We’ve all heard of them. And if you’re lucky, you’ve been a part of one: the standout team with effortless flow in the workplace. This team appears to have an extrasensory quality to their group dynamic that makes no task impossible.
Whether it’s a team of 4 or 400, group dynamics matters. Unless you’re a lone entrepreneur, you have a team at play in your business. And when your employees work well together, they are more likely to work harder and stick around.
Achieving great group dynamics depends on each member investing in the success of the team and contributing in a relevant and useful way. A 2019 study from New York University found people who are naturally attuned to others’ emotions are better able to judge how well small groups perform together.
Fully understanding group dynamics and hiring with them in mind ensures you build and maintain a happy, productive, power-house team. To build a better group dynamic in your organization, focus on these aspects during the hiring process:
Determine emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the feelings of others. Employees with high emotional intelligence (EI) are worth their weight in gold.
The top EI skills to seek out during the hiring process are:
- emotional awareness
- the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks
- the ability to manage emotions, both one’s own or, when necessary, to shift group emotions
Test the emotional intelligence of your applicants by asking situational questions during the interview. How did they handle an unethical situation at work? What happened when they had to deal with a conflict with a supervisor?
When top candidates describe these experiences, they should be able to elaborate and give you the full-picture view. Be sure to dive in with follow-up questions to get a thorough grasp of their perspective. Choose scenarios that candidates are likely to face if you hired them. For different roles, EI requirements will vary.
Because the specific needs of each role impact which emotional intelligence traits should be emphasized, the assessment of those factors is equally important to consider. Employing one-way video interviews instead of phone interviews early in the screening process allows you to pay special attention to your candidates’ reactions and body language. This is especially important when seeking out high emotional intelligence.
Consider social sensitivity
Social skills are critical to a healthy group dynamic. Social sensitivity is the proficiency of an individual to identify, perceive, and understand cues and contexts in social interactions. It’s also about being socially respectful to others. Having high levels of social sensitivity makes someone more likable and successful in all relationships.
Screen for social sensitivity during your hiring process by bringing in top candidates for job auditions. This new hiring trend is a nice option for vetting candidates for highly-collaborative roles. Bring in candidates for a day of work with their potential co-workers. Rather than tackling a big project during that time, have them sit in on a team brainstorming session.
Hone in on what candidates say and how they say it. Are they considerate of others’ ideas? Are they willing to speak up? Do they seem to seek the spotlight?
Ideas aren’t the goal of this audition. Assess how each individual candidate gels with the current team and observe communication and reactions. And don’t forget to let the current employees weigh in during the process.
Incorporate potential team members in the interview process
When it comes to hiring for group dynamics, the real MVPs of the interview process are the employees who would be teamed up with the new hire. Make your interview process as collaborative as possible. Start by drafting interview questions as a team, as well as determining a list of skills and qualifications required to ensure the new hire would be invaluable to the current team dynamics.
This is also a great opportunity to explore video interviews. They are the perfect way to boost collaboration in the hiring process. If you can’t gather as a group to watch, team members can review recorded live interviews on their own time and take notes or make comments on each candidate.
Establishing a collaborative hiring process that focuses on seeking out emotional intelligence and social sensitivity is sure to create a powerful group dynamic within your organization.