Working in a Team: Facilitating Efficient Collaboration

When hiring for a new position, the main focus is usually placed on the individual’s skills. Do they have the necessary hard skills required? Is their educational background in line with the nature of the company’s work? Do they have any relative experience? Each individual is often evaluated as just that – an individual. However, when the person is actually hired, not many are left working strictly independently. Hence, it is crucial to not only consider whether a candidate is a good fit for the company, but also whether or not they’d be able to work within the team they’ll be assigned to. No matter how skillful an employee is, if they are going to end up butting heads with everyone else in the team they’re working in, they will eventually leave or push someone else in the company to leave. As turnover remains a primary concern for every HR department, it is crucial to look at the issue from multiple angles.

Team Conflict Consequences

Employees not getting along within a team goes beyond holding little grudges here and there. Poor communication can be detrimental to the efficiency of the team. When your employees don’t know how to communicate with each other, any and all work will take an exponential amount of time to complete. This is a direct cost to your company – with less efficiency, there is less output per hour. Furthermore, poor teamwork can also lead to an overall toxic work environment. As much importance as pay holds, work culture is just as crucial to an employee’s happiness as that is the environment they’re going to be immersed in full time. Unhappy employees will lead to higher turnover, which once again, brings immense financial and emotional stress to your company.

Hire with Team Fit In Mind

Rather than scrambling to hold your team together, it is best to keep team fit in mind from the very beginning – during the hiring process. When evaluating the candidate’s personality, consider how they would fit into the current team. What kind of role will they take on? What are some potential conflicts that can arise with other members of the team? Upon hiring, provide the new employee with a team-fit assessment to help them better understand their work habits and communication styles. Prevue’s team-fit assessment is conducted using factor analysis, and the result categorizes the employee into one of the nine team fit types. Through this personality insight, each team member can have a better idea on how to work best with one another.

Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing

In 1965, psychologist Bruce Tuckman proposed the “Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development” that can be a helpful method for team development. The first stage is “Forming”, where everyone is getting to know each other – this is a great opportunity to have everyone take a team-fit assessment and see what some distinctive personality traits are. Then the team moves onto the “Storming” stage, in which group conflict arises but also expectations and boundaries are being challenged and reset. At this stage, the team-fit report can provide helpful insight and advice in how to best approach difficult conversations and situations with each team member, such as how to facilitate constructive conversation and team building. The third stage is “Norming”, when everyone finds a clear role in the team for themselves. This ultimately leads to the final stage, “Performing”. If the previous stages are achieved with clear communication and management, the team will now be able to perform at full capacity.

Keeping the Team Together

People work as a team, not just as individuals. As an old saying goes, “three humble shoemakers brainstorming will make a great statesman”. Better teamwork not only leads to greater productivity, but also curates a healthier work environment to keep your employees happy and reduce turnover. Don’t wait until it’s too late and start considering ways you can better prepare new hires to integrate into your team now!