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5 Quantifiable Characteristics of High Performing Teams

by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

High team performance doesn’t have to be abstract or relegated to the realm of speculation.

You know that what gets measured gets improved. You may not realize how much of your team members’ psychology and behavior can get measured. 

There are actual, quantifiable ways to quantify, benchmark these characteristics that leaders can use to improve team performance.

You can measure everything from personality to job fit to individual and team performance to culture, following a holistic, systematic approach that delivers actionable insights. 

This article will reveal the five quantifiable characteristics of a high-performing team and how to measure your team’s performance. We will provide the how— the real question is: when will you apply these insights to generate the results you seek?

What is a high-performing team?

A high-performing Team is comprised of members enrolled in a shared vision that is guided by purpose, fueled by passion, and results in profit.

Team members know the Due North and appreciate that it is bigger than themselves. They fit their respective job roles, are self and inter-personally aware, and understand their part within the vision. Their team members and leaders appreciate them.

Team members achieve because they have the right background, experience, education, and mindset to contribute effectively.

When a Team is in high-performance mode, the sentiment evokes the type of self-sacrifice characterized by John 3:16.

Measuring your Team’s performance can help you understand and benchmark current performance, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately provide you with the insight you need to either develop and coach in certain areas or change the make-up of your team.

Quantifiable Characteristics to Build a High Performing Team

Now that you know what a high-performing Team should look like, here are the characteristics you can quantify to measure and improve.

 

1. Behavioral Style

What it is:

The measurement of “how” one behaves and communicates with others based upon their environment.

Behavioral styles are the tendencies someone manifests when communicating and acting or their “human nature.” 

People have a combination of behaviors with a dominant style.

Why is it important to understand:

Communication, miscommunication, or lack of communication have a significant impact on Team performance, productivity, and morale.

The heart of these communication misfires stems from varying behavioral styles. The greater the behavioral style difference between two people, the greater the potential for friction.

How behavioral style is measured:

The DISC assessment measures one’s behavioral style and is part of the holistic TriMetrix® HD Assessment. There are four DISC styles, with characteristics ranging from “competitive” in a high “D” and “extremely organized” in a high “C.”

How measurement improves performance:

Once the dominant style for each team member has been identified, you can use the results to improve team member communication.

We recommend using the following approach to DISC:

  1. Assess your team members to help enhance self-awareness. 
  2. Take time as a team to learn and understand others’ styles and make an effort to approach and engage in a way team members prefer. 
  3. Have team members create their communication list of Do’s and Don'ts.

Examples of communication Do’s include “verify the message was heard” and “provide solid evidence.” 

Examples of communication Don’ts include “be vague” and “talk down to me.”

Use this newfound knowledge to customize the giving and receipt of information as a team and create the type of continuous communication that characterizes a high-performing team.

 

2. Driving Forces (Motivators)

What they are:

Driving Forces are the measurement of “why” people are motivated to do the things they do.

There are twelve Driving Forces or Motivators. Driving Forces are a combination of drivers that move a team member to take action. They are the filter through which team members make decisions and are the "why" or motivation behind what they do. 

Why Driving Forces (motivators) are important to understand:

Depending on the role, some Driving Forces combinations may accelerate performance while others may reduce them. 

How Driving Forces (Motivators) are measured:

The TriMetrix® HD assessment measures Driving Forces as well as other important sciences. Driving Forces represent two ends of a spectrum that measures six motivators:  Helping Others, Return on Time, Energy & Money, Independence/Power, Tradition/Order, Beauty/Harmony, and Learning/Knowledge.

How measurement improves performance:

This  “motivators”  analysis will help determine how to properly inspire and reward individuals, as well as make sure that the candidate’s values match those that are required of the job and culture of the organization.  Those who are motivated and engaged by their work are more productive and more likely to stay with an organization. 

 

3. Acumen

What it is:

The objective measurement of how a person analyzes and interprets their experiences, along with a measure of clarity levels in six different dimensions. 

