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Productivity and work efficiency cannot be improved just by looking at trends in sales or profits. Instead, productivity and efficiencies result from improving specific skills. For example, one critical to the work environment is team building. Unfortunately, however, it is difficult to improve team dynamics without first understanding the main components of a team.
How can you effectively build a team so that each member grows and improves the expectations of your business?
Related: The benefits of team learning
The importance of social cohesion in the company
The title above seems self-explanatory. Social cohesion is essential in the company. It is necessary in all aspects of life. However, what is social cohesion? And what constitutes group dynamics?
Links/Social Links: First, any group of individuals has bonds, whether in the office or in private. These bonds bind an individual to other individuals in the group. They can be friends, colleagues, associates or a mix. The point here is that without a partnership with all your peers, there can be no interpersonal growth or improvement.
The share capital: Social capital refers to what you bring to the table. For example, does your group have experienced people? Or are all members new? Are multiple talents, opinions, thoughts and perspectives represented in the group? More diversity means better decision making. Also, new hires who work closely with older colleagues are more likely to overcome any learning curve.
Social cohesion: Social cohesion refers to the strength of the bond between individuals in the group. For example, would you defend a group member against an angry customer or client? Would you bite them? Well-knit group members have more instinctive trust in the opinions and decisions of others. As a result, work becomes simplified, efficient and of higher quality.
Social contagion: Social contagion refers to the hive mind mentality of people. We are all emotional animals who are inherently affected by the emotions of the world around us. Therefore, placing a less successful employee in a group with positive individuals who are successful can alter that individual’s outlook for the better. They can learn about their mistakes, see the success of others, and grow in a better direction for the workplace culture. The premise is based on the idea that “happiness” can spread from the haves to the have-nots.
Social inclusion: However, nothing can be created out of thin air. Your group dynamic should foster this positive and cooperative atmosphere, which leads to personal improvement and growth. This is social inclusion. No one in the group should ever be left out. The best way to make sure everyone feels included is to make them feel heard. The group dynamic must consist of an open and non-judgmental dialogue. This may include the need to learn how everyone communicates. Verbal communication is not the only form of disclosure. If social cohesion leads to improved work cultures and productivity, then social inclusion should be seen as the dynamic that creates the first social ties and bonds described above.
Related: 10 Simple Ways to Create a Collaborative and Successful Work Environment
The importance of group dynamics in the company
So how do employee group dynamics impact the larger community and help develop positive workplace cultures? Are group dynamics inherently positive or should they be made like a mud bowl?
National construction: Think about your business as a nation. You are not creating a company. You are a nation builder. Eventually, every business on its growth curve begins to include groups and staff that don’t care about the actual corporate product but are hired to focus on the inner workings of the business. Just like nation building, all aspects of corporate life and workplace culture need to be considered. A poorly executed city plan will invariably result in a loss of business. But most importantly, you could lose your relevance in the market.
Principle of the common goal: Lack of purpose is the number one problem that will kill a group’s momentum and potentially all social cohesion. A directionless team wanders aimlessly through the workday with little to guide them. Every group needs a purpose. The clearer the expectations, the more focused a group can be on the shared experience of success. When there is a shared experience from a clear goal, your team comes together. Besides:
Your team develops mutual accountability.
Your team members grow from shared contribution.
Your team learns to embody shared corporate values.
As you’re building a nation, each team becomes a community that supports each other in the group’s success. Creating these shared experiences allows the group to develop an intentional positive mindset toward the corporate goal they have been tasked with. Groups help individual members by:
As you think about your internal culture and how your corporate goals can best be achieved through smaller work groups, be sure to understand the natural progression of group social cohesion. Most likely, there will be no immediate success. But people naturally improve their communication and cooperation as social bonds, cohesion and inclusion improve. There are five natural stages in the life of a group:
Related: 5 Leadership Strategies to Improve Team Performance and Grow Your Small Business
The first stage of the group is technically the setup and procedures stage. Members formally introduce themselves to each other, the purpose, the tools and the process. Members are not creating yet; they are just learning at this stage. Don’t skip this step. A shared understanding of real corporate goals is vital to the specific accomplishment of specific tasks.
Storming implies and refers to the natural tendencies of groups to develop a hierarchical order. Individuals may have to overcome interpersonal conflicts or problems. Members may need to be changed as needed.
Once a common understanding of working and communication style is found, social cohesion can develop. Again, this is not a forced stage, but will happen naturally as the group finds its footing on how best to cooperate and communicate.
The fourth stage, the realization of the group purpose, can only be achieved when the group is properly formed, cohesive and communicating. Any group dynamic flaw can derail product development. Instead of developing a successful outcome, the group will waste time and money.
Nothing lasts forever. However, in the business world, this is a good thing. A group’s life should last only as long as the group is needed. After that, it can be constantly redeployed into a different project. However, make sure that before the group disbands, there is some sort of closure so that future audits have a clear trail of the group’s actions.
Creating a group is not just an exercise in paperwork. It should be an intentional activity that combines diverse perspectives and backgrounds so that each team member can contribute and learn from the process. Trust your team. Give them a goal and let them find their way to your success.