Ethics of Work in High-Performing Work Teams

Topics: Work Ethic


Below, I will discuss the development and implementation of high-performance work teams. Teams are the foundation of any organization and in order to establish a well-developed team, it requires skills and effort. In today’s workplace teams are more than individual performance. I define a team as a group of individuals or employees that come together as a whole to get the project or task done. The members of that team rely heavily on each other to get that project or task completed.

This paper will provide an in-depth analysis of high-performance work teams. I will also provide an overview of healthcare culture; explore the different components of how to develop and implement an HR strategy and lastly identify ways to measure high-performance work teams.


Over the years, teams have become the foundation of many industries. Organizations are steering away from individual work structure and moving towards a team-based structure. Teams offer many benefits such as developing decision making and problem-solving skills, promoting creativity, team building, employee empowerment, sharing the workload and contributing to the overall vision of the organization.

What Is a High-Performance Work Team?

To being with, before developing or implementing a high-performance work team it is best to know how it is defined. ‘A high-performance work team is a group of goal-focused individuals with specialized expertise and complementary skills who collaborate, innovate and produce consistently superior results,’ (SHRM, 2018). The textbook identifies three types of high-performance work teams, work team, virtual teams, and project teams. A work team is employees with various skills who interact with a product or provide a service.

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A virtual team is teams that are separated by tie geographic distance, culture and organizational boundaries. A project team works on the most difficult problems that developers fail to solve. According to Katzenbach and Smith, “a team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed in a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they had themselves mutually accountable” (SHRM, 2018).

The distinction between high-performance teams and other groups is that a team is more than a collection of people simply following orders (SHRM, 2018). For high-performance teams to function effectively they need a deep sense of purpose and commitment; have more ambitious performance goals than average teams; he held accountable and provide a clear understanding of each member’s responsibilities; a diverse range of expertise and show interdependence and trust between members (SHRM, 2018).

Teams can be effective if they work together and share the workload for completing the task. It is also recommended that each team member should be informed of their responsibility and what is expected of them to get the task or job completed. Though some organizations might still be unclear about high-performance teams or why the work, the society for human resource management list four reasons why teams work. Teams work because they bring complementary skills and experience, are more flexible and responsible to changing demands, provide social dimension and generally have more fun (SHRM, 2018).

In addition to knowing why teams work, finding the right individuals to form a high-performance team is what matters. High-performance teams are formed through a combination of measures. The first measure is team purpose, goals and roles, which work toward achieving one common goal and they work better when their roles are clear.

The second measure is talent, skills and work ethic that recruits the best while helping two performing members. Incentives, motivation, and efficacy encourage a positive impact on the team’s goals. The fourth measure is leadership. This measure helps build commitment and confidence as well as focus on obstacles that cause problems with group performance. Conflict and communication is a measure where teams focus on coaching instead of directing through open communication. The sixth measure is power and empowerment where ownership increases, project interest boost and facilitate decision making. The final measure is the norms and standards. In this measure, teams actually discuss and agree to operating rules (SHRM, 2018).

Teams are the basic framework of how projects and tasks are organized within organizations. Team’s development takes time and follows stages as the team moves from being a group of outsiders to becoming a united team. The society for human resource management identifies the four stages of team development. In the forming stage it represents the beginning, individuals are getting to know each other. The storming stage is where team members challenge each other. The norming stage is where the teams begin to develop. In this stage, open communication is established. The last stage is performing. In this stage, the team is fully functional, and members are able to work toward shared goals (SHRM, 2018).

Understanding the Healthcare Culture

According to personnel today, “culture is usually described as the way we do things around here, the way the organization acts reacts and interacts” (2018). Healthcare is the world’s largest and fast-growing industries (Wikipedia, 2019). Mannion and Davies describe the healthcare organization culture, ‘as a metaphor for some of the softer, less visible, aspects of health service organizations and how these became manifest in patterns of care’ (2018). There are three levels of healthcare culture. The first is visible manifestations which are behaviors that get things done. The second level is a shared way of thinking which includes the values and beliefs used to justify and sustain visible manifestation. The last level is deeper shared assumptions are the underpinning of everyday practice. The healthcare industry is about building a culture of respect, support, and community.

Developing a Strategy

The job analysis will consist of analyzing in detail the functions of the job, duties, time spent, and the skills needed for the position. A workflow analysis as stated in our text ‘provides a means for the manager to understand all the tasks required to produce a number of high-quality products as well as the skills necessary to perform those tasks’ (Noe et al., 2017). Identifying each position duties will help employees gain a better understanding of their role in the organization and perform their task efficiently and effectively. Constructing an efficient job design can be more motivating to employees.

After a job analysis has been created, developing a job description provides a clear analysis of the functions and roles of a position. Job specification contributes to the job description and identifies how each team member can give to the job or task. Our textbook outlines job specification, “as a list of the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics that an individual must have to perform the job” (Noe et al., 2017).

To strategically recruit for the team HR will execute different recruiting processes. One function of HR is to provide different marketing strategies and methods to reach individuals and potential employees from diverse backgrounds. For example, in the healthcare industry, the HR department would explore various medical schools and evaluate interns that have an interest in being a professional in the ER department. HR would post employment opportunities on the company’s website as well on external job posting sites.

The selection process is used to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities of potential candidates. In the application process, personality assessments can be included. Assessments such as the Myers Briggs can be used to determine an employee’s personal characteristics. Once a candidate has been selected, the interview process begins. In the interview stage, the candidate will meet with multiple professionals that will ask various questions on current and previous work experience, strengths and weaknesses and career paths. Noe et al. suggest, ‘when more than one person is able to interview a candidate for a position, there is a significant advantage in removing any errors or biases that a single individual might make in choosing the correct person for the job’ (2017). Background checks and ability tests will be conducted following the interview process. HR main focus in the recruiting and selection process is to find the right person for the position that meets the goals of the department or organization.

