Effective group work: how to do it?

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Robert Maurer


Effective group work: how to do it?

Last update: April 07, 2019

As the years go by, the number of companies promoting the teamwork among its employees it increases more and more. There are, in fact, several activities and projects that are unlikely to be successful if they are not carried out by a team.

The truth is that teamwork can be very difficult. Tensions and conflicts may arise between colleagues or fail to achieve the desired results. How to make this way of working effective?

“Talent makes you win a game. Intelligence and teamwork make you win a championship. "

-Michael Jordan-

When is it possible to carry out effective group work?

In the various companies work groups are created with a well-defined purpose: to achieve a series of goals and intentions. It would be logical to think that they are effective when the goals for which they were created are achieved, wouldn't it? This is undoubtedly a fundamental aspect to be taken into account in order to ascertain its effectiveness, but it is not the only one.

It is also necessary to evaluate whether a group identity develops when working as a team. Why is this important? Because once obtained, it lasts over time. As this is a positive experience, group members will want to repeat it in the future and work together again.

Finally, the individuals who make up the group must also be taken into consideration. Giving importance to everyone's expectations and meeting their needs affects the final effectiveness of the work. In other words: enhance the well-being of every worker. Well, how to do it?

“The strength lies in the differences, not in the similarities”.

-Stephen Covey-

Activities to make group work effective

We talked about the goals that make teamwork effective. However, we must consider that not all activities require cooperation between various colleagues. For this reason, it is important to know which tasks will be carried out individually and which in groups.

If the goal is to achieve good group results, the group must be assigned to carry out appropriate tasks. That is, interdependent, discretionary and / or uncertain activities. On the other hand, it is necessary to evaluate what is needed in order to adequately manage the knowledge of each of the members.

A group is much more effective when its members have been working together for some time, as it is a mature working group. In order for the objectives to be optimal, an adaptation period must be set up.

Psychosocial processes that affect teamwork

Groups are entities with their own psychosocial processes, which affect the possibility that one person can work together with another, as well as the effectiveness we have talked about. Following this logic, the most important aspects must be emphasized: cohesion and cooperation. 

If you are able to work in a cooperative and cohesive way in a group, effectiveness will be fomented. For this purpose, it is necessary to take into account a fundamental figure: the group leader. In companies, he is usually the area manager. He must be accessible, able to communicate effectively and clearly assign the activities that correspond to each member.

Thereby, Distinguished group members are more likely to experience more gains than losses in teamwork. As with most things in life, achieving success in this area requires the sum of all the small parts that affect the process… Come on!

"The results of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual."

-Vince Lombardi-

Images courtesy of Climate Kic, Stefan Stefancik and Rawpixel.

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