Dysfunction Begets Dysfunction
The daily function of your team is not an accident. Team dynamics are a direct consequence of action or inaction by leadership. Too many leaders ignore team problemswith the hope that theywill improve over time. Unfortunately, the problem only gets worseand everyone suffers as a result.
Organizational wounds may appear to heal yet they are only masking the problems that remain for the team. Scar tissue builds and your members become disillusioned that things will "never" get better. It is at this point that you begin to experiencea "talent exodus" that only worsens the quality of your team's performance. Your team experiences a natural sifting that collects thosemembers that are often characterized as the "bottom of the barrel". The most talented members begin to search and will eventually find opportunity with another team.
When "a person"is the root of the problem, the team begins to negatively judge leadership for inaction. Leadership equity begins to disappear and the morale of the team starts to diminish. This phenomenon gets amplified as the problem persists. Your team begins to consider the hope for improvement as futile and their corresponding work effort decreases as well. Morale does equal productivity and the entire team loses collective productivity over time. People lose the drive to give that "extra effort" because leadership fails to address the problems or problem person on the team.
So, what do you do? There are two potential solutions for team dysfunction. First, team interventions can work if the facilitation is tough and candid. People must feel safe to speak freely without fear of consequence for being brutally honest. Second, removing the "problem person" can cleanse the organization immediately. Often, those remaining often wonder what took so long.
Following are symptoms of dysfunction with teams: 1) Communication exists in silos. Politics and coalitions prevent honest and meaningful communication. 2) Conflict is common. Missing goal alignment creates effort that opposes other effort on the team. 3) Stress levels are high. Temper and emotional response is very common. 4) Trust is missing. People simply do not trust each other and refuse to work together. 5) Blame replaces accountability. People are posturing forindividuals rather than the team.
Don't turn away from the challenges on your team. In this case time does not heal and things will often get worse.