There has been compelling research evidence reported over the past decade that organizations with high engagement of their people deliver better financial outcomes (e.g. Gallup Sept 2016). This makes intuitive sense. But if we unpack this a little more, we find that when you hire talented people (many organizations excel at this) and create an environment for them to thrive, they delight their employers with successful outcomes for their customers. Engaged employees are retained longer (savings money) and have a positive impact on the people around them. The result is a great culture, that delivers great results and that is resilient and adaptable.

Today, it’s not just engaged individuals that matter; it is teams as well. The best organizations are working in a much more fluid and dynamic model of sharing and teaming. The real ‘org chart’ will be a messy diagram of overlapping circles and dotted lines.  We need to build the right teams. The right teams are the combinations of people that create engaging work environments to deliver successful projects and create financial success.

When I reflect on my own experience of building teams and seeing one excel while another struggled, I recognize that, not surprisingly, it came down to the people. Today, I wonder:

How can companies identify the ‘right’ people to put on their project teams so that they excel, delight clients, thereby improving productivity and financial performance?

I was delighted to read a recent report by Josh Bersin, of Bersin by Deloitte titled: Employee Engagement Disruption: The Simply Irresistible Organization which identifies the critical value of empowered teams for high performing organizations. The reports references companies like Google and Amazon where the teams and the team leaders are now the kings, not the executives or the companies of hierarchical organizational structures (which surprisingly seem to exist in great number today as well!). These organizations incorporate performance feedback for employees and teams as ongoing processes. They design feedback right into their enterprise architecture (perhaps like the short pop up surveys we see on the web). Like many organizations these days they have abandoned the annual employee engagement surveys for real time feedback on projects, that is relatively easy to collect (analytics). This is what the millennials in your workforce are craving.

This brings me back to my question above.  If we assemble and connect the right teams using both quantitative and qualitative information collected from existing systems, supplemented by ongoing simple feedback loops, we will have a great opportunity to predict which combination of people could form the best team. Josh Bersin points out that companies and teams with higher engagement and retention provide better customer service and result in long-term profitability.

If you are interested in building the right teams and predicting project performance, check out the work of TeamFit and take their short Skills Survey so you can benchmark your thoughts with that of other executives in the professional services area.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brian Conlin: Leveraging 35 years of business experience and executive leadership, Brian supports leadership development of CEOs, key executives and their teams, as an executive coach and business mentor. He acts as an independent reviewer and advisor to corporations and Boards as a consultant and Board Member.

An internationally experienced CEO with an established track record in professional consulting/advisory, business management and project leadership of small local operations through to a global enterprise with up to 9000 employees and US$1.5B turnover. Brian is an advisor to TeamFit.