Building and managing teams not only to achieve but also to maintain high-performance.
P. Proactive: always looking for improvement, not only within their own team
A. Ambitious: not afraid to fail and eager to improve
R. Reliable: working with predictable performance to collectively agreed plan
T. Team-player: recognise benefits of collaboration
Concept #beP.A.R.T. was born during my time at Digital Ventures, where I had the pleasure of leading their Tech Team. It remains a great representation of my beliefs when it comes to building and managing teams not only to achieve but also to maintain high performance.
You can’t buy an experience – focus on staff retention
One thing you can’t ‘buy’ is an experience around your unique business and the way it operates. From a technical perspective, it will involve your codebase, architecture, and the uniqueness of your business logic. The only way for your team to gain experience with all those aspects is to ensure they want to work with you for an extended period. While you can ‘buy’ technical expertise by employing more senior engineers, they won’t have an in-depth knowledge of your business and systems. Retaining your staff is not as easy as it may sound.
Happiness at work place
I strongly believe that your team needs to be ‘happy,’ and happiness can be defined in various ways since we are all different and at different stages of our lives. Happiness at the workplace could mean financial gratification for some and a place for challenges and constant improvement for others. We all work for money, it’s as simple as that, but at some point, you will reach financial stability where your deeper needs must be satisfied. We don’t like stagnation; we want to progress and move forward constantly. As the manager, you need to be the one to stimulate that among your team—be proactive, not reactive!
One obstacle blocking your team from achieving high performance is the lack of clarity. If your team doesn’t know what’s expected, how can they deliver in a high-performing fashion? The term #beP.A.R.T. is not only catchy but also showcases to your team what you expect of them. It is something they can identify with and always refer to when in doubt.
We, as human beings, are social animals. The definition of a team is: ‘A team is a group of individuals working together to achieve a common goal.’ If you give individuals something they can rely on, they will find others who share the same approach or concept. They will want to #beP.A.R.T. of that team.
Once you have built a team, you can now focus on their performance. Establishing a general framework described by #beP.A.R.T. is a great start. Now, about performance. Again, the lack of clarity is the first thing to tackle. Agree and communicate what you mean by ‘performance,’ how you will measure that, what your baseline is, and what your expectations are.
In engineering, establishing team performance is a tricky subject—something for another article.
First, you should focus on establishing the team. Ask yourself, is the group of individuals you manage a team? Implementing a concept like #beP.A.R.T. in your organization will help them gather together under a clear vision you have for them, something they can identify with.