successful organization doesn’t just hire the best people. They look for knowledge and expertise in particular areas. It’s about having personality strengths that work well within a group. And when they make new hires, they look for personalities that will work well with their existing personalities. That’s the opposite of dysfunctional team dynamics.
Dynamics influence the direction of your organization’s team behavior and performance. It’s one thing to have good personalities in the workplace. It’s another to have personalities that interact well together. If you understand your team’s dynamic, you’ll have a better idea of how successful they’ll be.
Functional team dynamics start from the top, beginning with effective leadership. It’s management’s job to put the right people together to create that “magic.” When the magic happens, productivity follows. Functional teams make everything better — higher morale, a more fun work environment, and an attractive place to work.
A dysfunctional team dynamic does just the opposite. Productivity takes a hit, morale plummets, people dread coming to work, and people don’t want to do their tasks.
To avoid dysfunctional team dynamics, leaders should follow these four tips:
1. Define Responsibilities
When employees are unsure what they should be working on, that type of confusion can be a blow to collaboration. If one team member has a different idea of their project needs from another, then obstacles are sure to rise. This can lead to a lack of commitment, which might lead to higher turnover. But when employees know their role and responsibilities, they’re more productive and produce higher-quality work. Here’s how to create effective responsibilities in teams:
- Determine what tasks need to be completed. Make a list of all the tasks to know how many need to be delegated. Know what your team is currently working on and who is working on what. Also, know who has completed tasks successfully or unsuccessfully in the past. Then delegate tasks accordingly.
- Know strengths and weaknesses. Know who shines in certain areas, and assign them responsibilities in those areas. If they show weakness in one area, train them or assign it to someone that performs it more successfully. This will help promote confidence when everyone is confident in their abilities to complete tasks.
- Know personality traits and job descriptions. You should delegate tasks to employees based on what they were hired for. Refer back to their job description to ensure tasks are relevant to their duties. Taking that into account, plus their personality should help you delegate assignments.
- Receive feedback. Know how your team is feeling about certain responsibilities. Show them that you care and that their opinion matters. This will foster healthy relationships and an open and honest work environment.
2. Eliminate Evaluation Apprehension
Direct feedback can be scary. But leaders should do their best to have employees come away from evaluations with a determination to work harder and with a sense of pride in their accomplishments. Bringing quantifiable data into evaluations removes any perceived biases and can make evaluations feel more equitable to employees. Quantitative performance evaluations can measure work quality, quantity, and efficiency. Examples can be product defects, errors, closed sales, deadlines, units produced, and absenteeism.
With tools like MetaSpark, artificial intelligence uses data to analyze employee performance, which takes any bias out of the equation. It unearths insights about team dynamics across the organization. From engagement to D&I, you'll always know how your team is doing and where you can improve. You can also set goals for these areas right in MetaSpark and track how employees are performing in real-time.
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3. Know Your Team
You must get to know your employees to pair them successfully for projects. You can do this by asking previous supervisors or coworkers about individuals to learn about their personality traits and work ethic. Also, gather insights about how they work with team members by looking at past performance reviews.
You can also hand out background and interest surveys to be filled out by your employees. You can learn about their previous business experience, goals, and ways to improve the team. This can be a great thing to consider as part of your employee onboarding process.
Finally, you should invest the time in getting to know your employees better, such as their favorite vacation, sports, music, and more. This can help you pair employees not only by their knowledge and expertise but also by their common personal interests. Truly getting to know your team members can help create a culture of inclusion.
4. Promote Trust
Everyone makes mistakes. If an employee has a hard time admitting when they need help or how they can do better, that can bring down trust levels. But when teammates believe in each other and show their belief in one another, teamwork, communication, and performance improve.
Promoting trust in the workplace starts with the previous tip, knowing your team. After that, transparency is highly valuable to promoting trust. Carolyn O’Hara writes in a Harvard Business Review article that regularly distributing information — “like financial results, performance metrics, and notes from board meetings — shows that you trust your employees, which in turn helps them have greater faith in you.” Yet Slack's "Future of Work" survey indicates that a staggering 80% of employees want to know more about how decisions are being made. Closing this transparency gap is crucial to promoting trust.
It’s also important to take the blame when projects go awry, and also to give credit for successes. Nobody likes a boss that takes all the credit when things are going well and criticizes people during tough times. But you don’t want to play favorites because favoritism is a quick way to lose trust.
Further, encouragement goes a long way. Employees don’t want to be given orders, they want to be motivated and empowered to work harder and smarter. “For managers, that means delegating tasks and granting as much autonomy as possible, while also making it clear what your expectations are and how performance will be measured,” says O’Hara.
With MetaSpark, it’s easy for managers to delegate tasks to the right people to promote functional team dynamics. Plus, your employees can manage all their tasks from a single dashboard. As they complete their work, our AI analyzes it and generates productivity dashboards. In real-time, you can see which teams and individuals are most productive - and which may need some help. Even for remote employees. By having a clearer picture of your organization, you can avoid dysfunctional team dynamics.
Are you ready to see how to improve team dynamics with an AI-driven productivity hub? Schedule a demo for your team today.