Many organizations have operational standards for producing and delivering their goods or services, but few have established behavioral standards to address the conduct within the team and between its members.

When a group of people decides they truly want to operate as a high-performing team, it must set operating standards according to their desired performance results.

Here are 3 keys to developing high performing manufacturing teams:

1. Create

Create standards ahead of time for how all team members will treat each other in both good times, along with the inevitable bad times.

It is these standards that, if created and agreed upon by the team in advance, will hold a team together when the pressure rises, and challenges intensify. 

Unfortunately, many people do not know who is really on their team until they are under pressure and at the point when it is too late to negotiate.

With the use of objective tools to assess whether team members’ natural styles and collective behaviors are aligned with their performance goals, team members can learn to adjust their individual approach to help the team reach their goals.

2. Own

Standards must be created by the team itself and based upon the specific cultural expectations unique to that team and organization.

If managers and supervisors are solely responsible for creating the standards, there is no team, just a group of employees being told how to behave. Instilling personal responsibility and ownership of team behaviors is critical to building and sustaining a high-performing team.

There is a big difference between “a team” and “group of employees”.

3. Execute

Standards must also be policed by the team itself. So, if a standard is breached, team members are obligated to “call it out.” (Note: This can be challenging if the offender is a high-performing, super-star.)

However, if this does not happen, no one takes the standards seriously and within a short time, it becomes worse than if there were no standards because people sense the lack of commitment and give up.

Other pressing issues will soon arise, so get this nailed down now.


Dave Baker is the founder and principal of Palmetto Leadership Center. He partners with manufacturing business leaders to optimize their talent so they don’t have to worry about where their next generation of leaders will come from.

He can be reached at (864) 902-4400 or