If you’re looking for a way to improve your team dynamic and build a stronger company culture, you’ve come across the right article. In order to make positive changes in the workplace, it’s important to get to know the strengths and different personalities of your individual team members so that you can build an effective team and establish a strong team dynamic.
Each person brings specific strengths to the table based on their different professional backgrounds, roles and responsibilities within the group. A successful team optimizes those individual talents to collaborate and reach overarching goals.
In this article, we’ll cover what team dynamics are, what causes poor group dynamics, why it’s important to have a good group dynamic, as well as questions that you can ask your employees to improve team dynamics and company culture. Keep scrolling to learn more!
What are team dynamics?
Team dynamics are psychological forces that influence different behaviours, roles and performances in a group. It’s also the way in which these behaviours, roles and performances affect other group members and the group as a whole.
Group dynamics are based on the several, ongoing interactions that take place amongst individual team members. As a result of these interactions, people are likely to adopt defined roles and behaviours when they work in a group setting.
When a company has strong team dynamics, team members trust each other, hold each other accountable and work towards collective decisions so that they can crush goals together.
When a team has a positive dynamic, they can work more productively, efficiently and more confidently. Team dynamics are based on the relationship that team members have with each other and each person’s level of understanding of different roles, responsibilities and ways to approach projects and work towards attaining goals.
What causes poor group dynamics?
Several different factors may cause poor group dynamics. When the team dynamic isn’t great, it means that peoples’ behaviour disrupts the ability of other team members to work efficiently. The result is typically the inability to come to a certain decision, or making poor, uncalculated decisions.
- One common factor that causes a poor team dynamic is a lack of clear priorities (established by the team lead). This causes issues and confusion among team members when there is a focus put on the wrong priorities and there is a lack of direction.
- Groupthink can also disrupt and negatively influence team dynamics. This happens when people prefer consensus above their desire to reach the most appropriate decision, which prevents the group from fully exploring other valuable solutions.
- Finally, sometimes what makes for poor team dynamics is when there are team members that behave in ways that disrupt the flow of information in the group and therefore distract the team from moving forwards efficiently.
The importance of having a good team dynamic
It’s important to understand your team dynamics because you can then use your insights to manage your team in a more effective way.
When you are aware of the different personalities, strengths and approaches that each of your team members take, you can organize responsibilities in a way that promotes effective teamwork and improves team interaction.
When working together becomes less labouring, there is more trust between each individual team member, open communication becomes easier and more comfortable and any team interaction is simply more enjoyable. When your team likes working with one another, they are going to work harder, collaborate and innovate collectively to achieve the company’s goals. Focusing on open communication is going to promote fluidity in the way that you and your team work together.
Now that you understand the importance of having a good group dynamic, let’s take a look at some questions that you can ask your team members to improve it even more:
Questions about team dynamics
Asking questions about the overall group dynamic is very important. However, it’s better to do it in a one-on-one setting, where your teammates will be more comfortable sharing feedback and observations.
Take some time to get to know individual team members on a more personal level and ask about the team dynamics during your one-on-one meetings. Having open communication is central to good team dynamics, so be sure that you’re communicating frequently with each member of your team.
The definitive guide to the most misunderstood and yet powerful tool for managers. With a foreword by Lara Hogan, author of Resilient Management.
Self-awareness is also a huge part of improving your team dynamic. You need to understand which part you play in the overall team dynamic. Ask your team if you are doing enough to empower them, guide them and support them in their roles. Sometimes we don’t notice how much our own words and actions can affect a group so it’s important to check-in and see how you are being received as a manager.
Showing your team that you welcome feedback is going to make them more receptive to receiving feedback in the future and will promote a more open and honest working relationship.
Here are 16 questions you can use to understand and improve team dynamics:
- How do you find working with the team?
- Do you think we’re headed in the right direction as a team?
- Have you received help from anyone on the team recently?
- Do you feel comfortable giving constructive feedback to your peers?
- Is there anything we can do to improve team dynamics?
- Are there any aspects of our team culture you wish you could change?
- What are your thoughts on the way we all communicate about the work we are doing?
- What is a team-building activity that we could do?
- Do you think our team activities are inclusive? How can we make them more inclusive?
- What’s something we can/should start doing as a team?
- What is a difficult but useful conversation that you think could be had in our team that we are not having?
- How is [new employee] doing?
- How have you been getting along with other teams within our department?
- What do you think about the relationship between our team and other teams in the company?
- What’s the biggest problem in our team?
- What’s your favorite part about working in this team?
Questions about company culture
On the other hand, it’s a good idea to ask questions about company culture because our environments are extremely influential on the way that we work. Any team interaction is hugely influenced by the company culture and the way in which individuals have been taught to work together.
Asking what makes people happy at work is going to give you an idea of their level of job satisfaction and highlight areas you should focus on. Happy people are simply more productive, so this is a win-win situation.
Values are another important component of company culture. Often employees feel as if they are well suited for a company when their personal values align with company values. Try asking your employees what kinds of values are important to them at work and revisit the way the organization portrays these ideals.
We know there’s always room for improvement so it’s a great idea to ask your employees what they feel could be improved in the office to improve company culture. Asking your employees to give their insights on processes empowers them and keeps them continuously thinking of ways to make things better for the whole team.
Here are 12 questions you can ask to understand how employees feel about your company culture:
- What is the #1 opportunity for our company?
- How can we make our company more inclusive and diverse?
- Are there any aspects of our company culture you wish you could change?
- What is something we’re not doing as a company that we should be doing?
- Do you think we’ve made our company values/mission clear for everyone?
- What’s one thing we can do to improve internal communication?
- Do you think our team is well recognized/appreciated in the company?
- What’s the biggest problem in our organization?
- What do you think is the biggest risk for our company?
- What’s your favorite part about working in this company?
- What area of the company would you like to learn more about?
- When have you felt the proudest about being part of this company?
The bottom line is: to improve team dynamics and company culture, you really need to get to know your team and show an interest in what motivates them to work hard. You also need to understand how each individual team member views you in your role as a manager and how you can best support team members with their roles and responsibilities to work towards larger, collective goals.
You’re going to see a poor group dynamic if you are disengaged with your team because this is going to cause a lack of clarity and poor communications amongst the group. It’s important to have a good team dynamic so that you and your team can work more efficiently, effectively and feel more positive about your contributions.
Refer back to this article to take note of some great questions that you can ask your employees about team dynamics and company culture to improve organizational processes and make positive changes to your work environment.