By Kat Dent
Whether we go to school, play sports, or operate in a traditional workplace, we all have to be a part of a team. While some teams work well together and increase the likelihood of success, others can be ineffective, stressful, or taxing. Being friends with the people you work with doesn’t guarantee a cohesive team, but cohesion can happen if the group remains united.
Being a cohesive team means that everyone feels like they’ve contributed to the group’s success and are motivated to reach the same goal. How do businesses create these teams?
Creating a Successful Cohesive Team
Psychologist Bruce Tuckman came up with the optimal way to create a cohesive team in his 1965 paper, “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups.” He describes the path that teams can follow to become high-performing and also dictates the ending stage of the team’s journey.
These five stages of team development are proven to work for most businesses:
- Forming Stage: The team gets acquainted. Uncertainty is high as people search for leadership and authority. Most actions are social and used to get to know each other.
- Storming Stage: Most difficult and critical. Conflict and competition may arise, and performance often decreases. Members may disagree on goals and form subgroups. Team building challenges must be overcome, or long-term problems will develop.
- Norming Stage: Unity emerges when everyone agrees who the leaders are and who fills each role. Performance increases as cooperation begins, but harmony is precarious. It’s possible that disagreements will emerge that places the team back into Storming.
- Performing Stage: Cooperation is well-established, and the team becomes organized, mature, and well-functioning. Members are committed to the mission. When problems do arise, they are dealt with quickly and constructively for the betterment of the group.
- Adjourning Stage: Team goals are accomplished and either disbands or is given another project. Team members may be reassigned to other projects.
It’s crucial to celebrate team victories as they come. Your employees will feel more satisfied and accomplished if their peers or management recognizes their hard work.
Why Cohesive Teams Matter in the Workplace
The teamwork formed on cohesive teams is essential in order to accomplish the overall objectives of an organization, but it also creates a better place to work.
Cohesive Teams Unify the Workplace
An environment that promotes teamwork and cohesiveness fosters loyalty and friendship, which can be achieved through group activities, employee recognition or engagement tools. A close-knit relationship from employee to employee motivates them to work harder, be supportive of each other, and stay cooperative. Cohesive teams encourage workers regardless of challenges, whether they’re working on a project together at the moment or sitting next to each other.
Cohesive Teams Offer Feedback From Different Perspectives
Working in a cohesive unit benefits the group as a whole because they’re able to provide an organization with a diversity of thought. Effect teams are innovative and come up with different ways to meet objectives. Teams can provide quick feedback and support to anyone that falls behind and strengthens accountability to help make important effective decisions faster.
Cohesive Teams Improve Productivity and Efficiency
Once a new team is firmly out of the Storming Stage, they become more productive and efficient. Workload that’s allowed to be shared will reduce pressure on individuals and guarantee tasks are completed within a set time frame. When individuals work together, they produce a more efficient output, which leads to improved job satisfaction rates and an increased work pace.
Cohesive Teams Help Individuals Learn
It’s difficult to learn from your mistakes if you’re unsure of what you’ve done wrong. However, in a cohesive group, you can avoid future errors more effectively if you gain insight from other team members. Through this method, individual team members can expand on their skill set and learn new ideas from their peers. Ultimately, this creates a more innovative worker.
Cohesive Teams Produce a Sense of Accomplishment
Teams that work together under a shared goal become more aware of their responsibilities and their place within the business. Cooperation and workplace synergy lead to a higher degree of accomplishment when compared to individual goal setting. When a team goal is accomplished, members feel more supported, respected, and trusting of their peer group from then on.
How Cohesive Teams Prevent Legal Issues
An unhappy or disgruntled employee is usually harmless, but they can cause significant damage to a company’s reputation or intellectual property. A cohesive team can easily spot disgruntlement as they watch and aid each other through difficulties.
Cohesive teams can more accurately see these common signs of dissatisfaction:
- Poor Performance: Teams are aware when an individual’s performance is slipping if they see they aren’t completing assignments or their numbers start to take a nose-dive.
- Absenteeism: Teams instantly know when another member isn’t present, but they may notice a pattern of absences quicker if their performance suffers as well.
- Poor Attitude: When a team gets past the Storming Stage, there shouldn’t be constant conflict. If there is, the negativity could spread to the group, and they’ll start complaining.
- Team Difficulties: Cohesive teams thrive on teamwork. Once they don’t, abuse may arise, which is a telltale sign this team needs to be separated or receive consequences.
Not only do cohesive teams make disgruntled employees easier to spot, but they also reduce the likelihood of disputes occurring in the first place. Fewer disgruntled employees mean a lessening potential for legal problems or complaints of bullying or favoritism.
About the author: Kat Dent is a business owner who helps small businesses succeed with their SEO marketing strategies by producing content that is valuable to the reader and rankable. She has written for hundreds of websites and enjoys speaking on behalf of female entrepreneurs who are interested in blogging, podcasting, and video content.