Building employee workgroups is an important function for many organizations. Workgroups can help managers maximize the talents of their employees, create a more agile workforce, and even fulfill your larger workforce planning strategy.
Why Employee Workgroups Matter
These days, many workgroups consist of on-site, remote, and gig workers. Creating synergies between employees who work in different locations, or keep different hours, can be a challenge.
Below, we’ll discuss three tips to help you create the type of consistency and productivity you’re looking for in your workgroups, with an eye on recruiting, communication, and the employee experience.
The net result of a successful workgroup can boost overall team performance, and even enhance the employee experience. Read our recent report, “The Employee Experience,” for more insight into ways you can help workers engage with their work.
Workgroups, Productivity, and Performance
Workgroups can help you get more out of your employees, especially when they’re working closely with other workers who bring complimentary skills to the table. In addition, building successful workgroups can be a driving force behind the way you recruit, screen candidates, and make hiring decisions.
As you explore the idea of building workgroups, here are three tips to help you focus on maximizing your talent, and improving employee performance:
1. Identify desired roles, and decide how you’ll fill them
To start, having an in-depth selection process when you’re building a team can be the key when it comes to creating successful workgroups:
- Do your current employees possess the right mix of skills and experiences to take on upcoming projects within a workgroup?
- If there’s a gap, how soon can you fill it through recruiting?
- Does it make more sense to reach out to gig workers, or even a placement agency, to find the missing piece?
There are plenty of occasions when recruiting might be the key to building successful workgroups. However, recruiting typically follows its own pace, and openings can take as many as 50 days to fill. Therefore, when recruiting is necessary, make sure you take key steps early in the process to help narrow your search:
- Develop and vet your candidate profiles.
- Ensure that your job posting clearly states the experience and skills you’re looking for.
- Make sure your applicant tracking system’s filters are up-to-date.
- If possible, include members of the pending workgroup in the interview process.
2. Structure a communication process that works for everyone
Do all of the members of your workgroup sit near each other in a specific pod or cluster? Do their workstations face one another within your open office concept? If you answered yes to either, then you might be ahead of the communications game.
However, when workgroups consist of remote and gig workers, communication needs can vary quite a bit. Therefore, you want to have a thorough communication method and plan that everyone can follow and benefit from.
- Apps that help disparate teams collaborate in real-time are great. Still, beyond the technology you use, you’ll want the members of workgroups to follow a consistent feedback and communication loop. This will help foster the synergies you were hoping to build in the first place.
- Consistent communication can help create a more productive and team-oriented workflow. That includes regular check-ins, during which time team members can discuss new ideas, or help each other solve challenges.
3. Set goals related to performance, results, and the employee experience
When members of a workgroup work toward goals, it can help them structure the tasks and workflow items they need to complete on a daily and weekly basis. At the same time, it’s important to keep goals realistic, and also highlight the way that certain items fold into one another at different phases and milestones.
- When workgroups acknowledge key milestones—prior to, and after reaching them—it can help members of a workgroup get a better sense of how important and integrated each role is.
- This can also help members realize the impact of their work, and help the entire workgroup redirect when goals change, or a project demands a new course of action.
You also want to keep the employee experience in mind. After all, if a workgroup isn’t working for a certain employee, or doesn’t align with their career map, it can erode confidence, or send them looking for a new job.
- The employee experience is not just something for HR to worry about. It moves through every department, workgroup, and work station.
- As you check in with workgroup members, be sure to give workers a chance to discuss the highs and lows they’re experiencing within a workgroup. You might discover that certain employees would work better on their own, or might be suited for a different group.
Ideally, every member of a workgroup will bring something essential to the table, and help you build a more agile and responsive workforce. Whether they are already in-house, are part of your freelance pool, or are out there among job candidates, be sure to invest time and resources into structuring the way people work and succeed together.
The notes you keep in myStaffingPro’s applicant tracking software can be a big help when you’re recruiting with workgroups in mind. Contact a representative, and find out how myStaffingPro can support you from requisition through retention.