The ability to bring out the best in yourself, and others, is essential to being a leader who’s capable of cultivating high-performing teams.

According to a study by Deloitte, companies are increasingly shifting from hierarchical to team-based organizational structures in an effort to be more agile and efficient. Among companies undergoing such transitions, 53 percent report a significant increase in performance.

In keeping with this trend, there’s a growing need for leaders and managers who can foster cross-functional collaboration within their organization and guide colleagues through complex business challenges.

If you want to enable your employees to unleash their potential and help your organization succeed, here are 10 ways you can boost your team’s performance.

How to Improve Team Performance

1. Delegate

Every manager should know how to delegate effectively. By entrusting your team members with key projects and responsibilities, you make them feel more engaged and valued.

When delegating, play to your employees’ strengths and ensure they have the knowledge and resources to complete the assigned task. Be willing to let them fail, too. Coming up short on a project or initiative could serve as a valuable learning experience that spurs their continued growth and development.

2. Make Decisions Together

Inviting team members to participate in the decision-making process can lead to innovative solutions you may not have come up with on your own.

One of the primary benefits of team decision-making is it invites “constructive conflict,” according to the online course Management Essentials. Individuals bring different points of view to the table and challenge preconceived notions among the group.

By encouraging debate and considering diverse perspectives, you can stimulate more creative problem-solving and help your team make higher quality decisions.

Related: 8 Steps in the Decision-Making Process

3. Don’t Micromanage

One of the top mistakes both new and experienced managers make is focusing too much on minute details and micromanaging employees.

Research shows micromanagement is one of the main reasons employees resign, and it can fuel:

  • Low morale
  • High turnover
  • Decreased productivity

To avoid micromanaging, let go of perfectionism and empower your team members to experiment with their own approaches to completing tasks. In doing so, you can carve out more time to focus on larger organizational objectives and instill a deep sense of trust among your team.

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4. Communicate Effectively

Communication is paramount to team performance. According to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, poor communication can lead to a range of negative outcomes, including:

  • A delay or failure to complete projects
  • Greater stress levels
  • Lost sales

When communicating with your employees, be empathetic and actively listen to their thoughts and concerns. This approach will not only create a more open, collaborative team dynamic, but sharpen your emotional intelligence skills.

Related: 8 Communication Skills Every Leader Needs

5. Give and Solicit Feedback

Knowing how to deliver feedback effectively is a vital management skill. Make it a point to regularly give informal feedback to your employees, rather than waiting for annual review periods, so that you can build a more robust working relationship with your team.

Treat these informal evaluations as conversations, and avoid defaulting to blanket statements, such as “nice job.” Your comments should be both specific and actionable.

Don’t forget to ask for feedback, too. Your team members’ observations can help you identify areas for growth that can be integrated into your leadership development plan.

6. Have a Purpose

Harnessing the power of purpose is a high priority for many businesses—and for good reason. According to a report by EY and the Harvard Business Review, 89 percent of executives believe a sense of shared purpose drives employee satisfaction, and 81 percent feel that purpose-driven firms deliver higher quality products and services.

Imbue your team with a sense of purpose by providing concrete examples of how your employees’ efforts further your firm’s overarching mission and tie into greater organizational objectives to positively impact society.

7. Be Authentic

Authenticity is an immensely valuable leadership trait. In a recent study, it was found that employees' perception of authentic leadership is the top predictor of job satisfaction and can improve work-related attitudes and happiness.

Among the key characteristics of an authentic leader is the ability to inspire faith in others. Whether overseeing an organizational change initiative or leading a critical meeting, be honest and transparent with your employees, and leverage your company’s purpose to boost their motivation and achieve alignment.

8. Pursue Clear, Attainable Goals

Setting realistic goals is crucial to both personal and professional growth. It’s also an important step in key management processes, such as strategy implementation.

Research by Google shows that one of the hallmarks of a good manager is having a clear vision and strategy for their team. When setting your team’s goals, establish a set of well-defined objectives for your employees to work toward, and create a roadmap of smaller, actionable tasks that need to be done to achieve them.

By breaking the process down into a set of deliverables, you can help your employees feel more motivated and equipped to succeed.

9. Support Professional Development

Encouraging your employees to pursue further education and bolster their skills can be a boon to both your team and organization. A recent report by LinkedIn found that 69 percent of talent development professionals leverage managers and leaders to promote learning initiatives, and 75 percent of employees would take a course suggested by their manager.

As an alternative to programs held in a traditional classroom setting, online courses, such as those offered by Harvard Business School Online, offer a way for your employees to broaden their knowledge while juggling the demands of a full-time job.

Focus on your own development as well. Taking a management training course can equip you with the know-how and experience to take your career to the next level.

Related: 9 Tips For Taking Online Courses While Working Full-Time

10. Set an Example

Research shows managers account for 70 percent of variance in employee engagement, highlighting the integral role you play in influencing the tone and culture of your team.

When facing business challenges, be a role model for your employees by staying calm under pressure. Look to some of history’s most courageous leaders for strategies you can apply to navigate through hardship, such as polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, environmental activist Rachel Carson, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

By showing courage and serving as an example for your employees, you can forge resilience both within yourself and among your team.

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Leading Your Team to Success

Strong leadership is vital to team performance. Through cultivating a team dynamic centered on trust, serving as an advocate for your employees, and setting an example in the workplace, you can hone the skills to successfully manage others and enable your employees to consistently perform and deliver.

Do you want to become a more effective leader and manager? Download our free leadership and management e-book to find out how. Also, explore our online courses Leadership Principles and Management Essentials to learn how you can take charge of your professional development and accelerate your career.

Matt Gavin

About the Author

Matt Gavin is a member of the marketing team at Harvard Business School Online. Prior to returning to his home state of Massachusetts and joining HBS Online, he lived in North Carolina, where he held roles in news and content marketing. He has a background in video production and previously worked on several documentary films for Boston’s PBS station, WGBH. In his spare time, he enjoys running, exploring New England, and spending time with his family.