I recently read an article from Forbes on 2018 predictions for the workplace. It was interesting and the big surprise is working together on a face-to-face basis seems to be making a comeback!
The author of the article told about the benefits of people working together in teams. He wrote about the substantial annual savings for organizations and the increases to productivity teams can provide. Neither of those is surprising to me. If anything, I believe the savings and increase amounts he identified for both are somewhat conservative. One thing he mentioned that is absolutely true is teams must be trained properly especially if organizations want to see some benefits. In other words, you don’t just put people together and expect them to be successful.
For example, training can provide teams with techniques on conflict management. Conflict isn’t bad but it’s how it’s managed is the issue. There are a number of interventions to handle disagreements between team members or things that can be done to prevent conflict from occurring but still allow people the opportunity to present ideas without the risk of arguments.
Some of the predictions are interrelated to team building. One of the other predictions he wrote about was the increase in turnover that would probably occur in 2018. The reason for that, he said, is because people are burned out from working more hours without receiving adequate compensation. Technology has created more of a 24/7 environment which has caused employees to work after hours and on vacations.
This is a great problem for a team to work on which can help reduce the probability for turnover because individuals can have some input on something that impacts them which can also provide personal rewards. By utilizing teams to look at workplace issues, the work environment can be enhanced so that people will want to stay. The savings the team provides to the organization can be given back to employees which may be part of a solution to the burn-out problem. That is what happened at one business that realized savings. The owner decided to give back to his employees by providing more benefits.
Another prediction is workplaces will embrace more diversity. Diversity actually makes teams do better because it provides more and better ideas which also creates a better opportunity for successful implementation. Unfortunately, when a team is put together it sometimes means putting people together of a similar personality so they will all get along. That actually hurts the team process. If there’s a more diverse team, each member has their own distinct personality that is based on their perceptions, experiences or abilities which help groups do a more thorough exploration of problems and solutions. Bringing out all the different ideas may take a little longer but the outcome can be so much better. Again, there are lots of techniques we talk about in team training to help speed up the process and also reduce the potential for conflict. Which, by the way, it’s not bad to have some conflict. It’s how the conflict is managed and, again, that’s something training can provide.
Also, when we do team building with a group, we do a very basic personality test for members. Many times the personality styles of each team member we work with are the same because they’re leadership teams and they have a tendency to have the same personality type. We warn them about that because it can cause everybody to think about problems or solutions in the same way which is what some people call “group think.” That means an essential component of that problem or solution could be overlooked. It also can prevent a successful implementation as fewer personality styles are represented by the team.
A few weeks ago we blogged it might be time to slow down technology. This article also suggests we could be going back to less reliance on technology and more on people. Studies are cited in the article that say people need that human interaction particularly in the workplace. Even millennials and Generation Zs favor human interaction. Both groups prefer working at the workplace instead of working from home. In another study, face-to-face interaction can help to build trust which is something technology can’t always give.
All of this doesn’t mean that technology is going away but when we work together, as in a team or a committee, it helps us work better. Some workplaces have created work spaces that encourage interaction so others can share ideas. Interacting with each other helps create positive environments just like working as a team or committee plus it provides all employees with a voice on important workplace issues that can give substantial savings.
Next week, we’ll be blogging about an update to our website. The website will have more about team training. Also visit the CALMC channel on YouTube to learn about some techniques that can help with your team!