Economics/Business

What is Group Dynamics/importance/Team dynamics and motivation

Group dynamics are activities that allow a company’s HR to better understand the profile of employees or transmit knowledge to a team that increases their motivation at work.

Group dynamics is a well-known tool in the corporate world, especially when it comes to recruitment and selection processes. Did you know that you can also use it to increase employee motivation ?

As you may well know, keeping employees motivated is fundamental because it concerns the desire of professionals to fulfill their obligations and goals. And, more than that, to remain in the company acting for a mutual success.

Thus, unmotivated employees can harm a company in different ways , which leads us to the need to resort to strategies to avoid this situation. In this post, we will especially deal with group dynamics for motivation . Come on?

What are group dynamics

It is very likely that the theoretical and practical concept of what is group dynamics is known to you and everyone in the Human Resources (HR) sector of your company.

This is because, as it is a widely used tool, dynamics are something that even professionals from other areas know about, although not everyone has experienced them.

Despite this, it costs us nothing to clarify. So, we point out that group dynamics is a type of exercise to be carried out collectively so that information can be extracted or shared with professionals.

Recruitment and selection

It is quite common for HR to use group dynamics as one of the steps in the process of selecting new employees for a company.

It is a strategy that allows the evaluation of the behavior , profile and skills of candidates.

Considering that getting the formation of employees right is crucial to reducing turnover and its consequent costs, as well as optimizing the company’s results, dynamics have great relevance in the process.

Going beyond that, we move on to the use of dynamics as a tool in favor of rescuing or promoting motivation among employees already hired.

The importance of motivation at work

Motivation at work can be affected by personal issues, so this aspect should not be disregarded.

What cannot happen is a company thinking that if an employee is unmotivated, it is a problem that has to do exclusively with their own issues.

Organizational motivation, that is, the actions that the company takes to keep its employees motivated, are related to the creation of a suitable work environment.

We are talking about something that promotes well-being, improves the organizational climate and engages professionals with their tasks and with the company in general.

All this should be valued, because motivation at work contributes to:

  • increase employee confidence ― a change that makes professionals feel more confident to perform their duties and deal with challenges common to their work routine;
  • promoting personal growth ― trust makes employees more comfortable performing their jobs, as well as visualizing ways to direct their careers. Something that can transform professionals into even more valuable pieces for the company;
  • optimize the use of time ― motivation is also related to productivity . Motivated workers tend to perform their duties more skillfully and the time gain is usually positive for the company’s results;
  • Improve interpersonal relationships — Motivated employees feel good about themselves and contribute to a more positive organizational climate. This means, among other things, that in this reality the relationship between team members tends to become lighter and more positive;
  • optimize teamwork ― as it would be, if employees relate to each other in a more positive way, the synergy between them increases and, consequently, their performance in teamwork as well.

This situation even tends to contribute to keeping motivation high. Once the team gets closer and achieves better results, it feels even more motivated to move towards success.

If you are a fan of football or any other team sport, you must understand this reality in which good results boost the morale of a team and keep it motivated.

We went through all these points that highlight the importance of motivation so that the understanding of the use of group dynamics flows more naturally in your mind.

There are other strategies that a company, including through its HR, can adopt to try to motivate its teams.

Our goal, however, is to make you understand why considering dynamics as a valid tool for this purpose.

Team dynamics and motivation

The task of motivating employees can be challenging. It is true that a company can consider offering good remuneration, having a career plan and granting different types of benefits , but that is not all.

Although money and the prospects of professional projection are good motivators, it may be necessary to count on factors that are easily perceived on a day-to-day basis and not just at the end of the month.

When the group dynamics for motivation focuses on improving the relationship between the members of a team, for example, it manages to create an environment that daily reinforces the “spirit” that each professional must have in the company.

It is worth remembering that, as we have already indicated, group dynamics serve both for HR to get to know employees better, and for them to receive relevant information. Let’s explain this better.

Motivation and information accessed through the dynamics

Keep in mind for a moment how group dynamics help HR get to know each candidate better in a selection process.

Now, consider the complexity of people and the fact that it is interesting to pay attention to the evolution of their behavior to understand how each professional can fit into the company at any given moment.

The processes of defining teams, readjusting roles or identifying leaders are examples of issues that may be linked to employee motivation.

Likewise, they can also be linked to the information that HR accesses through group dynamics.

Suppose your company follows the case of Mateus, an exemplary employee, with good relationships with colleagues and good results.

However, for some time now, he began to show negative changes in his performance.

In investigations through satisfaction surveys and conversations with his leaders, it was discovered that Mateus still likes the company and wants to continue, but for some reason he has not been able to get involved with the work as he used to.

Admittedly, the company may not apply group dynamics to resolve the situation of a single employee.

But practice can make HR recognize characteristics and skills in Matthew that have not yet been explored.

With this, guidance can be given to leaders to consider a job readjustment that is positive for Mateus’ career.

