The Need for High-Performance TeamsBy Javier García Iza | Wed, 12/22/2021 - 09:31
Rather than a luxury, having a high-achieving team is a necessity for any successful company in these evolving times. Nowadays, tough competition, disruptive new businesses, and a changing marketplace leave us no choice but to strive even higher to achieve excellence.
It is widely known that more than 90 percent of entrepreneurships fail in their first few years of operations, but what about that other 10 percent?
When you’ve found the way to succeed with your product and/or service, as a natural consequence you can expect a time-lapse of growth, and in many cases of accelerated growth. When this happens, a new challenge arises, which is, how to constantly and quickly build a high-performance team to keep up with the demand for your product and/or service.
Two key elements will aid the fast and effective creation of high-performance teams. High-performance teams drive us to meet our goals, especially in a highly competitive industry. Today more than ever, organizations depend on their people, who are associates aligned with the company’s culture, to form high-performance teams and achieve their goals. At IOS OFFICES, we know that to achieve our goals parallel to the success of the company we must take into account the following two concepts: hiring and alignment.
When I had my first job, about 20 years ago, I found myself in the position of needing to hire new employees. To aid me in this process, the HR department asked me to fill out a form with some characteristics of what I was looking for in a suitable candidate. The form seemed ridiculous and impossible to fill out; there wasn’t anything that I considered relevant in regard to what I was looking for in a team member. They asked things such as level of education, professional experience, age, sex, etc. These are extremely important, but this was not the true essence of what I wanted to find out about possible candidates. I was searching for people who were enthusiastic to serve, with a nice attitude and willingness to work. Nowhere on the form did they ask me about any of these qualities, which to me are the most important traits to look for.
In my opinion, a very common mistake is to simply hire people based on their skill set and knowledge. Which certainly are important attributes as well. But these are not the only virtues to take into account when making a decision.
Seeing myself cornered by such a predicament helped us define the foundations of the culture that now characterizes IOS OFFICES. This was achieved through establishing the cultural requirements and motivators that define an IOS HOST.
Mindset is for me a key component when one is in the process of hiring a new team member. Having the right mindset means to desire learning and growth. It means being a calculated risk-taker, going beyond “job description” responsibilities and considering issues from other departments. And most importantly it means respecting the company and coworkers.
Over the past 14 years of building a high-performing team, I have found that the following two questions are key when recruiting a new team member:
1. Why IOS OFFICES?
By asking this question, you will be able to see the real interest and passion of your possible employee. You’ll discover that there are people who know a lot about you, which is an excellent indicator that they have come prepared for the interview. If they don’t know anything about you, this means they haven’t researched you and don’t know your personality at all. This situation, in my opinion, instantly becomes a “no thank you.” This means that they probably do not fit the profile you are looking for in a new employee. Here we can perceive their real motivation and what the candidate will bring to our team.
2. What has been your most important achievement?
The second question lets us understand on a deeper level the passion, capability, and resilience of each candidate to finish what they start. Regardless of their previous achievements, we are interested in their ability to take things a step further, doing so with passion and determination, which are strong attributes in a high-performing team. Frequently, we come across some high achievers, who are very easy to recognize. We also come across people whose achievements do not cause such a wide impact. They can give us important examples of what they achieved with something representative for them at home, personally, with a hobby or in another job.
The main characteristic we wish to find in future applicants, who are planning to join our team is perseverance. Perseverance reflects an essential type of strength and mental capacity when facing challenges. This allows us to see the will to persist and this permeates to the other members of the team. This quality is essential for the success of our company.
Human beings have a good capacity to remember things and retain relevant information. But when it comes to the trivial part of life, what do we actually remember? Usually, we go through life doing one activity after another, and after a few hours, days, or weeks, they fade from our memory, depending on the importance of what we have experienced. When we are asked what we did a week ago, on Wednesday at 5 p.m., only a few could accurately remember the trivial things that occurred, much less what we learned exactly a year ago, or what did we do three years ago. Humans only pay attention to significant moments or moments of change, like the first day of school, your wedding day, when you meet your partner, the day of your graduation, your first trip to Europe or the day of an accident.
Just like those events, our first day at work, or our first day at a new company, is incredibly relevant for all of us. At that moment, when we first enter our new workspace, our mind begins to absorb knowledge and new experiences that we will forever cherish, remembering these moments for the rest of our lives. We remember details that might seem a bit trivial to an outsider, such as, where we went, who welcomed us, where and what we ate, but to oneself, these details are what make a memory what it is. Therefore, at IOS OFFICES, we pride ourselves on making the first day of work for every new employee a day of new experiences, such as learning our values and culture, with their new team members. In this day of unforgettable experiences, we focus on transmitting our culture and taking it beyond, to a more personal level.
The culture of an organization doesn’t mean having free food or playing foosball and being able to bring your pet to work. The true meaning of culture lies in how we as individuals working in a high-achieving team, think, operate, and make decisions. For this to be a successful endeavor, it is important to have a clear mission that reflects the values that we experience on a day-to-day basis, and that has a true purpose.
It is essential in these first moments of integration to align new team members with our culture and values to convey the mission and common objectives that will lead us to meet our goals. At IOS OFFICES, our mission is to be a tool for the success of our members’ businesses. We take into account the actions we take every day while delivering our service, and hope to transmit a welcoming message for all employees and members that form our “IOS Coolture.”
Over time we have come to realize that the best way to transmit our “Coolture” is through the stories lived by our partners and members themselves, who, in time, give us guidance and direction through their own actions. For example, one of our staff members, by her own initiative, bought and printed a 2-meter diameter ball with the IOS OFFICES logo, and took it to the Angel of Independence during the celebration of the World Cup. Or, for instance, the time that a team member in Puebla decided to repair the sanitary system of the building, to prevent our customers from having to use the bathroom on another floor, providing them the comfort and service that distinguishes IOS OFFICES. We have many more stories just like those; it is impossible to tell them all, but they always reflect our culture.
Only the first impressions last in new members: the first minutes, hours, and days, are in that order of utmost importance. It is only in these first moments that we can make an impact and convey what is most important, which comes down to our culture and values. These first impressions are so crucial for our new members to become part of IOS OFFICES, because only in these first moments can we, as a united front, make an impact and convey what is most important to us, which comes down to our culture and values.
Alignment comes from having a strong culture aligned with the company’s mission that permeates through the team. Companies that are constantly growing within highly competitive industries have the need for high-performance teams, as they are essential to align the company’s objectives with its results. This translates into having a team with employees who serve customers, suppliers, and partners well, and who simultaneously live the company’s culture. It is also necessary to have the operational capacity to meet the established goals. This is why it is crucial to hire determined, motivated, and passionate people, to ensure that the culture is aligned with the mission and vision of the company to ultimately meet its goals and objectives.