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Max Out Your Team Performance At Work

Updated on August 17, 2015

When we think about performance we tend to relate it to inanimate objects – cars, phones, computers, etc. – but this view of performance is short sighted.

David Zinger offers us a more well-rounded interpretation of performance in his 10 Building Blocks for Employee Engagement:

“Performance is anything worthy of our attention.”

Though I believe this definition rings true both personally and professionally – for the remainder of this post I will offer a few performance hacks designed to help teams maximize output.

How do we Max Out Performance?

No Door Policy

Some of the most well thought out and constructive input never reaches decision makers in waterfall leadership models because of bottlenecks in closed door chain of command policy: Information tends to pour down from upper management, but has a much more difficult time working its way up from the front line team members. In addition, the complexity of the communication process tends to deter associates from going through the trouble of sharing input with leadership.

By instituting a “no door” policy leaders removes a major barrier for teams and foster an environment where everyone from new hires to upper management have an opportunity and feel comfortable sharing ideas.

Tactical Alignment / Positioning

A slight shift in the design of a building can be the difference between achieving structural integrity and constructing a proverbial house of cards.

Leaders who are willing to make minor adjustments in pursuit of improved efficiency are more likely to find an innovative approach to performance through trial & error. This form of systemic repositioning holds the potential to translate into a sustainable competitive advantage.

Shock The System

“Familiarity breeds contempt.” Aesop

It is natural for performance to suffer when teams become familiar with a daily routine. Without regular changes and variety in the workplace people grow accustom to a given environment and often become complacent, which over time will lead to lackadaisical performance.

To counter act familiarity, Phil Dumontet of Dashed takes a hot-cold contrast shower everyday: 30 seconds of ice cold water, followed by 30 seconds of hot, then a final 30 seconds of cold to gain energy and clarity to start the day. The revitalizing effects of a contrast shower have been proven to promote circulation and detoxify.

These benefits can be accomplished in the workplace by establishing policies that insure that people never get to comfortable with seating, responsibilities and day to day activities. Subsequently, allowing you to circulate your team members diverse skill sets throughout the office; setting a healthy stage for inspired performance.

Bear Gifts

If your team is performing at a high level – stress will become a natural by-product of your output. To mitigate the effects of a tense environment it is important to keep the group calm under pressure.

The easiest way to accomplish this is by rewarding people for their dedication to your vision. A few examples of how you can reward your team are as follows.

  • Food
  • Corporate Swag
  • Contest
  • Fringe Benefits
  • Paid Time Off
  • Money

A generous leader will earn the respect of his associates and over time watch as the individuals on the team align their goals with his / her performance expectations.


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