The change may be exactly what the professional wanted, even though he couldn’t identify it, to feel more confident and motivated again.

Motivation and information shared through the dynamics

If we present an example of how group dynamics help the company extract information for the sake of motivation, let’s now talk about sharing information for the same purpose.

By information, understand theoretical and empirical knowledge , that is, those that are acquired through practice, through the “interaction of the human being with the surrounding environment”.

Among the types of group dynamics for companies is one that is aimed at promoting interaction and that will serve us at this time.

Let’s suppose that Lívia is an employee with high technical qualifications for her role and that, in her individualities, she does very well in the evaluation made by HR or by the leadership.

Despite this, Lívia struggles to understand how her work relates to and impacts what is done by the rest of the team and vice versa.

This lack of understanding is one of the reasons why Lívia prefers to close herself in on her own tasks, dialoguing little with the team.

In parts, things flow well, but the employee feels poorly integrated and this ends up limiting her potential and, consequently, her motivation. Therefore, there are changes that are important.

If HR chooses to apply a group dynamic that promotes interaction, dialogue and even expands the knowledge of how each task performed integrates the whole, it will be sharing information or knowledge.

In addition to showing Lívia the value of her work within the team, it can create in her a sense of relevance in terms of dialogue and integration with her own.

Still, it can provide an opportunity for a closer relationship between the other team members and the employee in question so that they can relate better.

The work of people management must continue both for HR and for Lívia’s leadership and the team to which she belongs.

It is understood, however, that the dynamics can help to break, in practice, a barrier that only dialogue and guidance are not able to do.

When to use and how to choose group dynamics

If group dynamics isn’t the only tool to use to motivate teams, as you already know, it’s not important to know when to use it.

It is easy to understand that the performance of dynamics must be proposed when problems of motivation are identified.

The key point of when to use, therefore, is something that has more to do with the preparation of HR to conduct the activities.

HR is not the only sector involved in this whole situation. We mention leadership at various points in the text, because leaders also play a role in identifying problems or difficulties faced by their teams.

Thus, the assessments made by HR and combined with the testimony of the leaders will indicate the right moment to carry out group dynamics.

The agents involved in the definition and application of dynamics need to be clear about what causes demotivation in the team.

Considering that there can be multiple factors, they need to be clear on which one or which are the most relevant and which need to be addressed first.

Only from this understanding can group dynamics for motivation be applied and have the desired effects.

To better understand, consider that if the problem is the lack of collective engagement to achieve goals, the dynamics to be chosen may be different from when the problem is the lack of interaction between team members.

Choosing the ideal dynamic

The ideal dynamic is the one whose analysis allows the company to have or transmit the information it needs according to the objectives related to the lack of motivation.

Among the types of existing group dynamics, we highlight those that serve to:

  • promote team integration;
  • eliminate tensions in the work environment;
  • improve team skills (such as sales, for example);
  • create healthy competition around the achievement of goals.

Note that we present dynamics that do not necessarily address motivation directly.

Something that, we hope, helps you to understand that different factors can be behind the demotivation and, therefore, different objectives can be considered when choosing the ideal dynamic.

In general, it is nice for group dynamics to be carried out outside the office environment . Or, in an environment that allows participants to momentarily disconnect from work-related issues.

This is because it is important that employees feel free to surrender to the dynamics, without worrying about their tasks being a problem.

Furthermore, as breaking down barriers can be a sought-after objective, distancing from the work environment can lead to a reduction in apprehension that may be related to demands from bosses and related factors.

Having said that, it is worth remembering that the time or day dedicated to the application of group dynamics cannot be deducted from the employees’ remuneration.

It is something that is part of the work and, therefore, cannot be linked to any loss for professionals.

4 group dynamics that can be used for motivation

It is critical that HR have extensive knowledge of the group dynamics or dynamics chosen to increase employee engagement. 

Therefore, we recommend that you research those that seem most interesting to you, or even look for alternatives other than those that we will indicate below.

Check out now four dynamics that can be useful to your company !

1. Do you accept the challenge?

The purpose of this group dynamic is to integrate the team, develop their individual and collective confidence and prepare them to overcome challenges.

To apply it, you’ll need a shoe-sized box wrapped in brown paper or other paper that doesn’t allow you to see what’s inside.

Here’s how it works : the first thing to do is divide the participants into equal groups and then place them alternately in a circle.

If you have groups A and B, you must have the wheel with member of group A, member of group B, member of group A and so on.

Then, you must hand the box to a random participant and tell everyone that, inside that box, there is information to fulfill a challenge.

You should also explain to them that while the music is playing, the box should be passed from hand to hand until the music stops – something similar to the “hot potato” game that many know from childhood.

Also, participants need to know that whoever keeps the box will have to fulfill the challenge. If he makes a mistake, he must pay a gift, being eliminated from the game and causing the team to lose four points. If he gets it right, he doesn’t pay the gift and gives the team three points.

