Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships – Michael Jordan
In the movie ‘The Founder’, Ray Kroc (played by dashing Michael Keaton) teaches us one of the most crucial elements of success within any organisation: teamwork.
When McDonald was still in its nascent stage, struggling to increase productivity and profits, Ray emphasised on creating better, closely-knit teams, and the results are before all of us. One of the strategies he used in those early days was to inspire and hire both husband and wife to work at McDonald, and it was a gem of a strategy to induce great teamwork.
Well, that was McDonald, and that too in the USA of the 1960s and 1970s. Yes, not every startup can afford to hire both husband and wife, and in fact, in some IT companies and banking institutions, this is not even allowed. But a great teamwork is no doubt one of the most crucial ingredients of success for any organisation.
Hellen Keller has famously said that “Alone we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” And the same principle applies to startups, organisations as well.
Here are 4 factors, which should be thoroughly examined and considered to induce greater bonding to create a more cohesive, productive teams:
Improve Social Skills, Not IQ Of The Team
As per a study by MIT, it was found that compared to IQ of all team members, it’s the social skills which matter for forming a great team. Social skill is a broad subject and depending on the location of the workplace, and the nature of the business, evaluation of this factor must be done by the management. For example, if some team members think or act as if they are superior to others, based on racial prejudices, then it is a bad signal for the whole team, and for the organisation. Activities such as puzzle solving, negotiation and meeting team targets can be achieved seamlessly, if and only if social skills of the team members are on the same page.
Create Happy Employees, Not Work Slaves
Want a team which is super productive? Make them happy. Overburdening the team with work and putting pressure on them is a sure shot way to demotivate them, and keep them away from productivity. And one of the important factors for keeping employees happy is understanding how they feel for one another; which again takes us to point #1 of social skills. As we witnessed, praising is considered as one of the factors which keep employees happy, and motivated.
A Mixed Environment Of Experienced & Novice; Men & Women
A study by London School of Economics in 2007 found that the team having a mixture of genders perform better than those teams which have either men or women in the majority. And the reason behind this is the issue of the minority. After surveying 21 companies across 17 countries, the research found that “teams work best with an even mix because individuals tend to contribute less fully and confidently if they are in a minority..”
And the same applies to experienced and novice team members as well. Just like a family, the team should consist of both experienced folks and those with little experience for better problem solving and creativity within the team.
The Alchemist Is Trust Factor
It is said that a chain is as strong as its weakest link. And surprisingly, the same principle holds true for teams as well. Based on the theories of ‘negativity bias and the discontinuity effect’, the team members will focus more on the least-trustworthy team member while making collective judgments about overall trust of the team. Hence, statistically, the trust of the whole team depends on how their least trusted member is being perceived by the team. And if that trust level is below the mark, then the whole team suffers. While negotiating a contract or fulfilling client’s objectives, this trust factor of the entire team comes into force, and the lack of it can actually sabotage the whole process. Hence, trust factor among team members is the real catalyst of the great team.
In a way, all these four factors: Social skills, happiness, gender balance and trust are inter-linked with each other. And just like a great team, all these 4 factors should be examined collectively, not individually for inducing that cohesiveness within the team.
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