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We get asked, “What is a thriving team, and why does it matter?” That is a great question. We will go into detail below but think about it this way – If your teams are thriving at work, that is a competitive business advantage.

First, let’s look at what we mean by a thriving team. Based on our experience and research, we describe a thriving team as a team embracing the state of becoming as the team learns, pushes, and gains momentum towards the vision they are trying to achieve. They know they are supported and feel psychologically safe despite the uncertainty of the environment in which they operate as they compassionately challenge each other to push their limits.

Thriving Teams are in a state of “becoming” as the team is constantly iterating forward and a choice. Businesses and other organizations that value their people and see them as a competitive advantage deliberately choose to invest for their teams to be developed to thrive.

The sketch below captures visually what a Thriving Team is all about.

So why is thriving important?

As more work in organizations becomes team-based, the importance of team performance has become increasingly more critical, specifically in the ability of a workgroup or team to learn, adapt, and innovate rapidly. Learning requires a secure environment where it is safe to share ideas, challenge fellow team members, and experiment knowing that it could fail. The positive, energized feeling of being alive and connected to others is necessary to improving performance by applying what has been learned and know that it is valued by their fellow team members and the organization. Here are four ways that Thriving Teams will add value to your organization:

  1. Thriving Teams are secure enough to take intelligent risks, learn, and iterate as they push towards achieving the vision of the business.
  2. Thriving Teams positively embrace the highly dynamic and competitive environment where stability can be viewed as a threat, and constant change is the normal state of business.
  3. Thriving Teams have conflict, but it is productive and leads to better outcomes. Thriving Teams do not have enduring unhealthy conflicts that impact the team as performance and productivity go into a death spiral.
  4. Thriving Teams consistently achieve the goals they set for themselves as they learn and move forward together.

Businesses strive to hire the best and brightest talent to work on their teams. But intelligent people by themselves do not give a company a competitive advantage. How they work and learn on teams and how the business invests in their development will provide an organization a competitive edge. Our research shows that organizations who choose to develop this competitive edge at the core of their strategy will have teams that are always going, always learning, and always ready. When teams are thriving, they are doing more than just surviving and will reduce human resource costs such as absence rate and turnover.  In contrast, the return on investment on human capital will increase.  Are you ready to embrace this competitive advantage?

Creating environments where teams can thrive provides organizations advantages in employee engagement, employee retention, productivity, performance, innovation, and others. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your teams thrive in your workplace.

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