by Susan D. Swafford | Leadership, Culture, Performance, Talent Selection, Motivation
Synergy, by definition, is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. Simply put, it means working together.
You may remember learning in high school chemistry class that when two atoms of hydrogen are covalently bonded to one atom of oxygen, they essentially work together to form water. When observing these elements in their isolated state, the substance water cannot be recognized. Only when two atoms of hydrogen are molecularly interconnected to one atom of oxygen can water be known.
Organizations are similar in that the culture that exists is due to how employees interact with each another. The question is, “How do they interact, positively or negatively?” Let’s consider our high school chemistry class again. You may recall being involved in an experiment that intentionally created negative synergy. Do you remember what happened when sulfur was added to a controlled environment already containing water? Under specific conditions, a transformation happened. No longer did H20 exist. By simply adding one wrong element, something that was once positive now gave a negative result, sulfuric acid.
As any manager knows, the collective performance of a team of people can either be better or worse than the sum of its members’ individual performances. A positive or negative synergy is the result depending on the individual elements – employees in this case – that are added. Every manager wants an environment where positive synergy thrives, but sometimes its difficult to know how to cultivate it.
With that being said, let’s look at three elements, that when BONDED together, have PROVEN to CREATE an interaction that causes organizations to FLOURISH from the inside out.
1. Select complimentary talents
While it’s important to have take-charge people on a team, it’s equally important to have supportive-type individuals. Imagine the conflicts that would arise if everyone wanted to be in charge. Managers would probably spend more time managing behavior issues, than they would handling the projects. To mitigate the risk of conflict, build a team of diverse talent.
- Determine the natural talent needed for the roles on the team. Do you need someone who thinks outside the box? Is creative? Follows procedures? Outgoing…?
- Once the needed talent is determined, match the person to the position
- Lead the talent, manage the project
Selecting the right talent for the team is like adding the right elements to a chemical composition – both create a positive synergy
2. Unlock exponential power
One sure way to positively boost the synergy of an organization is to unlock the exponential power of its employees. Tap into and validate the hidden talents of each person on your team. When managers provide opportunities for their employees to develop and use their natural talents, not only do employees reach their potential but so does your organization.
- Acknowledge the strengths of everyone on your team
- Build trust through acceptance of individual’s strengths
- Provide opportunity for individuals to develop their strengths
Cultivate an environment that builds each other up, and you’ll create a synergistic atmosphere of positivity among your people.
3. Motivate the individual
Motivators are elements that create a positive environment and provide a sense of well-being and reward for a person. Individuals are uniquely motivated. They have exclusive factors that increase personal satisfaction and recharge their energy. What motivates one, may be insignificant to another. Even worse, managers can fall prey to demotivating their people simply by not knowing what motivates them.
- Know what motivates your employees
- Determine if they are being fulfilled
- Take action to motivate the individual
An environment intentionally created to motivate the individual will foster harmony within the person and exude positivity and satisfaction to the team.
Positive organizational synergy is a result of intentionality. Select the right talent, provide opportunity to unlock the exponential power of their hidden talent, and motivate them with what they need.
You may think this is an overwhelming task to accomplish, but with the right systems and tools in place, you will be quickly cultivating a positive synergy for your organization.
What systems can you put in place that will cultivate positive synergy for your teams?