one of our Treasure Hunts right in amongst the amazing landscape that is Karijini National Park, namely at Karijini Eco Retreat.

The team from BHP Billiton were treated to an amazing getaway to this beautiful location with a team building program thrown in . They had a great time working together across a number of challenges in order to ultimately discover the combination that would open the treasure chest.

The orange team were victorious on they day, but a fantastic time was had by all.

Treasure Hunt







Check out a video highlighting some photo’s from their event here:

Rio Tinto Team Scavenger Hunt

Thanks to the team from Rio Tinto ATM for a fun filled afternoon during their Scavenger Hunt through Perth on Friday.

14 teams challenged to become champions and earn the most amount of points over the course of all missions. There can however only be one winner and on this occasion that was Team 11 – well done!

Scavenger Hunt







Check out a video from the event below: