Putting data to work to build great teams
Every hiring manager has seen it happen. A candidate with a perfect resume, impeccable references, and great experience starts in a new position with all the energy and optimism you’d expect. Within a surprisingly short time, though, that person has grown disenchanted and leaves for another opportunity. The candidate who ticked all the boxes during recruitment turns out to have been the wrong choice for the position.
What went wrong? The business came face to face with the hard truth that a candidate’s fit for a specific role isn’t everything. Most people don’t work alone. Each of us is part of a team — even multiple teams at any one time. Job fit by itself isn’t a reliable guide for hiring and management decisions in this more collaborative world of work. Our ability to get along with colleagues and bosses can be as instrumental to our success in the workplace as our experience and skills.
That’s why so many businesses are now turning their attention to team dynamics and the impact on business success — and with good reason. According to the Harvard Business Review, the time managers and employees spend in collaborative activities has risen 50% or more over the past two decades.
Historically, we’ve tended to assume that creating a good team was more art than science. Managers would recruit people with the right skills for their roles and hope for the best when it came to team dynamics. That’s changing for the better. New technology is allowing us to understand how effective teams work together to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. We can increasingly use data to generate meaningful insight into team dynamics, including:
- Behavioral alignment - Understanding the team’s unifying behavioral characteristics to maximize performance and engagement.
- Behavioral diversity - Learning how the team assimilates a variety of perspectives for a balanced approach to achieving goals
- Team styles - Exploring how the team will respond to situations reflecting their style of work, communications, and company culture
- Behavioral notability - Discovering what behaviors make the team unique and who plays a complementary role to the rest of the group
Not all teams have the same purpose and goals, which means different teams will use this information in different ways. Sometimes the push for team performance will outweigh other considerations. Sometimes a diversity of behaviors is more desirable than the alignment of behaviors. It all depends on the needs of the business and the role of the team within the enterprise. The critical difference is that now we can have a data-driven context for decisions on how to build and manage teams.
With the insight into team dynamics that’s now available, business leaders will be able to get effective teams up and running sooner. Those teams will be able to adapt to shifts in business strategy more readily. When it’s time to bring in a new member, the onboarding process will run more smoothly. And ultimately, the business will create a richer and more rewarding employee experience that increases retention and productivity.