As Babe Ruth reportedly once said, "You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." Without good chemistry, a team will disintegrate into a collection of disconnected individuals with their own agendas. In fact, a team of less talented individuals with great chemistry will consistently outperform a group of all-stars who can’t work together. Facilitating good team chemistry can help you get the most out of your team's talent.
Why is good chemistry such an important component of an effective team?
Team members who aren't on the same page as the rest of the team or only focus on their own success can cause internal conflict. However, when there is team chemistry, individuals enjoy working together and put more effort into group cooperation to advance the team's goals. This can then lead to higher efficiency, faster results, and better outcomes.
Experts suggest that teams with good chemistry are more productive because they are able to maximize each other’s strengths and minimize weaknesses. Each individual is given the opportunity to work to their unique strengths. Additionally, they manage their time better. Without team chemistry, members can end up arguing over details rather than working together to find solutions.
According to a recent Gallup survey, only 34% of U.S. workers feel involved, enthusiastic, and committed to their work. This essentially means that as much as 66% of employees feel apathetic about their jobs. Disengagement, stress, and low morale are some of the top reasons for chronic absenteeism. Individuals working within a team loaded with interpersonal conflicts and disconnection would almost certainly exacerbate the problem. A great, cooperative workplace team encourages employees to engage more readily which, in turn, reduces not only absenteeism but turnover.
How can chemistry be created within a team?
1. Facilitate Communication
One of the most important elements of a successful team environment is effective communication. It’s easier to get the best from your employees if you’re available to address questions and concerns. There are many ways to introduce an “open door policy” to your employees such as: making information more accessible via shared documents and online tools; encouraging the team to share information, goals, and objectives; and setting up 1-on-1 meetings regularly to provide an opportunity for open, direct conversations.
2. Know Your Team
All teams consist of a variety of skills, temperaments, and proclivities. Knowing these individual details will not only help you assemble the best team possible but ensure that the most appropriate individuals are engaged in a given task. Breaking the team into smaller groups could help even the playing field and make some of the more introverted or less experienced workers feel like they’re still an important part of the team. It gives everyone a chance to shine which can do wonders for morale.
3. Provide Opportunities to Learn
When you help your employees become better at what they do, it shows them that you value their contributions and shows loyalty. This, in turn, boosts the employee’s confidence, effectiveness, and reciprocation of loyalty. 87% of millennials rate "professional or career growth and development opportunities" as important to them in a job. Since the Millennial generation currently comprises the bulk of the U.S. workforce, focus first on areas in which these workers are typically found to be lacking such as soft skills and interpersonal relationship navigation.
Though it is a difficult ask to build an effective team of diverse individuals, such an endeavor is critical to building value within a company. By knowing your team, promoting communication, and providing learning opportunities you can facilitate the good chemistry your team needs to be their best selves and contribute true value to the organization.