During the hiring process, human resource persons will inevitably choose the best candidates for the job. By doing so, you have effectively brought together a set of people who are good at what they do. From this point on, the next question that you will need to deal with is: how do you get them to work together?
This is where the importance of great group dynamics becomes apparent. After all, a company should be more than the sum of its parts. In order to get the job done efficiently, your team members must be able to play off each other’s skills and downplay each other’s weaknesses.
In this article, we shall be looking at group dynamics and the various ways your firm can improve upon it.
Examining Group Dynamics
In a nutshell, group dynamics refers to the ability of your team members to work together. It is actually easy to identify whether your team has a great or poor group dynamic. For instance, those with positive dynamics usually put a high level of trust in their colleagues. Moreover, they have no problem working towards a solution to the problem at hand while also being able to hold each other accountable for their specific roles. In short, they can get things done quickly and efficiently.
On the other hand, there are also signs that become apparent when teams have a poor working dynamic. For instance, there is constant bickering. While disagreements about ideas are natural, teams who don’t blend well often have them to an extreme degree. It can even come to a point where team members are critical of their colleagues’ ideas not because of its merit but because of the person who presented the idea in the first place.
It is worth noting here that poor group dynamics will inevitably impact your company’s performance. It can disrupt work, create resentment, and discourage active staff participation. Needless to say, no one wants to find themselves in a company with this kind of problem. At the end of the day, it will be your task as a team leader to make sure that this does not happen.
Factors That Cause Poor Group Dynamics
There are a number of different reasons why teams develop bad working relations. More often than not, it is a combination of a myriad of different reasons. For instance, it could be due to the lack of a strong leader. Remember that weak leadership often leads to awkward situations and a general lack of direction. In cases such as these, proactive members would be forced to step up and take the reins, thus creating another set of problems such as unnecessary infighting for the leadership role.
On the other hand, things can also go the other way wherein team members would exhibit excessive deference to their team leader. This can lead to team members choosing not to express their own opinion, to the detriment of the group and the task at hand. This is often caused by a work environment that is not conducive to employee input.
Of course, the burden doesn’t always lie with the team leader. In some cases, teams are overcome with episodes of ‘group thinking’. This means that they tend to give focus solely on consensus instead of exploring the different solutions available to them. Usually, such a problem precedes a bigger one – staff complacency. The same can also be said for free riding group members who prefer to let their colleagues do the work while they take it easy.
Improving Team Dynamics
If you wish to establish a healthy team dynamic with your staff, then you must also understand that it does not come easily. It takes work but it is surely worth it. Presented below are some the different strategies you can use to build great group dynamics:
- Get to Know Your Team – To effectively perform your task as a leader, you need to know each and every one of your team members. You must be able to familiarize yourself and you must know their strengths and weaknesses. By doing so, you should be able to help your team play off each other’s skills.
- Set the Norm – In order to create a cohesive unit, you must be able to create a set of norms that your team can live by. Of course, this process must be done in a consultative manner and must involve the team itself. This can be as simple as having the same priorities for a project or upholding the same kind of work ethic. From there, you can leave it to them to hold each other accountable.
- Delineating Roles and Responsibilities – If your team members have no idea what their specific tasks are, then the chances of having problems increase exponentially. This is because ill-defined roles often lead to a lack of focus on the part of the team. This is caused by team members not being able to prioritize the specific aspects of the job they should be focusing on.
- Communication is the Key – An open line of communication is crucial to having great team dynamics. So, you should make it so that every one of your team members can their ideas be heard. Aside from formal meetings, you should also maximize all the resources available to you like email as well as private groups exclusive for work-use.
- Build Rapport – Team-building activities serve a specific purpose: breaking down barriers. These activities can help deepen professional relationships and also help new members of the team better integrate with the group.
- Pay Close Attention – As you work on your group’s team dynamic, you must pay close attention to employee morale. This is because it often serves as a litmus test for your team. As you do this, be sure to keep an eye out for any of the tell-tale signs of potential workplace problems. This way, you can stay on top of things and ensure that old problems don’t resurface.
As you strive to establish a great working relationship with your team, be sure to always keep these strategies in mind.