The Simple Recipe for a High Performance Team

January 22, 2020
3 minute read

Some think building a high performance team requires a complex formula.

But the recipe is actually quite simple.

Speaking of which, let me tell you about a restaurant that I really enjoy eating at. They have been open for more than 50 years. They’ve served thousands upon thousands of people.

Every time I go there, it’s a thoroughly pleasant experience. Not because you feel like you’re at home. Instead, it is because you are treated well, with professionalism, accuracy and very high-quality service.

How they have achieved this?

And even more importantly, how they have sustained it over the years? The short answer is: collaboration and lots of practice.

The restaurant is called “Frevo”. You’ll find it in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

They serve very tasty meals and are particularly well-known for their sandwiches.

If you think that they have modern and expensive decorations, you’re wrong. Their decor goes back many, many years. That’s part of the experience too. People don’t go there because of their atmosphere; people will be there because they really like the food and how it’s served.

They are a well-oiled, high performance team.

So, what’s their secret?

An employee who has been there since the beginning once told me that he’d like to work there until he can’t work anymore. The environment fills his body with energy, and it was one of the best parts of his day.

He told me that the older employees are the ones responsible for teaching the new ones. They work as a family. Everything flows naturally.

“Clients are really happy when we serve them well,” he said. “We’re here for them.”

If we look closer at their processes, we won’t find high tech devices or fancy software. If you ask them why not, they will say “we don’t need it.” They know everything by heart; the recipes, ingredients, prices and even some clients’ names.

If you ask how they do it, the answer is “because when you do what you like, it’s easy to learn.”

I’d add that the secret is also because they have been using high-quality ingredients and you can taste it when they are combined into a meal, especially one of their fantastic sandwiches.

But, how do you keep the performance level when a new person joins the group?

When a new member comes on board, he or she receives instructions from their colleagues. They keep supporting him/her until the other person feels comfortable about everything.

The communication is very intensive, clear and focused. They use signals to identify in which stage the customers are. So, if the napkins and cutlery are on the table, it signifies to everyone that the customer has already ordered.

It’s that simple.

The conclusion is that groups like this evolve naturally out of a cohesive and congruent set of values and behaviours. They live it daily, and as the customer, you can feel that in the outstanding experience.

In their case, focus, collaboration and practice are the ingredients for a successful business.

It’s a simple but time-tested recipe for a high performance team.

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Berteig Consulting

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Bruce Power
Capital One
Equitable Life of Canada
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