5 things you need to make a high achiever work for the whole team

high achiever
Muffy Churches


written on March 16, 2017

Is a high achiever in your team singularly focused on creating success in their own patch, essentially choosing to serve the part over the whole?

When a high achiever does so they place constraints on the achievement of group results and everyone in HR is familiar with the undermining symptoms of this narrow-sighted ethos. Such as the blame game, denial, the blind eye, withholding information, reacting to crisis rather than being proactive, lack of collaboration and engagement, and/or a general unwillingness to serve outside of the specific KPI’s of one’s own role.

In fairness, most of us could admit to engaging in these behaviours ourselves at times, but if any of this conduct becomes habitual or cultural, business results will suffer.

Call it ethos, attitude, culture or code, we’re dealing with the challenge of shifting an employee’s work principles and beliefs . According to the authors of recent bestseller ‘Crucial Accountability’, the effort involved in coaxing staff toward a stronger commitment to answerability for team results can be well worth it.

In the book, they share a VitalSmarts case study:, “When an IT group improved crucial accountability practices by 22%, quality improved over 30%, productivity climbed almost 40%, and costs plummeted almost 50%, all while employee satisfaction swelled 20%”.

Here are 5 suggestions for ways to help your staff ‘release the handbrake’ and move forward in sync to achieve team objectives, like a well-oiled cliché.

1. Shift their ‘working business model’:

Use your inspirational presentation powers to create a compelling message around the fact that the practices of collaboration and accountability are the new ‘cool’.

Help them set aside the competition to reign as performer-supreme. Demonstrate that a team member now ‘stars’ with a more holistic mindset- one that engenders group trust, a personal sense of responsibility to outcomes, shared commitment to strategic goals, openness to feedback, and the courage to hold both self and others answerable.

2. Create an environment of trust

To support the above paradigm, set expectations for team engagement that are non-judgmental yet honest. When team members feel safe, they will contribute ideas, suggestions, and feedback without fearing hidden agendas, ridicule, cynicism or one-upmanship.

3. Encourage robust engagement

Generate round-table solution-focused conversation to ensure the distribution of knowledge. Having one’s ideas heard and considered inspires personal investment in any eventual strategic plan of action.

4. Provide strategic clarity

The team needs to know how exactly they are going to be accountable. Make it your responsibility to clarify in detail the desired end result of any plan of action or decision.

5. Set Ground Rules

Request a commitment to the specific actions, work values and attitudes that will ensure outcomes come to fruition, placing team results over egoistic needs.

Encouraging commitment to a culture of collaboration, trust, accountability, responsiveness, and pride in group accomplishments will help transform the solo performer to valued contributor – and help your organisation’s bottom line.

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