Team dynamics

Improving Team Dynamics in the Workplace

An organization’s success is linked to specific team dynamics in the workplace. If employees are unable to communicate effectively, for example, performance will suffer. This can add to problems like low employee engagement and high rates of interpersonal conflict and turnover.

Managers and business leaders can improve productivity and culture by being aware of the factors that affect team dynamics.

Factors that influence team dynamics

A complex factor that impacts team dynamics is employee personality types. According to Harvard Business Review, extroverted team leaders perform better when matched with employees looking for guidance, while introverted team leaders fare better with workers who are proactive and take initiative. This idea is known as “dominance complementarity,” which means that groups tend to be more cohesive and effective when there is a balance of dominant and submissive leaders.

Personality types, work structure and other factors (e.g. team size and available resources) all impact team dynamics. Changing one factor can have implications on another, as demonstrated in the research on dominance complementarity.

Building high-performing teams

Based on a poll of workplaces, Ataya provides eight qualities that successful teams share.

1.    Manageable size

There is no perfect size, but teams can be ordered in sub-groups to take advantage of the benefits of larger and smaller teams. Larger teams tend to have more ideas, diverse perspectives and more human capital overall. Small teams tend to be more cohesive and are easier to manage, when it comes to arranging meetings, distributing tasks and making decisions.

2.    Equitable work division

Participation and efficiency increase when work and responsibilities are divided appropriately. Everyone receives credit when the team succeeds or takes responsibility when the team fails.

3.    Balanced leadership

The poll found that for every team, the ideal team leader is someone who is able to:

  • Make decisions, but also negotiate
  • Take responsibility, but also delegate
  • Speak up, but also listen
  • Work hard, but also help others reach their potential

4.    Open communication

A study conducted by MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory found that successful teams share the following characteristics, which are all rooted in communication:

  • Everyone on the team talks and listens in roughly equal measure
  • Members face one another, and their conversations and gestures are energetic
  • Members connect directly with one another, not just with the team leader
  • Members have side conversations within the team
  • Members take occasional breaks to explore and bring information back to the team

5.    Quick conflict resolution

Disagreements and disputes will happen with any team. What is important is the team’s ability to move past differences and resolve conflicts in a healthy and productive manner.

6.    Efficient use of resources

An efficient team is able to create the highest value out of available resources. Budgets and time can be sources of frustration, but efficient teams can overcome these types of obstacles with creativity and by optimizing what is available to them.

7.    Ability to deliver

Delivering on required outcomes is a direct indicator of an effective team. It is also the result of a team that communicates well, resolves conflict and other key concepts discussed in this list.

8.    Team satisfaction

Satisfaction is a simple way to gauge success and healthy team dynamics in the workplace. It impacts productivity and accomplishments within the team as well as an individual’s job satisfaction and work performance.

Becoming a business leader

By paying attention to the nuances of team dynamics and understanding how to build high-performing teams, leaders and managers can help organizations and employees reach their goals.

Aurora University’s online Master of Business Administration degree and online MBA with a Concentration in Leadership help students develop the knowledge and skills need

Content sponsored by Aurora University

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