As leaders create and build teams, they might find that some teams have better chemistry than others. There is something about certain groups of people collaborating that just clicks. We have always thought of the idea of chemistry between people as some sort of serendipitous event that can’t be purposefully created or duplicated. But what if it can be?
For a very long time, leaders have turned to communication tools as the primary means of creating cohesive, effective teams. Creating a seamless flow, or chemistry, in a team requires tools that go beyond communication and touch on goals, collaboration and alignment.
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When most organizations talk about their goals, the farther down the ladder you are, the more condensed, or summarized those goals become. The very bottom rungs of the ladder, which are usually comprised of the most workers, will sometimes simply get marching orders based off of goals that are never really explained. This type of communication is a serious roadblock for any type of chemistry or real teamwork to occur.
So let’s talk about chemistry catalysts in communicating goals. Goals are going to have steps. Each one of those steps will come together and build up to goal completion. When goals are thoughtfully broken down into actionable components and those components are then transparently assigned throughout the organization, you will start to see chemistry. This type of transparency allows leaders to track goals in real time, allocate resources proactively and identify risks. When creating and communicating these goals, consider a how-to guide excerpt from the Wall Street Journal:
“As a manager, it is your responsibility to decide on goals for yourself and your group. But it’s not something you should do in isolation. You must make sure the goals you set for your team align with those of the broader organization. And you must make sure that your team understands, accepts and commits to those goals. The more you can involve your employees in setting goals for themselves and the group, the more committed to those goals they are likely to be.”
Transparency then acts as the catalyst for collaboration. It’s a pretty beautiful chain reaction that happens. Organizational transparency is amazingly effective at breaking down silos and building up teams. When all of the doors and windows are open, workers can see how their own work affects everyone, and visa versa.
As the micro collaboration begins to occur, macro collaboration begins to take place as workers can now visualize how their combined efforts connect to the company strategy. Consider the difference between the following formulas to increase customer satisfaction:
1) Tell workers to answer the phones and abide by the premise that the customer is always right.
2) Set customer satisfaction rating goals as a team, track them transparently, openly celebrate successes and address issues in real-time, and relay how employee efforts are affecting the bottom line.
Which formula sounds more chemistry inducing to you?
When workers are given the tools and guidance to work together optimally, leaders are going to see things happening faster with more innovation, more creativity and increased discretionary effort. At this point the reaction can get out of hand quickly if not constantly aligned. Collaboration with chemistry can be a very exciting thing, but it has to be monitored and guided.
In a survey of over 1,400 corporate execs, employees and educators, 97% believed that a lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of a task or project. Alignment is how leaders can ensure that those thoughtfully mapped out goals are being collaborated on optimally. Transparent collaboration means that leaders can see every step of every process, allowing them to constantly re-align or track the progress of goals. Consider alignment to be the compass that leads teams to their goals.
Much of chemistry is putting the right things together to get a specific, desired outcome. That’s exactly what ClearCompany does with teams; we add the right elements to create a totally transparent and aligned organization. This formula for workplace chemistry isn’t some abstract idea without a plan for implementation; it’s how we transform organization. Visualize how the chemistry of chemistry could look in your organization now.
As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent thousands of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.