Projekt Aristoles

The Effective Team – Here Are Google’s Five Key Factors

What Makes a Team Effective? Google’s Five Key Factors

Introduction

When we think of what makes a team effective, many imagine a group of highly educated individuals with impressive CVs. But Google’s extensive two-year study, called the “Aristotle” project, showed that it’s not necessarily individual skills that define a strong team. Instead, they identified five key factors, which we’ll explore in more depth here.

Conclusion

Google’s “Aristotle” project shows that the most effective teams are not necessarily those with the most talented individuals, but those where members feel psychologically safe, can trust each other, have clarity about their roles, find meaning in their work and see its impact. By focusing on these five key factors, organisations can create stronger, more cohesive and more productive teams.

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Psychological Safety

The most important trait of an effective team is psychological safety. This means that team members feel safe enough to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other. Consider a meeting where a colleague shares an innovative but unorthodox idea. In an environment without psychological safety, this person might hesitate to share, fearing ridicule or rejection. But in a psychologically safe environment, the idea is received with openness, even if it’s not adopted. This creates an environment where innovation and creativity can flourish.

Psychological safety is the factor that forms the foundation for the next four factors. It cannot be overstated how essential psychological safety is for employees to flourish and the organisation to develop.

Reliability

Reliability is about trusting team members to complete their tasks on time and meet the team’s quality standards. Imagine a project where one person consistently misses deadlines or delivers substandard work. This can undermine the entire team’s efforts. But when everyone on the team is reliable, it creates a strong sense of trust that allows the team to move forward with confidence.

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Struktur og Klarhed

For a team to function effectively, all members must have a clear understanding of their individual roles, responsibilities and goals. Without this clarity, team members can feel lost, overwhelmed or unsure of what’s expected of them. Imagine a football team where each player doesn’t know their position or role on the pitch. Without a clear structure, the game would quickly become chaotic. Similarly, a clear structure in the work environment provides guidelines and expectations that everyone can work from.

Psychological safety is the factor that forms the foundation for the next four factors. It can’t be overstated how essential psychological safety is for employees to flourish and the organisation to grow.

Meaning at Work

People want to feel that the work they do has a deeper meaning or purpose. When team members see the value in what they do, they become more engaged, motivated and satisfied with their work. Think of a teacher who sees the direct impact of their work when a student understands a complex topic. This direct connection between effort and outcome provides a deep sense of purpose.

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Impact on the Workplace

Finally, team members want to know that the work they do actually makes a difference. Seeing the direct results of your work or understanding its impact on a larger scale can be incredibly motivating. Imagine a software developer seeing thousands of people using and benefiting from an app he or she has created. Knowing that your work has a real impact can be a powerful motivator.

Psychological safety is the factor that forms the foundation for the next four factors. It can’t be overstated how essential psychological safety is for employees to flourish and businesses to grow.

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