Researchers have found that for a team to be effective, what really mattered was less about who is on the team, and more about how the team worked together. In the order of importance:
- Psychological safety: Psychological safety refers to an individual’s perception of the consequences of taking an interpersonal risk or a belief that a team is safe for risk-taking in the face of being seen as ignorant, incompetent, negative, or disruptive.
- ‣: On dependable teams, members reliably complete quality work on time (the opposite is shirking responsibilities).
- Structure and clarity: An individual’s understanding of job expectations, the process for fulfilling these expectations, and the consequences of one’s performance are important for team effectiveness.
- Meaning: Finding a sense of purpose in either the work itself or the output is important for team effectiveness. The meaning of work is personal and can vary: financial security, supporting family, helping the team succeed, or self-expression for each individual, for example.
- Impact: The results of one’s work, the subjective judgement that your work is making a difference, is important for teams. Seeing that one’s work is contributing to the organization’s goals can help reveal impact.
Of the five key dynamics of effective teams that the researchers identified, psychological safety was by far the most important. The researchers found that individuals on teams with higher psychological safety are less likely to leave the company, they’re more likely to harness the power of diverse ideas from their teammates, they bring in more revenue, and they’re rated as effective twice as often by executives.
The two most important things, psychological safety and dependability, both increase trust in the team.
Part of ‣.
Guide: Understand team effectiveness - re:Work at Google