Team Dynamics in Today’s Workplace

Is it possible to decide to wed after one date? That’s not likely. This is why so many Managers are eager to hire new employees, but have no idea who they’re actually hiring and how they will fit into the team.

Doing hasty hiring decisions based solely on ‘gut instinct’ is similar to using a Roulette wheel to make key business decision. While you might win some, in the long run you’ll be losing more.

It is common for applicants to make a mistake when they first meet them. Although an applicant might appear to be an exceptional individual in the initial stages of the hiring process, you will soon realize they are not a good team player. It is well-known that hiring employees to replace them is expensive. Experts have estimated that the average cost of replacement is 150 to 250% of the employee’s annual salary. It is easy to grab a quick decision and hire without considering the individual’s capabilities. However, it is worth taking the time necessary to properly assess each candidate’s fit in your company culture and team.

Why are we required to hire talented team players?

Teams can be innovative, solve problems, motivate and inspire their members. They also have the potential to do much more work than individual members. However, if mixed with the wrong people, poorly performing groups can destroy the spirit and productivity of the workforce. They can also suppress original thinking and waste valuable time and resources on conflicts that don’t yield any productive work. It is important to ensure that all new employees are able to work within the current team dynamics.

Glenn Parker is a top team trainer in the United States. He has researched over 50 teams such as Xerox and Honeywell and Pratt and Witney and General Motors. He concluded that the right mixture of individual and group styles makes a productive and supportive group. This allows them to challenge and inspire each others and achieve remarkable results. It is evident that there is a positive correlation in team dynamics and workplace productivity.

Al White, the former Director of Redback Networks Sales, perhaps best summarised the power and effectiveness of teamwork in today’s workforce by saying:

“The old business adage, “The whole is bigger than the sum of its parts” has never been more relevant. In order to create a win/win situation for both the company’s customers and their business, the sales, marketing, IT and management teams must work together. My favorite analogy for a company is that of a sporting team. All of us have seen great teams that lose to better teams because they lack talent. Each member of a team must be able and willing to trust their fellow teammates. Once that trust has been established, the team is able to begin building the framework or backbone necessary for success.

What makes a player a good team member?

Stephen Schoonover, a specialist in team dynamics, defines a team as “a group that works together to achieve certain goals.” Schoonover suggests that successful teams are made up of members who can perform any one of the four roles listed below.

1. Harmonising (eg. Accepting, appreciating and validating thoughts

2. Exploring (eg. Encouragement to clarify, expand, clarify and summarize other’s thoughts.

3. Regulating (eg. Delegating (eg.

4. Promoting (eg. Promote (eg.

A good team player will be someone who is able to help others when they need it, as well as sharing their knowledge with others. Employers are now more focused on assessing potential fit by comparing candidate personality traits to the existing team. Employers are becoming more open to the idea of sacrificing technical expertise and certain skills in order find the perfect person to balance the existing team.

The ability to work as a team player is essential. It is essential that team members are willing to accept the responsibility of subordinating their personal agendas in order to help the team achieve its goals and support the vision.

How do we effectively hire and retain true team members?

Lack of cultural fit and alignment with organizational values and objectives is the number one reason people fail in an organisation. According to some estimates, this failure can lead to up 250% increase in an employee’s annual salary. How do we reduce the risk of hiring people who have low chances of being an organisational or team “fit”?

1. Jason Hare Kingston Learned what it takes to be a great team player within your organisation. Every organisation has a set of key success behaviors or competencies (high drive. strong work ethic. team player. etc.). Most successful employees in an organisation have at least one of these traits. To be successful in recruiting, a hiring manager should have a good understanding of these competencies. Sometimes, companies will assess samples of their high achievers. This’success profile’ is invaluable for future employee assessment.

2. Identify the need. To ensure that you hire a team player, it’s important to determine where the teamwork is needed. Who will the person work with? Is the person expected to work alongside peers or with managers at different levels? What size team are you looking for? Which types of people will be in the team? Be sure to fully understand the expectations of the new player.

3. Align the recruitment process. Next, you need to ensure that your recruitment process aligns with the’success profile of your organisation. A sound hiring method, for example, ensures both job fit’ (e.g. The assessment of technical and organizational skills is part of a sound hiring methodology. Effective team players can only be recruited if the interview includes questions about past work experience. Ask about the most rewarding teamwork experience they have had and then question about their worst. Ask about what made the difference. The future may not be good for someone who takes most of credit, but no blame. Be able to analyze and think critically about team dynamics. Find out the three most important lessons they have learnt from being in teams. Failing to connect good learning examples is a red alert.

4. References are critical. Finally, ensure at least 2 reference checks are done amongst people at different levels within the organization that the candidate has worked with in team situations (not necessarily those that the candidate offers as referees). Does the candidate demonstrate good work ethics? Can they relate to the weaker and stronger members of the team. Are they patient when dealing with slower members of team? Are they committed to completing their tasks and putting team goals ahead of individual goals?


Teamwork is an essential part of modern business environments. Companies must recognize that well-developed teams are the best way to create new ideas, solve issues, reach goals, and motivate new employees. While it can be difficult to hire people who thrive in a team environment, it’s also important to create strong team dynamics. The output of a well-functioning team will have a positive impact on any company’s bottom line.