High performing individuals don’t contribute critically to a team’s success, proper communication does. This is what a study published in the Harvard Business Review, in 2012, discovered, while exploring what building great teams meant. Teams with stronger and more equally weighted relationships within them performed better, regardless of the mix of team members in terms of performance levels. In fact, a team of individual high performers with weaker communication with other members might not perform well compared to a team of average performers with strong communication relationships within the team. Similarly, a team in which only one or two members dominated the channels of communication, between the management and the team, and within the team itself, might not perform as well as a team where all team members participated, and had the opportunity to participate and contribute, to the functioning of the team, through open communication.
One of the experiments conducted to arrive upon the findings in the study was to track interactions within teams and across teams in the high-performance environment of a call centre. To encourage employees to perform at consistently high levels, coffee breaks for team members from the same team were set at different times. The researchers asked the managers to change this for a while and then measure performance. The results were significantly positive. By encouraging team members to take their breaks together, relationships between team members became stronger. As a direct result, average handling times (AHT) fell by over 20% in lower performing teams and by 8% overall. This was a clear indicator of measurable performance improvement.
The results break several myths that some managers hold about encouraging higher performance. For e.g. employees allowed to build strong relationships with each other will not put in the work required or produce poor results. Or, that allowing bonding time through formal or informal meetings, brainstorming sessions is a waste of time except for leadership teams. The research was conducted across several sectors and kinds of organizations and the results held true every time. So, this is reliable scientific proof.
The people who work for your organization at every level are key to whether it fails or lives up to its vision. Business heads need to evolve to take on the roles of motivational leaders and mentors with open channels of direct and indirect communication.
Organizations tend to focus less on building the right workforce while focussing more on achieving business objectives. It is not surprising to find recruiting outsourced to staffing firms or freelance recruiters, who though highly experienced in their jobs, are not immersed into the culture of the organizations they hire for. These external recruiters, are also provided with very limited information about the roles they are hiring for, in the form of generic Job Descriptions, often missing key criteria unique to the organization itself.
Often the resume of a highly suitable candidate may never reach the hiring decision maker inside the organization. This could either be because the resume does not highlight the candidate’s suitability for the role or because the recruiter focuses on perceived essential criteria as communicated by the organization on paper, that is not immediately evident from the Resume.
So, the interviewer making the final hiring decision is already limiting his/her choices. Organizations merely end up hiring to fill up newly created roles or to replace someone who is leaving. While experienced business heads understand the importance of building teams that can perform well together, often the choices limit them to merely hiring to meet a job’s functional needs.
This does not mean that handling recruiting from start to finish should become an internal function. However, new advancements in HR technology do mean that organizations can take more responsibility in determining the composition of their workforce, not just in terms of short term performance, but also in terms of long term growth. This means hiring people whom you can retain, keep engaged and manage, to enable good performance.
One way of finding such people is to look as wide and as deep as the net can stretch and then use data both from your organization and data pertaining to the candidates, to choose the most likely members of your organization. Analytics in HR is a process that encourages introspection by the organization. Recruiters who work with the organization, both internally and externally, can also then harness the power of analytics, to source the right fit employees for the organization as a whole, rather than just for an individual job. When hiring for an individual role, it’s important that recruiters understand the relationships, both functional and proximal, that the candidate needs to build to perform well at the job.
However, one problem with stretching the net is scale. How do you manage to go through a large number of candidates individually and decide who would best fit your organization without ever meeting them? This is where tailored assessments come into the picture. PexiScore.com’s Job Fit Assessments are one of the tools you can use to effectively shortlist candidates, based not only on individual job requirements, but also on the basis of how communicative the role needs to be. This is in addition to measuring other parameters and behaviours that will help candidates perform well as part of a team. Assessments that focus solely on skills or aptitude would help you choose the best individual performers but you are still shooting blind without knowing and being able to measure what drives high performance at your organization.
Building a winning team leads to building a future ready robust workforce that can withstand uncertainties and push towards growth in an environment of flux. Hiring “rock stars” every time won’t really help.
We would love to have a conversation about what you think drives performance at your organizations or what challenges you face while measuring such drivers. Comment below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to learn more about PexiScore visit https://pexiscore.com/ and request a demo. You can also connect with Subhashini Tripathi at https://www.linkedin.com/in/subhashinitripathi/ and Reuben Ray at https://www.linkedin.com/in/reubenray/