building high performance teams - Randstad

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1 building high performance teams In 2011, global recruitment & HR services company, Randstad, again sponsors the at&t Williams Formula One racing team in a fast-paced, action-packed sport that demands the highest levels of accuracy, dedication and commitment from those in the drivers seat, and those in support. In this article, we illustrate why these same attributes need to be emulated off the track, in the workplace, in order to build truly exceptional high performance teams. For most of us, F1 racing inspires images of speed, skill, high performance, success and celebration. These same images can also be seen in any highly successful workplace, with one inherent quality linking F1 drivers with high performing leaders and individuals determination. Determination to take risks, determination to push the limits of talent, to focus the mind, and to get the most out of those working with you. With this in mind, accelerating the success levels of your business means not only leading with the focus and determination required to get around the track before your competitors, but surrounding yourself with a team that will drive this through their own desire for personal and collective success.

2 Accelerate your business Like any sporting team, you also need to ensure your Like any sporting team after a difficult race, potential new high performers have the right mindset businesses are looking to enhance market share, for your business and given the commonality for increase profits and provide a stable foundation for this particular talent group to be of high intelligence, future growth post the 2009/10 global financial crisis an interview should not be the only informant. These and they are looking to do it quickly. With the days, with a high performance team relying on the employment market opening up again and strong intensity of each player, insight into peoples mindset talent becoming increasingly mobile after a period and future behaviour is best gained through various of uncertainty, now is the time to build the team you scientific methods, such as psychometric testing, to need to get across the finish line. ensure your drivers and pit crew are entirely on the same track. Unfortunately for the employer, high performance individuals do not make up the entire market. They When you have your ideal team in place, the next can be somewhat of a rarity in some industries, simply challenge is learning how to drive them to success due to the energy required to sustain such high levels as it requires strong leadership to transform a team of intensity, drive and motivation. Considering the of high performers into a high performance team. uniqueness of this talent pool, the first challenge facing any employer looking to build a trophy Driving a high performance team to success winning, high-performance team, is determining In the 60 seasons since 1950, only 32 men have won exactly how to engage the right people. the Formula One World Championship, while only eight have topped the season leader board three or The first step before even looking at possible new more times. hires is deciding precisely what you require in line with the goals of your business. High performance In the world of business, a handful of leaders such individuals work best when they can align their as Jack Welch of GE, Steve Jobs of Apple and Eric personal goals for growth with those of their E. Schmidt of Google, are renowned for their employer. Ensuring you have a strong and transparent achievements, but none have achieved greatness strategy in place prior to going to market means you alone. Great leaders share a common belief that will only attract those high performers who feel a leadership is more about character and vision than connection with your company mission. authority and power. It is how they interact with their teams and peers, and how they naturally inspire, Finding the right people the true high performers that truly displays their ability to lead. This is true of who will be critical to your accelerated growth plan business, as it is true of any sporting arena and of life means finding people who will hit the ground in general, as can be seen by the truly great leaders of running. Similar to F1, these are people who show a our time, Nelson Mandela and US president, natural ability and talent in their field, have a strong Bill Clinton. ability to lead others, and are determined to succeed no matter what. The real question is, does this apply to the management of high performers? Is it about character and vision, or are they looking for something else something that sets their leader apart? Over the decades we have seen leaders take different approaches to getting the mix right, but one thing is clear, whatever the industry and economic climate, they are all working towards the same goal inspiring collective action. In a team of high performers, collective action is inspired by a leader who either exhibits the same unique qualities as their team members, or in contrast, identifies the differences and ensures they learn how to cater to the needs of their team.

3 Ongoing drivers for high performance So how can you manage high performers efficiently Schumacher is the only F1 driver to have an entire over long periods? season of podium finishes, a feat he accomplished in 2002. 1. Recognise, reward and challenge Just like a team leader on the racing track, business leaders need to encourage their teams by providing While high performers deliver ongoing outstanding genuine and regular recognition of excellence. At results, their high intensity can often mean they are the same time, in order to ensure a sustainable difficult to manage over long periods and can be more level of efficiency, it is important to make certain demanding than other employees. that high performers, with their unique levels of intensity, dont tire of the everyday grind. In this instance, if you are also managing other teams, it is important that you remember to provide the same Build in new goals once existing goals are close amount of encouragement and recognition to your to being achieved, provide new challenge and other reports, so your entire workforce maintains a competition, and introduce tangible rewards consistently high level of efficiency. for milestones.

4 2. Set the goal and let them achieve it High performers are no exception to this High performers are often unique in that they have research, often feeling the impact of periods different and innovative methods of approaching such as downturn more than those achieving at tasks and goals than other employees. Rather than a normal level. Downturn for high achievers can trying to manage this and reign it in, set a clear transform quickly from a period of challenge, direction and goal for them, and then step away. into an insurmountable obstacle something Dont micromanage let them achieve. that seemingly cant be cleared regardless of determination and this can result in plummeting 3. Align business and individual goals levels of morale, and in turn enthusiasm and High performers need to strive towards inspiring dedication from high performers. Critical in these goals that are achievable but may be just out of times, is a leaders ability to identify this drop and reach this presents the challenge they need continue to inspire and motivate their people, to work harder, faster and smarter. This group is so they continue to achieve beyond average characterised by the need to constantly try to better downturn levels. This is no mean feat. previous successes, interestingly also the hallmark of some of the most competitive people in the world, During these periods, the traditional leadership F1 racing car drivers. Put the company or task goals attributes of inspiration, motivation, creating in place, and then allow your high performers to set vision and providing recognition come to the fore. their sights on their own personal benchmark, often Effective harnessing of these characteristics can enabling them to far surpass expectations. mean the difference between maintaining your high performers through difficult periods, and Ensure you are on the circuit boosting them back up quickly in upswing, or In one of the most dominating performances on losing them completely and requiring an entirely the F1 track, a young Jackie Stewart in 1968 raced new team. the Nrburgring-Nordschleife racing circuit under torrential rain. With an average lap time of nine In pole position minutes, Jackie managed to blitz the field to win by The name synonymous with F1 racing has to be just over four minutes, a feat which has never again the 81 year old driving force, Mr Bernie Ecclestone. been matched. For decades, Bernie has been instrumental in transforming the sport into the business venture Just like reputations forged on a rain-drenched it is today. It has been said that there is no other track, the credentials of a true leader shine through industry or sport that deals with so many high during periods of difficulty a concept set in stone performers or egos as motor racing. during the recent economic downturn. Managing a team of high performers requires a According to respondents of Randstads 2010/2011 detailed strategy of intertwined activities including World of Work Report, the main reasons for a an effective talent attraction and recruitment plan, planned job change were the need for a new an ongoing development process, a motivating challenge and career advancement (20%), followed rewards and recognition approach, and a proactive by poor leadership (17%). retention program. The key for employers and leaders to remember when managing this vibrant and evolving group is to recognise the top individuals in your organisation, and tailor programs to inspire them. Understand what drives them, reward their efforts and allow their passion for success flow throughout the organisation.

5 Fred van der Tang is the Chief Executive Officer of Randstad Australia & New Zealand. Randstad is a Fortune 500 Company and one of the worlds largest recruitment and HR services organisations. The Randstad Group employs almost 675,000 people every day with the aim of Shaping the world of work. Success in Formula One requires the commitment of a talented team performing at the best of their ability. This is also true for employees at Randstad, and at&t Williams share Randstads core value in striving for perfection. Randstads ability to attract, coach and retain the best people for organisations around the world is testament to the fact that we live by this core value. Visit for further information. Shaping the world of work.

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