These Four Things Lead to Team Success


Publication: Harvard Business Review, 2016
Article: The Secrets of Great Teamwork
Reviewed by: Susan Rosengarten

Great basketball players know that no matter how good a shot they are, they need to pass the ball sometimes to achieve team success. They are not always going to have a clear look at the basket, and at times they may be fully surrounded by members of the opposing team. Rather than risk a failed shot, they would be wise to pass the ball to teammates who can bring home victory.

Work-teams—much like sports teams—are a collection of distinct individuals with a common goal: success. Whether that work-team is a cluster of students working on a class assignment, or a group of c-suite executives supporting their CEO, teammates must be able to trust each other and must be committed to the betterment of the group.

The authors (Haas & Mortensen, 2016) describe today’s work-teams as “4-D” – diverse, dispersed, digital, and dynamic. Based on their research and experience they offer four enabling conditions that encourage team effectiveness, and will set up your team for success.

ENABLING CONDITIONS FOR TEAM SUCCESS

Compelling Direction

At the core of every team and collection of people is their shared goal. This is the team’s collective mission and purpose, or the end result its members are trying to achieve. Goals need to be challenging (but attainable) outcomes that team-members care about. They should be objectives that team members can feel energized and motivated to work towards.

Strong Structure

Every good team functions under a set of rules, whether explicitly outlined or implied. For example, a team may create screening criteria, or set a cap on the number of new joiners it will allow at a given time. Team members may be expected to complete assigned tasks, and to treat other teammates respectfully.

Supportive Context

You can’t do your best work if you don’t have access to the information you need, or when you’re working with ineffective tools and technologies. Positive reinforcement and effective training can go a long way to support high performance and inspire dedication.

Shared Mindset

Fostering community and a shared understanding is key. Team members must feel like they are each valued contributors working toward a common goal. A shared mindset encourages members to move past their differences and frustrations, and to see the big picture and end goal.

EVALUATING TEAM PERFORMANCE

Team effectiveness can be evaluated in many ways, but the authors suggest rating your team on the following three criteria: output, collaborative ability, and individual development. Are your team’s clients, customers, or stakeholders happy with your output? How well does your team work together? To what extent are team members learning and growing?

Winning teams make full use of the unique talents of each of their members to achieve synergistic ends. You don’t need a referee to make this call. Team for success and set your team up for a slam dunk!

Haas, M. & Mortensen, M. (2016). The Secrets of Great Work Teams. Harvard Business Review, 94(6), 71-76.

Fashion Forward Talent Management


Publication: Harvard Business Review
Article: Luxury’s Talent Factory
Reviewed by: Susan Rosengarten

How do luxury brands excel at talent management? If you’re anything like me, the words “luxury” and “brands” likely conjure up images of couture clothing. Maybe you think of models, or stiletto heels? A Harvard Business Review article by Shipilov and Godart (2015) outlines how the world’s most influential luxury groups have more than just an eye for design; they also have an eye for talent.

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The Future of Human Resources: Create Value


Publication: Human Resource Management Review (2015)
Article: Are we there yet? What's next for HR?
Reviewed by: Lia Engelsted

To understand the future of human resources, one must first know its past. HR emerged during the industrial revolution when there was a need to manage employees and overcome organizational challenges such as high turnover and low productivity. As a result of these human capital issues, scientific management began as a way to address organizational inefficiencies and it introduced job analysis to management practices.

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The Role of HR as a Strategic Partner: Forming the G3


Publication: Harvard Business Review
Article: People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO
Reviewed by: Susan Rosengarten

What is the role of HR in the modern workplace? The world of work has changed a great deal over the last few decades, but there is one truth that continues to stand the test of time; people are a firm’s greatest asset. Human capital, or the knowledge and collective intelligence inherent in a company’s workforce, can be a businesses’ strongest competitive advantage, and also its greatest source of risk. It is incumbent upon CEOs and CHROs, or Chief Human Resources Officers, to work together to manage their firm’s people assets, and to unlock the potential in every employee. The authors of the current article suggest that organizational decision making can be enhanced through open dialogue and discussion among the “G3” or the CEO, the CFO, and the CHRO.

