Research Summary: Predicting Team Peak Performance

New research on work team performance found that teams with greater understanding of their strengths, efficacy and productive habits are more likely to be perceived by their stakeholders as high performing teams.

Teamwork is part of high performance workplaces, linked to productivity growth and efficiency. Understanding what leads to team peak performance whilst addressing the perceptions of the team’s stakeholders can provide organisations with great competitive advantage.

This research was carried out with work teams from two service-based organisations and each team completed the StrengthscopeTeam™ questionnaire, a tool that measures team strengths and productive habits.

Why study team strengths, habits and efficacy?

Up until now there was no research on the integration of strengths and habits into team processes and on how those impact team performance. This study also created a new measure of team performance through team stakeholder feedback. The stakeholders assessed the teams’ purpose, passion, process and performance.

Many studies show that a greater awareness of strengths helps individuals and teams understand what motivates them and energises them in the workplace, leading to greater confidence at work, increased engagement and ultimately better results. However, there is no research on how strengths can impact teams not only in terms of its dynamics but also what types of strengths affect team processes and how that impacts performance.

This study hypothesized that Execution Strengths in service-based teams would significantly predict team peak performance. This group of strengths concerns the delivery of results, including both what is delivered and how it is delivered, and includes strengths like decisiveness and initiative, amongst others.

As predicted, the peak performing teams where those where the majority of its members are more energised by execution strengths such as efficiency, results focus and initiative. Service-based teams that get to use their execution strengths more will be more likely to increase and sustain team peak performance.

Understanding the mediation effect of team strengths – and particularly what types of strengths are predictors on the team process-outcome relationships, can help shed light onto the relationship between team processes and team outputs and help teams deliver more and better results by drawing on what energises and motivates them.

Ana Loback, Consultant, Strengths Partnership

Loback, A. The impact of team strengths, productive habits and efficacy beliefs in predicting team peak performance in service-based teams. MSc Dissertation, School of Psychology, University of East London, 2014.