What are the Characteristics of High Performance Teams in the Workplace?

Understand the ten key characteristics of high performance teams in the workplace ... and you'll be a lot closer to getting great results from your own team.

Knowing the characteristics of effective teams and teamwork may also help focus your corporate team building efforts.

It'll help you know what goals to aim for!

The following article provides an excellent summary of the characteristics of high performance teams in the workplace. It is provided courtesy of Excel Solutions Asia.

Characteristics of Effective Teams and Teamwork

Have you ever been a member of a high performing, smooth running team?

If you have, it's an experience that you are never likely to forget.

Probably people trusted one another, worked cooperatively, enjoyed the task, and achieved goals higher than anyone may have imagined.

Effective high performance teams have several characteristics as listed below:

  1. Clear Goals: Clear goals are critical to ensure that everyone on the team is heading in the same direction. Much time and money, and energy - to say nothing of motivation and enthusiasm - are lost when everyone on the team is not aiming for the same outcome.
  2. Defined Roles: Usually members of a team have a fairly clear idea of what their roles are and it is only during times of crisis when role clarification poses a problem. But role issues may also come up during problem solving, when new roles may be required. They may also occur when the crisis is thought to be too daunting to manage or outside the team's scope or when there is a lack of clarify about who does what.
  3. Open and Clear Communication: Open and clear communication is probably the most important characteristic of high performance teams in the workplace. Working to improve communication with other team members will increase trust, decrease problems and rework, and build healthy interpersonal relationships.
  4. Effective Decision Making: Effective decision making is essential to a team's progress. Teams must have a grasp of various decision making methods, their advantages and disadvantages, and when and how to use each. Teams that choose the right decision making methods at the right time will not only save time, but they will also most often make the best decisions.
  5. Balanced Participation: Without participation, you don't have a team. You have a group of bodies. Balanced participation ensures that everyone on the team is fully involved and that each team member joins the discussion when his or her contribution is pertinent to the team assignment. It also means that everyone's opinions are sought and valued by others on the team.
  6. Valued Diversity: A diversity of thinking, ideas, methods, experiences and opinions helps to create high performance teams in the workplace. Whether individuals are creative or logical, fast or methodical, the effective team recognises the strengths each person brings to the team.
  7. Managed Conflict: Managed conflict ensures that problems are not swept under the rug. It means that the team has discussed members' points of view about an issue and has come to see well managed conflict as a healthy way to bring out new ideas and to solve whatever seems to be unsolved.
  8. Positive Atmosphere: A team must have a climate of trust and openness and a positive atmosphere indicates that members of a team are committed and involved. It means that people are comfortable enough with each other to be creative, take risks and make mistakes. People who are enjoying themselves are more productive than those who dislike what they are doing.
  9. Cooperative Relationships: Team members know they need one another's skills, knowledge, and expertise to produce something together that they could not do as well alone. There is a sense of belonging and a willingness to make things work for the good of the team. The atmosphere is informal, comfortable and relaxed.
  10. Participative Leadership: Participative leadership means that leaders are good role models and that the leadership shifts at various times. In the most productive teams, it is difficult to identify a leader during a casual observation.

In conclusion, high performance teams in the workplace can accomplish more together than all the individuals can apart.

Thanks again to Excel Solutions Asia for this article. See their listing in our team building directory for more information on this Thailand-based company. 

Return to Team Building Questions index page.

Want this FREE Team Building eBook?

Enter your email here to download:

Return from Characteristics of High Performing Teams in the Workplace to the Home Page of Team Building Bonanza


If you're seeing this, you have Javascript disabled. So you can't read the testimonials for Team Building Bonanza.

Please write in my Guestbook.

Featured Activities


photo scavenger hunt

Get your team to create its own story in photos.  Or set some team challenges and capture the results on camera!


Survival team building skills


fun office olympics games to play

Play, laugh and interact together with some fun team- based games and activities.

Other Stuff

Check out these resources:

Free resources and support

Teamwork eBook
by Bestselling Author