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The Future of HR: Bringing Human Resources into the 21st Century


Publication: Harvard Business Review
Article: Why We Love to Hate HR….. and What HR Can Do About It
Reviewed by: Susan Rosengarten

What is the future of HR? A new article in Harvard Business Review (Cappelli, 2015) discusses some of the ways that HR can shed its bad reputation and prove itself a strategic business partner:

It’s no wonder that human resources functions have developed bad reputations in many organizations. It falls to HR to make sure employees complete their new hire paperwork, to penalize individuals who do not attend required training, and to remind employees to elect their health benefits for the coming year. Furthermore, human resources professionals who offer anecdotal evidence rather than solid business metrics to back their visions, may reduce HR professionals’ credibility as masters of personnel management and change leaders. However, many HR departments have recently made great strides in quantifying the value of people processes and in using people metrics to support their cases for HR programs.

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Manager Personality Can Lead to Organization-Wide Performance


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Taking It to Another Level: Do Personality-Based Human Capital Resources Matter to Firm Performance?
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Is personality related to job performance? This classic I-O psychology question is still debated today, and thanks to the latest research, clearer answers are emerging. A new study (Oh, Kim, & Iddekinge, 2015) shows that the manager personality is related to important organization-wide outcomes. This finding has clear implications for selection of organizational leaders.

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Recruitment Tips: Highlight Person-Organization Fit

One way organizations can make recruitment more successful is by stressing person-organization fit. Person-organization fit is a term that I-O psychologists use to describe how compatible employees are with the organizations that employ them. If an organization and a specific employee share values or ideas of how work ought to be done, or if they fulfill each other’s work-related needs, then we might say that there is a high degree of person-organization fit. It’s easy to imagine some of the ways that this would be beneficial to the organization, and past research has indeed supported this idea. New research (Swider, Zimmerman, & Barrick, 2015) took a novel approach by measuring how the perception of person-organization fit fluctuates over time, specifically during the recruitment process.

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Work Overload and Job Demands Lead to Lower Professional Standards


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: The Impact of Time at Work and Time Off From Work on Rule Compliance: The Case of Hand Hygiene in Health Care
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Work overload and job demands have been infamously related to many workplace problems, for both employees and employers. However, most research views work overload as something that builds over time, perhaps weeks, months, or years, and can lead to harmful effects that are measured over the long-term. New research (Dai, Milkman, Hofmann, & Staats, 2015) clearly shows that work overload is something that can accumulate over the course of a single workday, and have immediate harmful effects.

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Generational Differences in the Workplace: Careers Aren’t What They Used to Be


Publication: Journal of Managerial Psychology
Article: How have careers changed? An investigation of changing career patterns across four generations
Reviewed by: Lia Engelsted

With the plethora of stories in the media about generational differences in the workplace, a new study provides evidence about what these generational changes may mean for employers. Given the demise of the traditional career path, employees’ career patterns have shifted over time. The current study (Lyons, Schweitzer, & Ng, 2015) analyzed data from the four generations currently in the workforce to provide a greater understanding of shifting career patterns, and how different generations are handling some of the changes that modern employees experience.

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Human Resource Practices Influence How Employees Spend their Time at Work


Publication: Journal of Personnel Psychology
Article: Perceived Human Resource Management Practices: Their effect on absenteeism and time allocation at Work
Reviewed by: Andrew Morris

Human resource practices are important, and so is the way in which employees choose to spend their time at work. Both undoubtedly impact organizational productivity and effectiveness. New research (Boon, Belschak, Den Hartog, & Pijnenburg, 2014) explores the ways that an organization’s human resource management (HRM) practices influence the time employees spend on certain tasks, as well as the effects on absenteeism.

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