EVERY TEAM IS DIFFERENT, BUT ALL HAVE A common interest in the desired end goal. This is the reason the team exists. Pursuit of this end goal is the measure of a team’s success. It does not matter if a team is comprised of the best employees at your company; if they are not making timely progression toward a goal, the team is likely to fail. It may seem that selecting the highest-performing employees would make the most successful team possible, however, grouping them together may not yield desired results.

High performers who lack teamwork skills are typically results-driven and eager to show managers how they alone have contributed to improving the bottom-line. Their emphasis on personal results can cause them to lose focus on what is in the team’s best interest. The foundation of a team should be high-performing employees who are also team players. Team players are excited to identify themselves as a part of the team, and this enthusiasm gets other employees excited. Every manager building a team should create them based on team players. Here are four reasons why:

1. They are passionate. Team players give up personal benefits for the team’s gain. These employees are so enthusiastic about a team’s goals that they are willing to take on any task, even if it is not one of their typical job duties. High performers who lack teamwork skills tend to prefer to stick with what they know, because it is the best way for them to shine.

2. They are not on the team for personal gain. The days of loyalty to one or two companies during an employee’s career are over. Employees today often accept jobs that may not seem attractive to them at first to gain skills and then move on. Managers, however, still value loyalty and dedication to the company. Successful team members typically believe in the company and see themselves as a piece of a puzzle, helping to move the company forward.

3. Their personality fits well with other potential members of the team. How well a team engages with each other can be the difference between a soaring success and an embarrassing failure. No matter how great the team looks on paper, poor attitudes and clashing personalities can halt productivity. Team players tend to be cooperative and good listeners. High performers who have a difficult time cooperating with other people may not be the best fit for a team. Assessments can measure and describe the behavioural characteristics of individuals, helping team members get to know each other far more thoroughly than through experience and interaction alone. Talent assessments can provide insight into how an individual may perform, but people often act differently as members of a group than they would act alone. A team analysis assessment provides invaluable insight into how members may respond when they become members of a group, and how to guide that response to ensure optimum performance of the team and its members.

Asking employees directly why they want to be a part of a team is a good idea. This all stems back to the company culture. If leadership and management encourage this kind of behaviour and communication from the top down, employees from all departments are likely to adopt these practices. Don’t just focus on high-performers; build your team and engage all employees to create a solid foundation of 100 per cent team players. With a little focus, engaged team players can easily become your next best-performers. Encourage each and every employee to be active and involved in company team building.


Marcus van Wyk.

Founder, Power Assessments International