Management professionals spend a lot of time thinking and talking about concepts such as “burnout,” “work style,” and “employee satisfaction.” However, workplace dynamics, the phenomenon at the origin of all these concepts, is rarely addressed. Let’s take a closer look at workplace dynamics and discover how they can help drive the success of your organization.
What Are Workplace Dynamics?
In short, the term “workplace dynamics” refers to the way people interact when they work together.
This is a complex mix that includes the actions of individuals, but also the relationships between them, as well as a group’s pattern of behavior.
Some teams tend naturally to be helpful and nurturing, while others may be more fragmented and dysfunctional. It all comes down to the way individual team members see themselves and their colleagues.
Why Do Workplace Dynamics Matter?
Interpersonal dynamics can be the difference between a successful workplace and one that fails to reach its goals. The consequences of poor office dynamics include:
- Burnout and stress
- Employee dissatisfaction
- High turnover rate
- Decreased efficiency
Strong workplace dynamics, on the other hand, can help a team perform at its best and deliver extraordinary results. Positive workplace dynamics happen when each person feels that they are making a meaningful contribution to the goals of the group and are being properly recognized for it.
How to Improve Workplace Dynamics?
As you can see from the previous section, meaning and recognition are two of the most important factors when it comes to creating strong workplace dynamics.
With this background in mind, some ideas you may consider implementing include:
- Give employees autonomy and recognition.
- Make sure team members have complementary (rather than overlapping) skills.
- Foster respect as one of your organization’s core values.
- Don’t shy away from critical conversations.
If you feel that the dynamics in your organization need improvement, listen and observe.
Talk with your employees and understand what obstacles they face. During these conversations, try to get a sense of how they feel about their work and their contribution to achieving the goals of the team.
However, as important as these conversations are, in many situations, actions speak louder than words. That’s why you also need to observe the interactions happening around you.
Some seemingly small details can be red flags that warrant further investigation. For example, do team members interrupt each other when speaking? How receptive are they to coaching? How do they handle conflict?
While some teams establish positive dynamics right off the bat, in most cases, you need to be proactive in making the necessary adjustments to create strong dynamics that help you get your organization where you want it to be.