Team performance is key to the success and sustainability of organisations, therefore understanding the attributes of an effective team is vital. When people work well together towards a common goal, they often go above and beyond their individual responsibilities to achieve great things. A poorly functioning team may result in conflict and disfunction.

Focusing on team dynamics is especially important for people that work virtually, have little history of working together or have high interdependency. The aspects of working life that can affect employee performance are nuanced, but our research shows that well-planned interventions can help to increase team effectiveness.

This evidence review explores how to build an effective team and the factors that employers and people managers need to draw on to create an environment in which their employees can work together successfully.

  • See the practice summary for the main insights and practical recommendations for action. 
  • See the scientific summary for our methodology and technical information on the research and study references.

High-performing teams: An evidence review | Practice summary

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High-performing teams: An evidence review | Scientific summary

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Key recommendations

To build high-performing teams, people managers and leaders should focus on:

  • Team dynamics: colleagues need to trust each other and feel psychologically safe to speak up or take risks. 
  • Team cohesion: stemming from familiarity and shared norms and behaviours.
  • Shared thinking: look at how team members interpret issues and communicate.
  • Information sharing: making the best use of each members’ expertise is vital.
  • Team reflection: working on shared goals, collaboration and communication.  
  • Well-planned interventions: including teambuilding, teamwork training, debriefing sessions and goal setting.

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