When the music stops, you must introduce a new rule to the game: that the person with the box has three options:

  • meet the challenge;
  • pass the box to someone in your group;
  • or pass the box to someone in the other group.

At the end of the day, the box can be repassed up to three times. The limit exists so that, finally, someone is forced to fulfill the challenge.

That person must open the box to discover that, in fact, there is no information for the challenge, but chocolates that must be shared among everyone.

To understand better : this is a group dynamic that serves to break the ice and that can be used to start the day’s activities.

Through it, HR can observe who is more willing to take on challenges and who prefers to pass the work on to others.

The choice of passing the box to someone from the team itself or from the “rival” team can also be analyzed. For example, going to a member of the same team, the decision might indicate the first employee’s confidence in the colleague’s ability to solve challenging problems.

2. Who do I take?

The purpose of this group dynamic is to make the members of a team learn to recognize each other’s abilities, as well as understand what the group’s perception of each is. Information that can also be useful to HR and leadership.

To apply it, you will need a pencil (or pen), sheets of paper, envelopes and some boxes.

Here’s how it works : each participant must receive a pencil, a piece of paper and an envelope. On paper, each must answer the following questions:

  • if you needed to spend time on a desert island, who in the group would you take as company?
  • If you were responsible for organizing a party, who from the group would you choose to help you with this task?
  • If you won a trip to an awards show and could take three people from the group with you, who would they be?

It is important that participants in the dynamic are informed that the answers are confidential and that, for this reason, they should not identify themselves on the answer sheet or envelope.

Anonymity also gives employees more freedom to respond honestly, without fear.

As they respond, participants must place the papers inside the envelopes and forward them to you and other applicators, if any.

It is your role to add one point for each person mentioned in each answer. With that job done, you should introduce everyone to the names of those who were mentioned the most and present them with a box of candy.

To understand better : with the dynamics, HR can identify who are the employees recognized as leading figures among their colleagues, as well as those who have a good relationship with the group.

Those with the most votes will soon find out about your recognition and can be motivated from there.

The others can be informed, individually, if they were mentioned in any of the answers and how many times.

This information can serve to motivate them to adapt their behavior so that they can increase their recognition in the team.

Bonus : if more dynamics are held on the same day, you can choose to come back to this one and redo it after colleagues have bonded and got to know each other even better.

This will create an opportunity for a review of insights to be presented. For that, however, it is necessary that the other dynamics chosen contribute to the expansion of knowledge about the profiles and competences of each other.

3. Treasure Island

The purpose of the group dynamics in question is to optimize teamwork and the ability of professionals to deal with challenges.

To apply it, you will need sheets of newspaper and, once again, a box of chocolates.

Here’s how it works : In a corner of the room or the environment in use, place a sheet of newspaper and a box of chocolates on top. Explain that this is Treasure Island.

Ask participants to pair up or choose a system so that pairs are randomly formed. The second alternative may be more fruitful!

Then direct the pairs to the opposite side of Treasure Island and open a sheet of newspaper for each, keeping them side by side.

Explain that each pair must climb on their sheet and find a way to get to the Island without tearing the newspaper.

Establish a time for the objective to be accomplished, encouraging quick and strategic thinking. And informs that if any pair rips their newspaper, they will be disqualified.

If more than one duo reach Treasure Island, the members must share the chocolates among themselves.

To understand better : certainly the objective of this group dynamic is not only to make someone taste some chocolates, but to show the importance of teamwork, including the expansion of horizons.

The point is that the only way to get to Treasure Island without tearing up the newspaper is to invite another pair to participate together.

The four stand on one sheet and place another in front. They change sheets and pass and place the previous one even further and so on.

If no pair thinks about this solution, at the end of the established period, it must be presented to all.

In any case, the important thing is that employees are presented with a reflection on the importance of creativity and, above all, communication and collective work.

4. Save your balloon!

The purpose of this group dynamic is to encourage teamwork and foster healthy competition that can increase team motivation. To apply it, you will need balloons and string.

Here’s how it works : the first thing to do is divide the participants into two teams and give each of them two balloons. To facilitate the dynamics, it is interesting that each team has balloons of one color.

The balloons must be inflated right away to prevent them from deflating and, with the string, each participant must tie their two balloons around their waist.

Once everyone is ready, you should explain that they are free to try to pop the balloons of other team members with their bare hands.

It should remind them, however, of the importance of protecting their balloons because the team that loses all their balloons first loses.

To understand better : once they are free to pop the “rival” balloons, participants may run away to try to eliminate the other team as quickly as possible.

Eventually, this strategy will work, but keeping in mind that the name of the dynamic is Save your balloon, the most interesting thing is to see if the groups decide to come up with a strategy instead of just running after each other.

Once again, a lesson on the importance of interaction and teamwork is presented.

As a result, employees can be more open to collaboration on a day-to-day basis, contributing to the creation of a more pleasant environment and the achievement of better results. A motivating combination.

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