Each year, more companies are opting for team-based over individual-oriented organizational structures to handle various projects and tasks.
Teams are a go-to structure mostly because through collaboration you tend to produce better and more unique solutions. Working with other people, especially those with diverse and varying backgrounds, provides you with the opportunity to approach tasks with points of view that can change the entire outcome of the project. And with an assortment of theories, you provide yourself with a greater chance of picking the best solution.
While there are a range of benefits associated with workplace teams, there are also several factors that go into making sure a team succeeds rather than implodes in upon itself.
First figure out who is on your team
You’ve got your roster set but you’re not sure how each member fits into the team and the role they play. This part can be dictated by specialties or qualifications, but when working on teams where members are just about equally qualified, personality takes a more definitive role. When building a team, make sure you have an idea of employee personalities. For example, your more driven and competitive team members will usually set the pace for the project and encourage the rest of the team to push ahead. On the other hand, more empathetic and sociable members may hold a mediator role and act as a peacemaker when disputes arise.
However, don’t be afraid of a bit of friction within your team. Remember that conflict isn’t necessarily a death sentence. In fact, some studies show that a bit of conflict may be beneficial to team performance. When team members clash due to differences of opinion relating to a task, the conflict can act as a catalyst for discussion. When people get talking this can lead to more creative and well-nuanced solutions.
So now you have your team and you know your roles. What now? Now you should figure out how your team works best—not individually, but as a group. Are they flexible with time? Are they more collaborative or competitive? Do they respond well under pressure or do they need a more relaxed environment to work?
Not every team is going to react in the same way in stressful, ambiguous or just plain boring situations. Like individual people, some teams may be motivated by stress whereas other groups would be happier with a calm and stable workspace. The most important thing, however, is figuring out what kind of culture is being cultivated in both team and company.
Of course, there is science to support this theory and help you pinpoint your organizational culture. Companies like Good&Co have pored over volumes of data and used psychometrics to gather insights that can determine not only team and company culture but also individual employee personality profiles. The team feature in Good&Co assigns a role to each team member based on their personality characteristics.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up
There may come a time when you realise the standards of your once high-performing team have waned a bit. Don’t fret. Maybe the team just isn’t suited to the tasks they’ve been assigned. Or there could be a change in the organizational culture that is affecting overall performance. In this case, find a way to make conditions for your team as favorable as possible. Use psychometric tools like the Good&Co app to figure out the optimum environment for your team.
Unfortunately, sometimes a team may just not work well together from the beginning. In this case, you can add or drop members and see how it changes the group dynamics. It is your responsibility as a leader or even as just a member of the team to make sure that each member is compatible with the group. While it may seem callous, remember that staying with a bad fit does neither the team nor the employee any favors.
With all the science supporting it, choosing and optimising your team should now be easier than ever. Take advantage of every resource available to make your work life truly meaningful and happy.
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