Skip Navigation

UMGC Career Connection
Four Success Strategies for Leading a High-Performance Team

Rhoda Smackum
By Rhoda Smackum

Have you worked in an environment where harmony among team members, powerful thought leadership, and interpersonal conflict resolution are commonplace? Then you have been part of a high-performance team. A high-performance team is defined as a group of people with specific roles and complimentary talents and skills, who are aligned with and committed to a common purpose, who consistently show high levels of collaboration and innovation, produce superior results, and extinguish radical or extreme opinions. Managing a high-performing team can be challenging—continue below for strategies to help you succeed.  

Cultivate Trust and Mutual Respect 

Teams that perform well have a high regard and respect for the people around them. Team members honor each other and realize that each person has something unique and valuable to offer. A team with mutual trust and respect values diversity and opportunities to learn from each other.  

Set Goals that Closely Align with the Organization

To ensure that the team’s goals are aligned with the objectives of the organization, involve team members in the planning process. Make sure all the goals are S.M.A.R.T.—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Consider holding a special meeting or a retreat to review the previous year’s goals, and to set new goals and objectives.

Foster Open and Clear Communication

The number of employees who regularly work from home—for an employer vs. themselves—has increased by 140% since 2005, according to the latest telecommuting data by Global Workplace Analytics. To sustain a team of high performers, especially if they work remotely, requires effective, clear communication from leadership. By fostering a culture that shares information and promotes a community of learning, you can increase the level of collaboration. 

Celebrate the Victories

Recognizing and rewarding small achievements—both individual and collectively as a team—towards goals can help a high-performance team stay focused and motivated. In celebrating small victories, team members understand that if one of them succeeds, they all succeed.

High-performing teams are critical to the success of any organization. As you develop your team, remember that the strategies mentioned are a framework for building something great. As always, keep in mind that UMGC Career Services is available to help you plan and achieve career success. Set up an appointment with a UMGC Career Advising Specialist.

Rhoda Smackum is a manager in Career Services and Alumni Relations at University of Maryland Global Campus. She has approximately 28,000 hours of work experience in the field of career development. Ms. Smackum enjoys working collaboratively, in partnership with students and alumni to identify career issues, match values with career choices and obtain meaningful work. She holds a Master of Arts degree from Bowie State University and a Bachelor of General Studies degree from the University of Maryland College Park. She is a Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS) and an Associate Certified Career Coach.