What do you do when 84% of people are not satisfied with their Team? Part 2

Dec 20, 2018Human Resources, Training


Have you seen the recent film First Man, the powerful 2018 version of the moon landing? It revealed the story of how many brave men were lost before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin actually succeeded with their mission. They will always be remembered for their incredible perseverance.


This story is one of the most famous stories in the world yet let me ask you a question, did you know that there were 400,000 scientists, engineers and technicians involved in that mission? It’s incredible isn’t it! If you do the maths, that makes Armstrong and Aldrin only .0005% of the Apollo 11 Team?


They were at the head of the team and towards the bottom were the seamstresses who sewed 21 layers of fabric for each spacesuit. Some of these people had never made anything for space before but they rose to the challenge! They created history and synergy together.


We can only go so far on our own and if we want to build something great we must learn to build and be part of High Performing Teams. Can you imagine the challenges that Apollo 11 Team faced? We have heard from your conversations with us that you face similar struggles. The results from the TTI SI & HR.com Hacking Teamwork Study 2018 were conclusive.


Only 16% of people are satisfied with their Teams, although a huge 75% of people get work done through teams to a very high degree.


So how do you create this High Performing Team, especially when your mission and why is not quite so awe inspiring as getting to the moon? In this Part 2 of our Blog series we continue digging into the 5 Critical Steps to develop High Performing Teams and the fantastically engaging conversation we are having with our LinkedIn Contacts. Thank you so much everyone! If you missed part 1 read it first here.



Critical Step 3. Skills Development


If you take nothing else from this blog please read this piece carefully. We asked respondents to rank and rate their top Team challenges and we got the following results.

  • A lack of accountability 49%
  • Difficulty making decisions 45%
  • A lack of participation 44%


On the other hand when we asked them to rank Team developmental efforts the results are mostly focused on communication, collaboration and goal setting at 71%, 58% and 51% respectively.





Do you see that? There is a big gap between the challenges that teams have and the skills that the organisations are developing. When you look at lack of accountability, the skills development around metrics and analytics only came in at 36%.


Organisations are not training and developing teams in the specific areas that they need training in. Are your setting KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) in your company and measuring those and then holding each other accountable for those metrics?


Case Study: At Google if you accomplish 80% of your accountabilities then you get to spend 20% of your time on projects that interest you. This is a great example of using metrics to drive accountability effectively.


Difficulty with Decision making came in at 45%. Teams are feeding back that they are having trouble with this key skill and yet these skill shortages are not being addressed around decision making or conflict management.


Does your Organisation provide training, workshops or coaching on decision making? This is a key take away and something that our LinkedIn Contacts were also able to identify.


‘There is no Team Training and poor skills development’ –Federica Brungiu.


‘I would also add limited career trajectory and investment in individual/team learning’ –Radina Nedyalkova.


‘Failure to establish a strong foundation for a team to succeed.’ – Brian O’Connell


‘I think a big issue is often a lack of effective people skills along line managers. These managers have often been promoted from technical roles and find themselves managing employees bit without the necessary skills or experience’ –Dr Linda Dowling-Hetherington



In 2008 Bain & Company conducted a research study between financial results and decision making across organisations that found that decision effectiveness and financial results correlated at 95% confidence level or higher for every country, every industry and company in our size.


When you connect decision making to the business and you empower people to do that, you will see improved fiscal performance in your organisation. Bearing in mind that there are two types of decision making. Those big decisions that have an immediate and profound effect on the organisation or the small ones that cumulatively have a profound impact but individually one at a time not so significant. You want to empower your staff to be able to make those decisions.


Case Study example: Amazon’s continued success can partly be attributed to savvy merchandising decisions; including special prices, shipping discounts, suggestions for complementary purchases or targeting emails about new offerings. None of these decisions carry a tremendous amount of weight but when they build on one another, they drastically impact the fiscal performance of Amazon overall.


“So when we develop the skills and help people to make decisions and to manage conflict we see greater fiscal performance.” – Candace Frazer TTI



Lastly we will examine lack of participation which our respondents indicated was a top challenge for them at 44%. This can be connected to consensus building. When I say consensus I’m not talking about group think but I’m talking more about alignment.


It’s critical for Teams that are organised around quality like Six Sigma or any groups that are working on specific paths forward including collaborative problem solving and weekly key projects across teams.


The most important thing is for people to be engaged, to be aligned so that you are moving consistently toward a specific goal. You don’t want people to what we call ghost a project, where they show up but they don’t participate and are not involved in your meetings and your discussions. This sense of consensus ties into our Number 4 Critical step for Success.


LinkedIn:’Another factor is lack of understanding/ability of providing feedback in a way that is honest and facilitates growth’ – Aoife Foley  


‘Confidence from managers in dealing with under performance is a key issue.’ – Sam Shepherd.


‘Are people clear what high performance looks like? Do the systems and procedures support high performance or just get in the way and cause frustration?’ – Mark Slattery


Only a 25% of organisations say that they appraise performance at a Team Level

TTI SI & HR.com Hacking Teamwork Study 2018


Critical Step 4. Team Appraisals


Out of those respondents who do appraise their team, 72% do so at a productivity and goal level. Those individuals who indicated that they are really satisfied with their Teams are measured based on the team performance overall. So this is clearly a critical component of High Performing Teams.


Without measurement, accountability becomes hard to assess and productivity is destined to decline.


How can you know you are performing well if you aren’t appraised? That said, sometimes measuring performance can be exceptionally difficult particularly among knowledge workers. There are other things you can measure, take for example:


  • Your Team’s ability to work well
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • 360 evaluation or Peer evaluation


Case Study Example: IDEO measure their Teams on a metric called empowerment. David Akan MD of Product at IDEO says it is about creating a clear path forward for people and trusting them to do the right thing, giving them the right tools, helping them to understand how to overcome creative challenges and letting them do their own judgement to solve their own problems as a Team. As we have seen from the data self directed teams are becoming increasingly popular and effective.


What is the best way for you to measure your Team’s Performance?


Remember The Highest performing teams always measure their success. Even if you have to come up with a creative way to do it. What gets measured gets done.


Critical Step 5. Collaborative Tools


Lastly but not least importantly organisations with excellent teams tend to use collaboration tools in comparison with those who are lesser performers. These tools are essential to increase the effectiveness of hybrid Teams who have virtual employees and to those who share the same location. High Performing Teams from the data are generally self directed and collaborative so using these tools make perfect sense. There are many available such as Hive, Google Hangouts, Slack, we’re not recommending any in particular, it’s a case of choosing which one is right for your organisation’s need.


LinkedIn: ‘Buy in from Senior Management in terms of Up-skilling Employees and allowing them room to progress across the company along with a better work to life balance is very important now’- Jason Mc Loughlin



Final Thoughts


Thank you again for the phenomenal conversation we have had with you on LinkedIn. This is a subject that is close to all of your hearts. Thanks for your wisdom and genorosity in sharing. We really appreciate it and hope that we have delivered some value to your High Performing Teams in return. Let us know how you get on.


In the next blog we will be exploring the future of Teams and how TTI Success Insights can help you achieve High Performing Teams. If you can’t wait watch the TTI Webinar on Hacking Teamwork 2018.


We have also produced a TTI Success Insights Hacking Teams Paper which we are happy to send out to you. Please email Padraig@ttisii.com or send a LinkedIn email.


A huge Thank you to our participating LinkedIn Contacts: 

Federica Brungiu

Aoife Foley

Jason Mc Loughlin

Radina Nedyalkova

Brian O’Connell

Mark Slattery

Sam Shepherd






TTI Webinar on Hacking Teamwork 2018.







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