What makes an effective team at Google?

Have you wondered what are the most important attributes to building an effective team?

According to the re:Work Google report, code-named Project Aristotle, the top dynamic of an effective team is psychological safety.

Google investigated 250 variables across 180 groups in engineering and sales. ​

The results showed that what really mattered was less about who is on the team, and more about how the team worked together. ​

What makes an effective team at Google?

Results in order of importance:

  1. Psychological safety
  2. Dependability
  3. Structure and clarity
  4. Meaning
  5. Impact

The report noted that individuals on teams with higher psychological safety are:​

  • less likely to leave​
  • more likely to harness the power of diverse ideas from their teammates​
  • bring in more revenue​
  • rated as effective twice as often by executives​

The report provides some great tools to help teams take action.

If you’re interested in learning more about psychological safety, take a look at Amy Edmondson’s Ted Talk. Amy tells us three simple things individuals can do to foster team psychological safety:

  1. Frame the work as a learning problem, not an execution problem.
  2. Acknowledge your own fallibility.
  3. Model curiosity and ask lots of questions.

We recognise the workplace needs to be a place of ‘psychological safety’ founded on deep vulnerability-based trust, where a team member can say what they really think, ask for help, and mistakes are treated as lessons. ​

Our Tech Leader Survey showed 72% of our leaders believe that failures and mistakes are treated as lessons. This suggests that in the main, tech organisations are creating safe and trusting environments. This is encouraging to see!

Learning Resources:

Report: What makes an effective team at Google? re:Work (rework.withgoogle.com) Report

Video: Building a psychologically safe workplace | Amy Edmondson | TEDxHGSE

Report: Tech Leader Survey Report 2022 – Amplified Group

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