Implementing a Strategy

However, a way to improve team performance and motivate employees is to implement a feedback system. Out textbook suggests that a feedback system, ‘provides employees and workgroups with information about their specific level of performance on each of the indicators’ (Noe et al., 2017). A good example of a feedback system is peer evaluations. Knowing that peers can evaluate each other can have a positive impact on employees because they can become more responsive and more motivated in completing their duties.

As stated in the textbook, ‘peers have expert knowledge of job requirements, and they often have the most opportunity to observe the employee in day-to-day activities’ (2017). Peer evaluations provide valuable information on how the employee can improve in their position or offer suggestions on completing a task. Noe et al. suggest, ‘peer evaluations can be even more motivating than managers’ evaluations because, unlike managers, peers are not expected to provide feedback’ (2017). An example of an employee feedback survey is shown in figure 1 below. The questions were provided by American Nurse Today and a list of questions that could be asked. This survey can be used as a way for peers to evaluate other team members in the group. Sharing the responses with the team can let the team members how well they are doing and what areas need improvement. The survey can be emailed to each team member.

Measuring High-Performance Work Teams

The textbook defines performance management as, ‘the process through which managers ensure that employees’ activities and outputs are congruent with the organization’s goals’ (Noe et al., 2017). Besides the regular performance appraisals and 360-degree feedback, there are five additional metrics that can be used to measure team member performance. The first metric is attendance. This involves keeping track of team member’s attendance because if a team member is constantly missing it becomes harder for the team to perform effectively. Helpfulness is the second metric and allows team members to perform better with the help from peers in the group. The third metric is efficiency. This metric focuses on making sure all team members complete their work on time. Taking the initiative to help others without being asked is the fourth metric. The last and most important metric is quality. As noted, “team members who care about what they do and are engaged at work will likely perform better, and it’s a good idea to recognize resulting achievements” (Rise people, 2018).

Another aspect that HR would put much focus on, is employee retention and employee satisfaction. In a recent by Robert Half, he identifies several strategies to improve employee retention. The first strategy is to provide onboarding and orientation to new hires. Providing a mentorship program allows new team members to be paired with another employee is the second strategy. The third strategy is employee compensation. This involves making employees aware of the benefits offered by the organization and their expected salary.

Showing employees how much they are appreciated as part of recognition and reward is the fourth strategy. The fifth strategy is a work-life balance which provided a flexible work schedule and encouraging employees to take a day off. Training and development allow employees to seek out professional development opportunities to help them grow, is the sixth strategy. The seventh strategy is communication and feedback. This strategy is the most important in improving employee retention. This allows the employee to suggest new ideas, ask questions or just ask about their overall performance. Dealing with change is informing all employees of any changes that might be taking place within the department or organization, is the eighth strategy. The ninth strategy is fostering teamwork that encourages individuals to work together, then individually. The last strategy to help improve employee retention is celebration. Celebrate major accomplishments or an employee’s accomplishments such as birthday, graduation, or promotion (2018).

The textbook suggests, ‘retention rates among employees are related to retention rates among customers’ (2017). For example, if the ER department wants to improve employee retention, HR should first look at patient retention and satisfaction. This can be done by conducting a patient satisfaction survey, via mail or online survey tools. The patient survey will be mailed to the patient address no than two business days after the visit. The second method is to send an electronic version using online survey tools such as SurveyMonkey and Google survey.

Both, SurveyMonkey and Google survey is online survey tools used to capture the opinions of individuals. By using the electronic version, the feedback response time would be received much faster than the mail version. The survey will ask for feedback on items such as emergency room physicians and nurses, the response time for medication and their overall experience. By asking patients to complete the survey, the ER department staff will have an understanding of patient needs being met and discuss ways the ER department staff can improve in certain areas. Figure 2 below shows an example of a patient satisfaction survey that is provided by Telluride Medical Center and an example of questions to ask.

The textbook defines job satisfaction as, “a pleasurable feeling that results from the perception that one’s job fulfills or allows for the fulfillment of one’s important job values” (Noe et al., 2017). One way for measuring job satisfaction is by using the job descriptive index. This index emphasizes various aspects such as pay, the work itself, supervision, co-workers and promotion. Another way of measuring job satisfaction is the pay satisfaction questionnaire.

This questionnaire focuses on pay levels, benefits pay structure and pay raises. Figure 3 below shows an example of a Job satisfaction survey that is provided by SoGo Survey and an example of questions to ask. This survey can be used to find out how satisfied employees are with the organization, their job responsibilities and pay. The responses from the survey can let HR know how satisfied the employees are and what areas need improvement. Being able to identify how employees feel can help reduce and improve employee retention and employee satisfaction and convey a sense of purpose to the mission and vision of the organization.


To conclude, creating a high-performance work team requires training, skills, and knowledge. The position duties, roles, and performance measurement are essential in a high-performance work team. As noted, ‘human resource management refers to the policies, procedures, and systems that influence employees’ behavior, attitudes, and performance’ (Noe et al., 2017). Implementing a high-performance work team can add value to the organization, provide a competitive edge and contribute to the overall success of the organization. In short, organizations must determine if a team-based structure would fit the needs to the company.


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Ethics of Work in High-Performing Work Teams. (2021, Dec 25). Retrieved from

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