An organization’s strength is derived from its members, and those individuals are made exponentially stronger by the support of their team. Organizational health is a challenging quality to measure and an even harder one to change. However, in today’s saturated markets having great organizational health can be the ultimate competitive advantage. Even better, it is one business driver that is fully under your control. Company culture changes organically over time but strategically driving change can be an extremely difficult and time-consuming process.
It is not impossible, but to be most effective leadership needs to practice what they preach. The model INT adopted is based on Patrick Lencioni’s concept of five core dysfunctions of teams. This model is hierarchical, for example, to have commitment you need the two preceding values.
5 Core Team Dysfunctions
- Absence of Trust – Stems from a team’s unwillingness to be open with one another and show vulnerability. You cannot force a group to trust one another but building shared experiences is key. Providing external activities to give employees a chance to get to know one another in a safe and neutral environment.
- Fear of Conflict – A team that is uncomfortable discussing disagreements and voicing opinions often leads to partisanship and a passive aggressive environment. Encourage healthy conflict that leaves all feelings in the meeting and avoids collateral damage. If needed, you can assign someone to mediate disagreements objectively and keep the conversation flowing so everyone gets their opinion heard.
- Lack of Commitment – After discussion has subsided all team members should be fully committed to the final decision. At this point it is important to set aside personal beliefs and focus on achieving the end goal. Only giving a portion of effort will hinder the team more than if they had taken a different direction in the beginning. Clarity is key for ensuring commitment; make sure everyone knows the actions they need to take for success.
- Avoidance of Accountability – Members are unable to follow through with their work as well as hold their peers accountable for their actions so the productivity of the team suffers. By showing high expectations and diving headfirst into “tough” conversations you can increase motivation. Other management tactics like peer reviews and performance rewards can be used to incentivize the quality completion of work.
- Inattention to Results – Team members put their personal outcomes over those of the team. Once their portion is completed they check out and are unbothered by the overall performance of a project. This extends to more than financial outcomes, and attention can be increased by publicly presenting results or group performance incentives.
None of these attributes will be solved overnight but showing the importance management places on these concepts will trickle down throughout employees. Most importantly, make sure that employee onboarding includes team building activities to encourage bonding. Much like a family, coworkers may disagree but at the end of the day they must come together.
For help with your company’s organizational health contact the experts at INT.