As the workplace (and the work) has changed over the past number of decades, the characteristics of a strong team have changed, as well. What makes for good teams in the year 2014? According to research by Eduardo Salas of the University of Central Florida, today’s teams must excel at the new “Seven Cs”:
- Cooperation – Even today’s independent knowledge workers must like being on the team they work with and trust each other to contribute.
- Conditions – The policies, incentives, resources, and directives provided by the organization must all support team interactions.
- Coordination – Effective teams have systems in place which allow them to adapt to changes and support mutual goals.
- Communication – Protocols exist to help team members share information in a timely manner.
- Conflict – Conflict happens on every team. Truly successful 21st century teams provide psychological safety to deal with conflict.
- Coaching – Leaders act as coaches, promoting teamwork, setting goals, and communicating care for each member of the team.
- Cognition – Each member of the team has the same understanding of what is expected.
Successful teams don’t just happen. Team leaders recognize that it takes time to build social capital – the social and psychological bonds between people that foster innovation, trust, and collaboration. If there is one generation we can learn from on this, it is our newest entries into today’s workplace – The Millennials. As a generation, they have been raised on collaboration and team cohesion. And this is something we should all care about. Millennials will be the majority workforce demographic in less than 10 years. If your organization wants to look attractive to this next wave of employees, good team dynamics are a must. A recent survey of over 44,000 employees reported that Millennials particularly value a workplace culture that emphasizes teamwork and a sense of community.