Explore and monitor how Future of Work is affecting economies, industries and global issues
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:
Google has done extensive research into the skills and character traits of a good manager. But what about the rest of the workforce? For any large organization to thrive, entire teams need to gel together to succeed.
In 2013, the internet giant decided to explore this issue. After all, of its 37,000 staff members, only 6,000 of them were managers or directors. Were the other 31,000 staff members as effective as the people leading them?
Over a period of two years, a group of researchers at the company analysed more than 180 teams and interviewed hundreds of employees. Their mission? Finding the recipe behind the dream team: “We were pretty confident that we’d find the perfect mix of individual traits and skills necessary for a stellar team – take one Rhodes Scholar, two extroverts, one engineer who rocks at AngularJS, and a PhD,” they explained on their blog, re:Work.
Their findings could not have been further from their initial assumptions. It turns out that the secret to a high-performing team lies less in the individuals that make it up and more in the wider team dynamics: “Who is on a team matters less than how the team members interact, structure their work, and view their contributions.” High-performing teams, they found, almost always displayed five characteristics:
According to their research, by far the most important team dynamic is psychological safety – the ability to be bold and take risks without worrying that your team members will judge you.
Author: Stéphanie Thomson is an editor at the World Economic Forum
Image: The new Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Don't miss any update on this topic
Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.
License and Republishing
The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
More on LeadershipSee all
December 19, 2023
October 20, 2023
October 18, 2023
Aaron De Smet and Patrick Simon
September 25, 2023
James Forsyth and Celia Becherel
April 28, 2023
November 9, 2022