It’s supposed that teammates, even though with different roles and responsibilities, should provide the group with their valuable contribution and best commitment.

However, when people have to work together within a group, it often happens what the picture above smartly explains: a huge group of teammates criticizes, a quite small group advices and the group who actually works includes a few people.

I would add another category in the picture above, quite big as well. You can recognize them for their passive attitude and comfortable shadow-position. They basically do nothing, neither criticize nor advice… They just wait. They wait other people take decisions and do the whole job. Their only effort is to observe, avoiding any tasks or duties.

Sometimes, some of them become extremely proactive once the last outcome has been pointed out. They keep on doing nothing for the group, but they become very active in promoting themselves and their “attendance” at the group itself. The more positive the outcome is, the louder their own sponsorship will be.

Regardless of the main goal and purpose, this is what every team risks to face.

In order to get an engaged and highly performing team, it is important to define mutual roles, accountabilities and expectations. As well as it is strategic to foster a sort of “peer pressure” to ensure everyone takes his/her own responsibility.

A positive and constructive peer pressure is “the direct influence on people by peers, or the effect on an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitudes, values or behaviours to conform to those of the influencing group or individual.”

Peer pressure can be a great tool to address ‘bad’ attitude and performance in teams. It is one of the pillars of “agile methodology” and it could be an effective leverage to engage team members as well.

Its aim is to influence people in doing their best as possible, both as a team and as individuals. It is founded on a positive intention only. It is not a way to squeeze people over their limits or to blame someone.

The performance system should be based on continuous learning and growth. The goals, that should be transparent to everyone, should be regularly checked through continuous coaching, feedback, follow-ups and talent reviews done by peers. Every team member should evaluate him/herself easily thanks to objective and key results.

Ranking does not exist, the focus is on moving up, across, down and around.

People engagement is an equation between personal satisfaction and organizational contribution. Emotionally invested people usually shall wholeheartedly contribute. Happy teammates that have the chance to impact through their job will be hard worker. They will give their best to succeed.

The next time you’ll join a group, be proactive in setting the team agreement based on mutual engagement and commitment.

The group soul is only one, let’s find it among all team members then.

Enza Artino,
International Service Manager c/o Wyser; Coaching Competence Center Manager c/o Gi Group