What makes a team effective?

By | November 18, 2015

I often wonder what makes some team more effective than other. Why I felt more empowered in some team compared to some others. The simplistic reasons that pops to mind are about the quality of the leadership and the joy experimented at work. The People Operation team at Google shared interesting conclusions from a study they made. It’s seems the most important factors to make a team effective are:

  1. Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?
  2. Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high quality work on time?
  3. Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?
  4. Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?
  5. Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?

Definitely, some of these points should really be pushed by the leadership of the team / group. Other points can actually be enforced by the team itself, by acknowledging their importance.

Meaning, impact, dependability, and the psychological safety are values that can (and should) be driven by the team itself.

So, next time you are looking for a new team, try to assert how they are doing in these five categories. Also, if your current team doesn’t appear to do well on any of these categories, see what you can do to improve it.

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