January 2, 2018

Building a High Performing Team By Using Data

Building a High Performing Team By Using Data

Everybody wants a high-performing team. After all, the more productive and efficient a team is, the less a company is spending to make more. All of that is obvious, but of course, most things are easier said than done. If everybody could magically make their teams' performances improve overnight, it wouldn't be an issue that's regularly discussed among leaders of organizations all over the world.

So, what's a manager to do?

Data analytics are the way to go, but they don't mean much if you don't know how to make them work for you. With that thought in mind, here's what you need to know to enhance your team's high-performance power using data:

Data Implementation Best Practices

Like anything in life, there are good ways to implement data analytics and then there are better ways. In terms of enhancing your team's performance, the following are excellent ways to integrate best practices into your data implementation:

1. Know what you're going for before you start collecting data. If you suddenly end up with a mountain of data, you may have a hard time carving through the information to make sense out of it. Instead, start with a plan, know what you're trying to achieve from a business perspective, then hone in on optimal solutions with the support of tangible data.

What are your major metrics? How will you identify bottlenecks? Who will be responsible for driving the conversations and investigations?

You'll be far better off if you put a roadmap in place before you begin your data implementation journey.

2. Get input from all key stakeholders. Although your bottom line decisions probably come from the top, don't forget to get feedback from your frontline employees. Keep in mind, they see your business much different than you do, and they may be able to offer insights about ways your data can benefit your organization you wouldn't even have thought about.

3. Integrate analytics into your company's daily way of doing things. Data shouldn't be a fly-by-night idea; it needs to be imparted as part of your company's culture. This will help everyone be on board with the possibilities, while simultaneously opening bright minds to investigate new possibilities as technology continues to evolve.

Data Analytics and Human Behavior

What makes your people tick? These days, employee engagement is a huge deal. Disengaged employees are a drain on their workplaces; if you're able to hit the sweet spot with your people, they'll respond by producing better quality work. This balance is far from a guessing game, however. It takes science to understand how team members' interactions ultimately enhance or harm the organization as a whole.

Data's ability to help you understand human behavior will give you the power to recognize communication patterns and modes of motivation that should ultimately lead to more successful teamwork. Successful teams often share similar characteristics. Once you know what drives your people, you can use data to let statistical analyses paint a better picture of what you need to do to pump up the performance power.

  • Is there a lull in energy at a certain time of day? Maybe you need to restructure your team's day to break up the monotony.
  • Are certain people dominating projects and conversation? Create more fluid communication that allows everyone to contribute without feeling ignored or discouraged.
  • Is everything getting lost in translation in the endless cycle of emails? Usually, face-to-face meetings or phone calls can stop the inbox insanity and give employees plenty of precious time back per day.

Every team is different, and you never know what kind of picture data will paint until you put it to the test. Chances are, there are plenty of inefficiencies data will uncover simply because of the way your team behaves.

Data Analytics and the Interview Process

Here's the funny thing about data—it doesn't discriminate when it comes to the types of industries and organizations it can optimize. The recruiting and interview process is one place in particular where people often neglect to see the benefits data analytics can bring; unfortunately, that leads to a lot of missed opportunities in terms of bolstering the bottom line with processes that could save companies money and time.

1. Stop spreadsheet insanity. Spreadsheets populated by human beings are not only cumbersome, they're wrought for accidental errors, are time consuming, and after all that, they can still only capture so much. Automated data sources capture the all kinds of information your employees probably wouldn't have even considered keeping tabs on. With a few graphs or charts, you can convert analytics into easy-to-understand images of your hiring team can use to simplify the recruiting process.

2. Know how your best people found you. Why waste money on recruiting channels that aren't bringing you the best and brightest? Employ data to track applicants' information so you can realize positive ROI and only invest in places worthy of your time and efforts.

3. Whittle down your cost of hire. Once you have a big picture of your hiring process, you can take steps to reduce administrative waist and unnecessary costs, giving your team members back valuable time.