Find out why a group configuration is working for some companies
While traditionally, a number of organizations have been arranged along hierarchical function lines, some are now adopting team structures in the workplace — and seeing positive results.
Having employees work in teams can potentially help prevent isolation, increase engagement and facilitate innovation.
If you’re wondering what other benefits companies gain from having a team-based culture — and if a similar approach would work for your organization — the following considerations may offer some insight:
A team-oriented environment could enhance productivity
A number of companies are utilizing a team-based organizational structure; more than a quarter — 31 percent — of the businesses that participated in Deloitte’s 2019 survey on global human capital trends reported most or almost all of their work is now done in teams. Fifty-three percent of the companies that are team-based organizations experienced a significant improvement in performance after transitioning to a team-based culture.
Looping employees into the team selection process might boost the group’s effectiveness
Managers sometimes select employees they feel will bring certain capabilities to a team to help make the group’s efforts successful. A Gallup study involving 11,441 teams in six organizations indicated team members knowing each other’s strengths could also have a positive effect on the collaboration’s outcome. The research found team members being aware of their own strengths — and each other's — was actually more strongly correlated with higher engagement and performance than the specific configuration of strengths on the team.
Work distribution within teams can vary
As a 2016 Harvard Business Review article noted, women can tend to end up with a larger share of the work in collaborative team-oriented environments, potentially causing them to experience greater emotional exhaustion than men. Managers being aware that can be an issue — and watching for signs that work is not being distributed evenly within groups — may help prevent the situation from occurring.
As with any major structural change, companies need to carefully plan to establish a team-oriented environment. For tips on transitioning to having team structures in the workplace, read our post on making change management second nature.
With communication already an issue at a number of organizations — more than 80 percent of employees said in a Quantum Workplace and Fierce Conversations
survey that miscommunication occurs very frequently in their organization; group conversations and meetings were singled out as one of the most likely causes — getting information that’s generated within teams to be shared can potentially become challenging once a company has switched to a team-based organizational structure.
Establishing specific channels and touchpoints for groups to communicate could help ensure information is disseminated. Our blog posts on the best way to communicate with employees and communication missteps you may be making offer additional thoughts on improving communication with an organization.
For more thoughts on managing employees, view our blog posts on how to motivate different generations in the workplace, making remote employees feel connected, transforming talent management with people analytics and three ways to prevent workplace conflict.