Work and Social Needs
Studies in the 1930s revealed that people work better together when they are allowed to socially interact with one another and are given supportive attention. The Hawthorne Studies have importance for executives interested in increasing results without command and control tactics:
- Pay attention to people and their teams;
- Express genuine interest in them;
- Give them opportunities for social interaction;
- Provide frequent feedback; then
- Stand back and let them perform.
This is not to say that management should leave teams alone. Teams left on their own can become confused. Management is responsible for clarifying the challenge for the team, and for being flexible enough to leave the team to develop commitment to purpose, sets of specific goals, timing, and work approach.
Meaning and Emotional Energy
The best teams invest considerable effort in exploring, shaping, and agreeing on a purpose that belongs to them both individually and collectively. They can be assisted in developing a common purpose that supports both individual effort and team results.
The best teams also take their common purpose and translate it into specific performance goals. These goals relate to the common
purpose and build on each other, moving the team forward towards achievement and creating powerfully motivating steps to success. The achievement of goals along the way builds momentum, fosters trust among members, and helps maintain continued commitment.
Specific performance goals may be different for each group, but the importance of helping a team define its goals is immense. Transforming broad directives into specific goals is a process that provides first steps for forming the identity and purpose of the team. As the team progresses with small wins, they reaffirm their shared commitment.