Teams are complex social and organizational structures. To ensure that teamwork really succeeds, conditions should be created that allow the team to flourish. However, the existing structures often suffocate the productivity of teams and their joint efforts.
It requires a significant amount of attention and experience to identify the team’s problems at an early stage. Dysfunctional teams show specific symptoms. The earlier these symptoms are recognized, the better countermeasures can be taken. Experienced managers can use their gut feeling to assess which conflict requires their intervention and which does not. And yet, even the most experienced team leaders and managers encounter situations in which they are uncertain or even at a loss. T
Why aren’t problems identified early?
Team leaders are under enormous pressure and are expected to function in all directions. In addition to their own work, they have limited time to deal with the problems of their teams. As a result, signs of challenges quickly go unnoticed. Especially when a transformation comes along, for example when departments are merged, managers are expected to provide guidance. In addition, they are also expected to deal with dissatisfaction and fears – including their own. They need to be supported.
What can HR do to uncover the root causes of poor collaboration?
The HR department should be interested in team performance and know why good or bad results were achieved. Standardized methods for measuring team effectiveness can be used for this purpose.
Below you will find some tips on how you, as an HR professional, can support your teams and managers:
- Listen: Conduct customized pulse surveys periodically to identify potential problems before they arise.
- Educate: Train your leaders and give them tools that make it easier for them to get to the root causes of poor collaboration.
- Provide a holistic overview: Link insights from multiple sources and ensure that you provide findings to each executive in a timely manner, so they can act on them expeditiously.
- Address the challenge promptly: Support swift implementation of measures that prove appropriate based on lessons learned.
- Use feedback and data: Use feedback and data to take individual action, and allow leaders the time to deploy concrete measures to their teams.
- Deploy technologies: Invest in the right HR and team development tools to support leaders and build HR ownership.
What actions can be taken to resolve team problems?
Short, app-based surveys support managers in identifying challenges in teams at an early stage. Regular and scientifically based queries measure key challenges per team across 16 factors.
Each of the 16 effectiveness factors shows ten to 15 triggers why an effectiveness factor is blocked or at least hindered. For the focus effectiveness factor, for example, these can be the triggers of unclear responsibilities or too many disruptions in the workflow. In essence, this results in around 200 triggers, which can be related to 97 percent of all team challenges based on current findings. There are usually only two to five of these triggers per team.
Based on the triggers identified, managers receive recommendations for precisely those stimuli that really help their teams. However, an algorithm only offers measures that have already helped similar teams with the same challenge. This is determined by feedback from the relevant managers and the team performance measured over the course of the project.