How to Achieve Company Cohesion and Avoid GroupthinkMay 08, 2023
Company cohesion is characterized by how well employees work together toward a common goal. Each employee plays an important role in the company’s success. When employees are in cohesion, they are able to cash in on their strengths and balance out one another’s weaknesses. Businesses are often compared to a well-oiled machine, with the employees making up the parts that allow the machine (the business) to function. Without cohesion, or for comparison, the parts that make up the whole, companies begin to crumble from within. Not only does this highlight the importance of who you hire, but it also highlights the importance of checking in with employees and making sure they are staying on track for the company’s goals and objectives.
To have company cohesion, you do not need all of your employees to think alike. In fact, each individual’s unique perspective offers many advantages for the company. Be open to new ideas, suggestions, and opinions. You can push people to move in the same direction without encouraging them to conform to just one ideology. When individual responsibility and creativity diminishes, you will often observe the phenomenon called groupthink, which is something that you want to avoid in business. Have you ever been in a meeting and you disagreed with something that was suggested, but you didn’t speak up because no one else seemed to have a problem with it, and you didn’t want to stir the pot? That is groupthink in play. When you prioritize group harmony over working through any issues that may arise from differing viewpoints, you lose your ability to make objective, and oftentimes rational, decisions. Groupthink can become dangerous if it progresses too far. This danger presents itself in poor business dealings, decisions, and even physical safety, depending on the business.
This leads to the question, “How do you achieve company cohesion while avoiding groupthink?” The first step is to embrace the uniqueness of your employees, and the second step is to allow for feedback from and give feedback to your team. Have you ever seen a functional machine made from one singular part? I imagine you have not, or at least not one with advanced functionality. You do not want your employees to be exactly the same, and at the same time, one employee does not need to be an expert at everything they do within the company. You hire people who have concentrated expertise in a particular area, and then you craft the team so that each facet of your business is being contributed to.
One of the best things you can do for your business and for your own life is to be intentional. Be intentional about everything you do, about what you say, about who you hire and spend your time with, about addressing issues that may arise within a timely manner, etc. Problems tend to dissipate when you put time and effort into finding solutions. Groupthink cannot build up if you foster an environment of creativity, openness, and understanding for your employees. Don’t be the boss that everyone is afraid to talk to and give their opinion, and on the flip side of that, don’t try to be everyone’s friend. You can be a figurehead guiding employees in the right direction without stifling their ability to think independently. Company cohesion is a desired outcome, so be intentional about pursuing it.
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