The Characteristics of a Productive Group

How team size affects team productivity
The smaller the team, the more productive they are. Larger teams are more likely to experience turnover and absenteeism, have less satisfaction with their work, have more negative emotions, and have lower mental health. In terms of productivity and team members, less is better. – Group Dynamics: Theory and Research The Big Book of Team Culture
This article is only a part of our Big Book of Team Culture. This ebook is free and will teach you how to build a team, improve teamwork, be a leader in modern workplaces, and create a positive team culture. We are grateful that you have subscribed! All newsletter subscribers can download this (and many other ActiveCollab Project Management Guides). Download the Ebook We are unable to subscribe you at this time. Please double-check your email address. If issue still persist, please let us know by sending an email to [email protected] Try Again An ideal team has 4.6 members (according to research conducted by Hackman and Vidmar).In order to determine how team size impacts processes and performance on different kinds of tasks, researchers formed groups that varied from 2 to 7 members. After each member had completed their tasks, they were asked two questions: Was your group too small to complete the task?
Did your group seem too large to handle the task?
Below is a graph of the average answers to these questions. The point where two lines cross represents an optimum size of a productive team, which is 4.6 members.To determine whether your team is too big, you can use the simple “two-pizza” rule:If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, it’s too large – Jeff BezosJeff Bezos found that teams that consist of 5-7 people (who you can feed with two pizzas) are more autonomous and tend to come up with more innovative solutions.In both theory and practice shows that smaller teams are more productive than the large ones, with benefits like more effective communication, greater trust among team members, and less fear of failure.Another benefit of small teams is the avoidance of groupthink and social loafing.Groupthinkusually occurs when people within the group choose to neglect rational or optimal solutions, for the sake of maintaining harmony within the team, where creativity, independent thinking is neither wanted nor encouraged.The real problem with groupthink is that projects are more likely to end up in failure because no one wants to think critically and propose how to fix bad things.Then we have social loafing, which doesn’t result in bad decisions, but can cause discord in a team. Social loafing is when one or more members try to do the most work, and the majority of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the rest of the team. This can lead to the sucker effect where team members who are overloaded reduce their efforts in order to avoid being free-riders. This can lead to resentment, emotional tension, and low productivity. An odd number that is close to five. Why is it odd? Because there is no risk of getting a tie when it involves voting.
A team without cohesion and synergy will not achieve its maximum productivity. It would be amazing if the team could achieve its maximum productivity.