It’s generally thought that group decisions have better outcomes than decisions made by one individual. Studies have shown that group decisions can lessen the effect of personal biases on processes and policies and lead to better and faster solutions.
Most organizations find that when teams review the processes and policies they work under, the internal back-and-forth of different approaches can lead to the best answer for moving forward.
Still, it’s important to note that individuals in a group tend to seek agreement, harmony and unity among members at the expense of independent critical thinking and better judgment.
High-functioning teams allow for voices and suggestions that don’t go with the general flow of ideas. This can be crucial in arriving at solutions, adapting processes to a changing business environment, and increasing the knowledge base of the organization as a whole.
In short, team dynamics matter.
That’s why Boost Midwest examines this as one of its core areas in its AIM methodology, addressing conflicts and challenges that can and arise during times of organizational change.
AIM, which stands for Analyze, Innovate & Manage, hones in on four crucial areas: organizational chart, operations optimization, communication and, lastly, team dynamics.
Boost Midwest provides organizations information through actionable items and provides a preview of how a full Operations Audit & Workshop consultation can optimize all facets of your company.
“The goal is for you to walk away with something that you can build on,” Boost Midwest President Marie Stacks said at a recent ATD Annual Conference presentation.
A team that is able to successfully work together brings huge benefits to the table. A Gallup poll found that high-functioning teams experience a 41% reduction in absenteeism, a 17% increase in productivity and 24% less turnover. As or more important, those organizations see a 10% increase in customer satisfaction along with a 20% increase in sales.
And, when McKinsey & Company asked more than 5,000 executives, they listed three keys to great teamwork:
The team was aligned to its goals and how to achieve them.
Interactions focused on trust, open communication and embracing conflict.
The environment encouraged risk-taking, innovation and experimenting with new ideas.
Team dynamics are influenced by both people and processes, so a company’s success actually hinges on both.
“We find that people and processes almost always are the highest priority when we jump in,” Ms. Stacks noted. “So we make sure we align those two very closely.”
Building strong team dynamics can achieve quantifiable results. In working with a software company undergoing rapid change and growth, Boost Midwest was able to help with:
Clarity of roles and responsibilities.
Establishing clear goals.
Accountability individual members and teams as a whole
And, since people and processes are the two main influencers in team dynamics, it’s clear how crucial high-functioning teams are for an organization’s success. This is even more critical at times of change and growth when organizational weaknesses are often exposed.
When teams and team members have overlapping processes and unclear roles, directives and goals, retaining employees during challenging times can be difficult.
“Rather than change, people will simply just leave,” Ms. Stack notes. “Team dynamics is how your morale is built, and that’s also how your culture thrives.”
Additionally, when teams aren’t clear on who does what, when and why, conflict among team members can easily arise. It was this kind of discord, Boost Midwest found, that ultimately was hindering the IT company’s success as it underwent structural changes tied to new areas of growth.
“The most relevant solution was to conduct a strategic assessment and allow the voices from around the organization to share their experiences as well as their vision,” Ms. Stacks said. “It also allowed the organization to consider a realignment, a complete restructuring of their organization.”
The Boost Midwest team found that in this particular case, it led to “bringing people and processes together and improving communication channels, all of which strengthens that team dynamic,” Ms. Stacks shared.
Plus, in focusing on the sources of issues within a team rather than the symptoms, the IT company found that systemic corrections made as a result of undergoing the Operations Audit & Workshop resulted in an influential improvement in other areas.
“The solution gave an opportunity to increase the clarity of roles, improved the company’s alignment with existing, new and future services, and provided a framework for improving satisfaction across the organization for both employees and clients,” Ms. Stacks concluded.
Through posing key questions to team members and project managers, the Operations Audit & Workshop revealed how well teams function in the critical areas of open communication and trust.
“No one should try to change things by themselves,” Ms. Stacks advised. "Rather, a change committee should focus on the challenges posed, and then an outside consultant or sole employee should act as the “champion of change.”
“We’re all motivated by our job description,” Ms. Stacks continued. “If someone’s performance is measured on the improvement of a company, you’re more likely to see a longer, sustainable change.”
Interested in discovering how a free Mini-Operations Audit can improve your company’s team dynamics? Boost Midwest is ready to schedule your organization today.
Reach out to us today at boostmidwest.com/operations-audit
Ready to learn more about how Boost Midwest can help you optimize your project management and operations? Schedule your free consultation call with us today using our Quick Schedule Link here.