Why it is important to understand:

Acumen measurements provide awareness of an individual’s thought processes that may impact their performance. The greater a person’s acumen, the more clarity and understanding they have of both their internal and external world, the better decisions they will make. 

How it is measured:

One’s Acumen is measured as the capacity to understand each of the Dimensions of Individuality, Practical Situations, System and Order, and Distinction. The measurement of one’s Acumen is also part of the TriMetrix® HD Assessment. These Dimensions can also be understood as Feeling, Doing, Thinking and Judgment. World-view and Self-view are scored as well-developed, developed, and needs development in these three areas.

How measurement improves performance:

As you grow your business, you will naturally need to rely on your team to make the best decisions possible. Acumen measurements will facilitate your understanding of the degree of clarity a team member has to make those decisions and take action when it comes to themselves, the team, and the vision. For those who lack acumen, you may develop some aspects to help improve contributions from team members and in turn, increase Team performance.

 

4. Competency

What it is:

The measurement of different attributes and skills.

Why one's Competency development is important to understand:

Competency development is far, far more predictive than years of experience. Yet so few seem to focus on it during the application and interview process.

How it is measured:

Twenty five Competencies are objectively-measured as part of a TriMetrix® HD Assessment on a 100-point scale. 

How Competency measurement improves performance:

Understanding Competency will bring insight into the specific competencies a team member possesses that may contribute to the performance of their current role as well as identify potential development areas for current or future roles (succession planning). The measurement of one’s Competency can help identify specific skill gaps that will help maximize coaching and development efforts. 

 

5. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

What it is:

KPIs are measurements that track progress towards a goal or goals that your company, team, and team members are accountable for impacting. 

Why KPIs are important to understand:

KPIs are an indicator of effectiveness. They are useful in providing an objective benchmark for achievement and are an essential tool for providing a quantitative comparison of performance relative to the purpose or “Due North” for team performance.

How it is measured:

KPIs can be measured and expressed as a percentage or solid number. Measurements are typically related to activity, revenue, profit, growth, or even a combination of factors. The best teams create SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) and maintain a compelling scoreboard that is reviewed frequently.

How measurement improves performance:

No team can flourish, much less survive without accountability and transparency. KPIs foster accountability and trust while making clear the desired outcomes. 

As a leader, there are several benefits to quantifying the characteristics of high-performing teams through KPI tracking and scoreboarding.

  • Talent Selection: Create a job benchmark reflecting the optimum combination of Behaviors, Values, Acumen, and Competencies. Then hire the best candidate based on objective job fit (job match) with the position, not previous performers. 
  • Effective Communication: Both management and team members can learn to communicate more effectively with those around them by developing an increased self-awareness of their style and drivers as well as an increased awareness of their team members’ styles. 
  • Talent Management: Use the results to identify “Keys to Motivating” and potential “Time Wasters” to create a more effective onboarding and long-term coaching outcomes. These are also beneficial for performance reviews. 
  • Employee Engagement: As a manager, you play a key role in influencing each team members’ level of engagement. By understanding important things like a team member’s particular preferred style of praise and what makes them “tick” (motivators), you may improve how you reward each in a way that is enticing to their unique needs. Ultimately, this approach can help keep them interested and engaged in their role and with others on the team.

Ready to start the process with your Team? Get started with the TriMetrix® HD Sample Assessment.

The TriMetrix® HD Assessment is the most powerful psychometric assessment available and is the ONLY assessment with validity backed by brain research. Our approach relies on the TriMetrix® HD Assessment to objectively measure five sciences: Behaviors, Motivators (Driving Forces), Acumen, Competencies, and Emotional Intelligence. We combine the results of this comprehensive personality aptitude test with our proprietary benchmark process as a foundation to build your sustainable competitive advantage through your people, team, and leadership.

The best way to appreciate the powerful insights the TriMetrix® HD can provide is to complete your own sample assessment. Get started.