Opinions expressed by londonbusinessblog.com contributors are their own.
Work productivity and efficiency cannot be improved by looking at trends in revenue or profit alone. Instead, productivity and efficiency result from the improvement of specific soft skills. For example, one of the most important factors for the work environment is team building. Unfortunately, however, it is difficult to improve team dynamics without first understanding the primary components of a team.
How can you effectively build a team so that every member will grow and your business expectations will improve?
Related: The Benefits of Learning as a Team
The above title speaks for itself. Social cohesion is essential in business. It is needed in all aspects of life. What is though? social cohesion? And what does group dynamics consist of?
Social ties/ties: First, every group of individuals has ties, both in the office and in private. These ties connect an individual with other individuals in the group. That can be friends, colleagues, relations or a mix. The point here is that, without an association with all of your teammates, there can be no interpersonal growth and improvement.
Social capital: Social capital refers to what you bring to the table. For example, does your group have experienced individuals? Or are all members brand new? Are multiple talents, opinions, thoughts and perspectives represented in the group? More diversity means better decision-making. Furthermore, new hires who work closely with older colleagues are more likely to overcome any learning curves.
Social cohesion: Social cohesion refers to the strength of the bond between the individuals in the group. For example, would you defend a group member against an angry customer or client? Would you betray them? Well-connected group members have more instinctive trust in each other’s opinions and decisions. The result is that the work becomes streamlined, efficient and qualitatively better.
Social Contagion: Social contagion refers to the beehive mentality of people. We are all emotional animals that are inherently influenced by the emotions of the world around us. So placing a less successful employee in a group of positive individuals who are successful can change that person’s perspective for the better. They can learn from their mistakes, see the success of others and grow in a better direction for workplace culture. The premise is based on the idea that “happiness” can spread from those who have it to those who don’t.
Social Inclusion: However, nothing can be created out of nothing. Your group dynamics should promote this positive and cooperative atmosphere, which leads to personal improvements and growth. This is social inclusion. No one in the group should ever be sidelined. The best way to make sure everyone feels involved is to make them feel heard. Group dynamics should consist of open dialogue without judgment. This may include the need to learn how everyone communicates. Verbal communication is not the only form of outreach. If social cohesion leads to improved corporate cultures and productivity, social inclusion should be seen as the dynamics that create the first social bonds and bonds described earlier.
Related: 10 Easy Ways to Build a Collaborative, Successful Work Environment
The importance of group dynamics in business
So, how does employee group dynamics affect the larger community and help develop positive workplace cultures? Are group dynamics inherently positive, or should they be made like a bowl of clay?
nation-building: Think of your business as a nation. You are not building a business. You are nation building. Eventually, every company in its growth curve begins to include groups and personnel who are not concerned with the actual company product, but are instead hired to focus on the inner workings of the company. As with nation building, you need to consider all aspects of business and workplace culture. A poorly executed city plan invariably leads to loss of turnover. But more importantly, you can lose your relevance in the market.
The common goal principle: The lack of purpose is the main problem that will destroy the momentum of a group and possibly all social cohesion. A team without direction wanders aimlessly through the workday with little to guide them. Every group needs a goal. The clearer the expectations, the more focused a group can be on the shared experience of success. When there is a shared experience with a clear purpose, your team bonds. Further:
Your team develops mutual responsibility.
Your team members grow through shared contributions.
Your team learns to embody shared company values.
As your nation builds, each team becomes a community supporting each other in the group’s success. Creating these shared experiences allows the group to develop an intentional positive mindset toward the corporate purpose they are tasked with. Groups help individual members by:
As you think about your internal culture and how to better achieve your business goals through smaller workgroups, make sure you understand the natural development of group social cohesion. Most likely, there will not be immediate success. But of course individuals improve their communication and collaboration as social bonds, cohesion and inclusion improve. There are five natural stages to the life of a group:
Related: 5 Leadership Strategies to Improve Team Performance and Grow Your Small Business
The first phase of the group is technically the setup and paperwork phase. The members are formally introduced to each other, the goal, the tools and the process. The members are not creating yet – they are only learning at this stage. Do not skip this step. A shared understanding of the true business goals is essential for targeting specific tasks.
Storming includes and refers to the natural tendency of groups to develop a pecking order. Individuals may need to overcome interpersonal conflicts or problems. Members may need to be exchanged as needed.
Once a common understanding of work and communication style is found, social cohesion can emerge. Again, this is not a forced phase, but will occur naturally when the group finds a foothold on how best to collaborate and communicate.
The fourth phase, carrying out the group goal, can only be achieved if the group is formed, cohesive and communicates adequately. Any group dynamic error can and will derail the development of the product. Instead of developing a successful outcome, the group is wasting time and money.
Nothing lasts forever. But in the corporate world, that’s a good thing. The life of a group should last only as long as the group is needed. After that, it can be constantly redeployed on another project. However, before disbanding the group, make sure there is some sort of closure so that future audits have a clear path of the group’s actions.
Creating a group isn’t just a paperwork exercise. It should be a conscious activity that combines different perspectives and backgrounds so that each team member can both contribute and learn from the process. Trust your team. Give them a purpose and let them find their way to your success.