New Report from Front Finds Top Motivations and Traits of High-Performing Teams

High-performing teams communicate more, build better relationships with their coworkers, and use more emojis than the average team

Front, a leader in customer communication, released a report about the motivations and traits of high-performing teams titled, How to build a high-performing team.

Front commissioned this report in partnership with Dr. Ron Friedman, a social psychologist specializing in human motivation, and author of The Best Place to Work and Decoding Greatness to better understand the habits of high-performing teams, communication patterns, working styles, and interpersonal behaviors.

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“This new research suggests that high-performing teams don’t just have close friendships — they have authentic relationships. They share positive and negative emotions; they’re collaborative but also competitive; they work hard yet they make time to bond over non-work matters.”

“Creating a high-performing workplace takes more than simply hiring the right people or building a strong workplace culture. It requires creating opportunities for genuine, authentic relationships to develop,” said Dr. Ron Friedman, lead researcher of the survey and founder of ignite80. “This new research suggests that high-performing teams don’t just have close friendships — they have authentic relationships. They share positive and negative emotions; they’re collaborative but also competitive; they work hard yet they make time to bond over non-work matters.”

With the future of in-person work up in the air for many businesses, it’s more important than ever to identify how to cultivate high-performing teams and invest in management best practices to help teams thrive at work, no matter if they are in-office, fully remote, or hybrid. Front’s research shows stark differences in communication style, frequency of communication, meeting structure, and willingness to give and receive feedback in high-performing teams compared to lower-performing teams.

“I love working with people I consider friends, so it’s been great to see this research confirm what had only been an intuition,” commented Mathilde Collin, Front CEO and co-founder. “My job as CEO is to create an environment where employees can be engaged with the company’s mission, bond with their colleagues, and ‘show up’ — virtually or not — at work with the drive to make something great. This research shows that a real ‘win-win’ situation, for both employees and businesses, is possible. As a provider of communication and collaboration software, we at Front have an important role to play and I’m proud of our contribution to make the world ‘work happier.’”

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Insights from the report include:

  • High-performing teams don’t just Zoom, they pick up the phone: Averaging 10 phone calls per day, while other teams reported only 6.
  • They invest in building relationships and connecting with each other: 65% of high-performing teams start meetings with a check-in with their teammates, compared to 42% of other teams. And 41% of high-performing team members tease their teammates to bond with them, compared to 28% of members of other teams.
  • The best teams don’t waste time: High-performing teams are more likely to draft agendas (77%) and require pre-work ahead of meetings (46%) to make the most of their time.
  • Impact is a cornerstone value in high-performing teams: 97% of people on these teams believe their contributions and their coworkers’ contributions are important to the company’s success, and 92% believe their company’s success is important to make the world a better place.
  • High-performing teams also know how to have some fun: 60% use emojis when communicating and 52% use GIFs to express themselves, compared to 45% and 35% of average teams, respectively.
  • Most importantly, the best teams are there for each other: High-performing team members build friendships and are more likely to view their teammates as kind (51% vs. 42%) and trusting (60% vs. 43%).

Methodology

This quantitative research study was conducted by ignite80 on behalf of Front to explore the behaviors and attitudes of office workers who are members of high-performing teams. A total of 1,106 U.S office workers who operate in teams of 3 or more were interviewed between June 23 and July 7, 2021.

The sample spanned an age range of 18 to 55+, over 15 industries, all company sizes, and all levels of seniority. Respondents completed 48 multiple choice questions on a variety of workplace topics.

To identify members of high-performing teams, we had respondents (1) rate their team’s effectiveness and (2) compare their team’s performance to other teams in their industry. Workers who scored their team a 10 out of 10 on both items were designated members of high-performing teams (n = 223).

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