Hire for “fit” with group dynamics
Hiring is no easy task. When it comes down to the hiring process, HR professionals and Hiring Managers are posed with one of the most difficult tasks in the corporate world – finding and enticing the best talent. However, the most difficult task is not finding, vetting, or even interviewing thousands of candidates. The real struggle is in hiring to build strong group dynamics.
What are group dynamics?
Group dynamics is a term coined in the 1940’s by Kurt Lewin, a social psychologist and change management expert. Mr. Lewin had noticed that people often take on distinct roles and behaviors when they work together in a group. Group dynamics is the effect that these roles and behaviors have on other group members, and how each group member contributes to the unit as a whole.
With this in mind – hiring instantly becomes a much more intricate and critical task for any organization. In order to promote the success of your company’s internal teams, HR professionals and hiring managers must now hire for technical ability AND the ability to contribute positively to their group dynamics.
There are many ways in which poor group dynamics can negatively affect the performance of your employees.
What are some causes behind negative group dynamics?
- Lack of leadership: A team without a strong leader can lead to a lack of direction/priorities
- Group Thinking: When there is a higher desire for consensus over each individuals desire to reach the proper solution.
- Freeloading: When other team members take it easy and let their fellow colleagues to the majority of the work.
- Peer Apprehension: This occurs when a team member feels that they are being judged by their peers.
- Walls: Walls or “blocking” occur when team members’ behavior disrupts information flow. There are many types of group roles that can put up “walls”, including:
- The Aggressor: One who often disagrees with other team members
- The Hermit: One who does not participate in group discussion/communications
- The Naysayer: One who is often overly critical of others
- The Trophy Seeker: One who is overly boastful/domineering for recognition
How do I improve group dynamics?
- Provide personality assessments when hiring/building your team. Keep in mind how different personalities will work together, and what this means for the productivity of your organization.
- Be familiar with your team. Knowing how your team works individually and as a unit will help you prevent future issues in your group structure.
- Be vocal. Providing feedback is critical, as it will allow you to show each team member the impact of their actions, and encourage positive change.
- Utilize team building exercises. Building a great team takes more than just picking the right personality types – if involves nurturing healthy relationships. Even great group dynamics require some development.
There is no secret formula for building great group dynamics. However, it is an important factor to consider before you issue an offer letter to your next hire. The next time you are conducting an interview – ask yourself these two questions:
Can this candidate perform the job?
How will this candidate perform the job on our team?