10 Insights on Understanding & Building High-Performance Teams

Anthony Hickey

Our Trust Insight webinar on Understanding & Building High-Performance Teams delved into the topic of high-performance teams and how to support them. Kathryn Whyte, Head of HR at the Office of Government Procurement and Annamarie O’Connor, People and Culture Director at Tayto Snacks talked about the impact that 2020 has had on the people agenda and how they have adapted their plans to respond to the year's challenges.

During the conversation we discussed, identifying change areas, effective action planning, employee engagement, how trust is linked to an agile workforce, leadership involvement, group motivation and much more. Below you will find a few key points from the session, but should you wish to watch the whole discussion, you can do so here

Annamarie O’ Connor

People and Culture Director

Tayto Snacks


1 - Focus groups and surveys with staff can identify the need for process changes within departments and organisations. Developing an action plan to drive meaningful change from these insights can then be a collaborative, whole organisation venture.

2 - Employee focused action plans can be built into an organisations overarching strategy, with mission statements included the organisation’s goals and regular progress updates throughout the year demonstrating a commitment to change and improvement.

3 - Translating plans into action requires commitment from leadership, project teams to address target areas and tenacity to maintain the desired trajectory in the face of inevitable complications. It is this commitment from leadership that builds trust among employees.

4 - A primary benefit of a high trust culture is that where challenges arise in operations and change is necessary, staff will rally behind the new strategic direction as the leaders have already demonstrated sound judgment and fairness.

5 - To reinforce the value of employee contributions, it is essential to engrain recognition into the culture. This can be achieved through sharing good news stories across the organisation, external sharing on social media and a value linked peer to peer recognition programme.



Quote Tayto



Kathryn Whyte

Head of HR

Office of Government Procurement

6 - Established correlations between employee retention and a supportive and positive workplace culture must be considered. Psychological safety is linked to performance and engagement, as such organisational a supportive culture is vital.
7 - Consulting with staff applies to pinpointing areas in need of development and in creating and implementing action plans. Working with employees to find out what they position as solutions is an effective way to ensure engagement with what is implemented.
8 - Developing a strategy to support high performance requires a high level of visible leadership involvement. This demonstrates a whole organisation approach exists, making it easier for employees to engage with the culture development journey.
9 - Shared values, vision, and mission motivate employees to give their best. It is connecting staff to the benefits of the work conducted that can provide shared a narrative of meaning, progression, and achievement to employees.
10 - Coaching skills are valuable when supporting high-performance teams. Where leaders are versed in applying coaching techniques, this knowledge trickles down to employees, helping them to produce their best work and develop on an individualised trajectory.


Quote OGP


What jumps out in both panellist accounts, is how culture and performance work in tandem. A whole organisation approach is needed to support employees in producing their best work. Leadership engagement, active listening and demonstrating changes made through action planning are excellent ways to build trust in any organisation, resulting in employees giving their best to reciprocate that trust.


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