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How to create higher-performing teams: assess your team

By Chris Connell

5 Min Read

Part 1: Assess your team

How people work

We’re all different. Which is why we all have our own preferences for performing certain types of work.

Sometimes you see this clearly, other times you may not.

Individual preferences are fine when we're on our own. But in the workplace, we typically need to come together in teams.

So the way we approach work can dramatically affect whether the team as a whole can be successful in performing its collective tasks.


Hire people who help your team be higher-performing

As hiring managers and people leaders, if we want to hire people who will help the team be more successful, we must first understand the 8 types of work actions that high-performing teams do well, and determine the priorities of the team we have right now.

In other words, we must first know who we are now, and clarify what our priorities look like, so we can get who we need from our hiring process.


The 8 work actions that define high-performing teams

High-performing teams are typically able to perform all 8 work actions.

It does not mean that you need a person who excels at each work type. This approach acknowledges that team members can flex and change their approach to work as needed.



“Let’s weigh up our options”
  • Assess, test, and critique

  • Evaluate risk

  • Test ideas and prioritise options

  • Experiment and problem-solve

“Let’s make a plan”
  • Plan and organise people and work

  • Develop procedures and systems

  • Define priorities and targets

  • Enforce deadlines



“Let’s get it done”
  • Repetition and routine work

  • Tried and tested ways of work

  • Planned, prepared, and organised

  • Focus strongly on deadlines, schedules, and outcomes

“Let’s focus on the details”
  • Thorough, accurate, and exacting

  • Facts and details-oriented

  • Audit, scrutinise, and inspect

  • Enforce standards, procedures, and control mechanisms



“Let’s support each other”

  • Promote team collaboration and sharing

  • Support others and provide guidance

  • Focus on sustainable processes

  • Define and implement team and company values

“Let’s investigate the problem”

  • Gather information, share knowledge, and provide advice

  • Consult and mentor

  • Open to change and flexible

  • Understanding and tolerant



“Let’s do it differently”

  • Innovate and challenge the status quo

  • Visionary and future-oriented

  • Focus on ideas and the big picture

  • Flexible and open-ended

“Let’s sell the dream”

  • Negotiate, sell, and promote

  • Draw people in and attract audiences

  • Task variety and excitement over routine

  • Network and build relationships


First, assess your team

With a basic understanding of what high-performing teams do (these 8 types of work), your first step is to evaluate your current team. Remember, we all have our own preferences for performing certain types of work.

Can you identify any of these 8 types of work in your current team?

For example:

  • Some people naturally like checking details and making sure information is correct, but dislike having to sell or promote new ideas to people.

  • Others might enjoy dreaming up new ways to do things but will dislike organising individuals and coordinating workflows.

What are your team’s strengths? What about their blind spots?


Then, identify the type of person your team needs to thrive

Once you have a grasp on the current composition of your team, turn your attention to the type of candidates that can complement what your team needs.

We have put together a cheat sheet to help you evaluate your team, and identify the type of candidate needed to drive higher team performance.

Our guide will step you through the process of identifying your team’s priorities, strengths, and blind spots in order to determine the type of work new candidates should bring to the team.

Grab the cheat sheet to make hiring easier by clicking below:

Website Work Sheet Cover