Google HR Team Analysis
In the following case analysis, I will be using information taken from our textbook (Grittier and Kinetic, 2013) on the case study of Google‘s “Three Thirds” HRS Team in Chapter 1 1 . Current human resource (HRS) department as described in this case study seems to work more as lightly connected groups instead of as a true team, according to Setbacks and Smith’s definition (Grittier & Kinetic, 2013).
Elements of teams include pairing of individuals with skills that complement each other as well as having the team members striving toward the same common goal even if they are expansible for different aspects of that goal. These two things seem to not exist in Google’s HRS Team but if implemented they would likely lead to the company getting the highest Job performance out of its work force as well as hire future workers that best fit those roles.
Each of the three groups have extremely specialized abilities and I think that it would be detrimental to the performance of each team if these technical skills were integrated throughout all the teams. The overall performance would suffer as a result of this course of action. One problem faced by the adhering is how they should combine the accomplishments of the groups in such a way that assesses each group appropriately and identifies the value of each. The facilitation of problem solving of situations among the three groups is a role that leadership could tackle.
A role leadership could take on is to facilitate problem solving situations amongst the three groups with the common goal of seeing how each team can contribute to a problem and how their solutions can work together to make an even better decision. Perhaps an impartial leader with specialized skills of calculating groups, and articulating the goals as a team, and reviewing the performance of each team, could assist in restructuring each group so as to have them more aligned into a team concept.
The key role of HRS in this case is facilitation, in dealing with a highly specialized, and extremely effective groups per Table 11-3 (Grittier & Kinetic, 2013) is about bringing a team together. I strongly believe that the HRS personnel would benefit from this type of teamwork building. If work teams are nurtured and facilitated by an organization, they tend to have a rater chance of success than when they’re not (Grittier & Kinetic, 2013).
It’s a beneficial to the organization and its workers if the employees know what is expected of them and they are given specific goals because under these circumstances the workforce is usually more effective. Furthermore, those overachievers within an organization will not only achieve the standards set for them at a marginal level but can go above and beyond what is expected and possibly exceed the expectations of their managers. Trust is very important when it comes to the sort of cross functional team as Google’s HRS team is.
In order to build that trust, six guidelines should be followed which are: communication, support, respect, fairness, predictability, and competence [ (Grittier & Kinetic, 2013). These six guiding principles are important for cross functional teams since trust is an essential piece of making a team work successfully. Diversity of groups brings diverse cultural value systems and this can become a source of distrust. Researchers from the University of Texas in 1993 found that distrust occurs when “an individual or group is perceived as not sharing key cultural values” (Sitting, Roth, 1993).
So in Google’s case with such a diverse and highly functioning team trust building is a critical task for leadership. The key to this is having a leader to work with the three groups facilitating conflict and more importantly build relationships amongst groups.
The team leader must also present positive project views to each team that increases the potential for sharing of resources and information. By doing this, the projects the groups are working on become the team project.
Instrumental cohesiveness is a sense of togetherness that develops when group members are mutually dependent on each there because they believe they couldn’t achieve the goals of the group by acting separately (Grittier & Kinetic, 2013). In the cross functional group at Google instrumental cohesiveness needs to be focused on primarily. The importance of instrumental cohesiveness works best for these large cross functional teams because they each have a specific skill set that when combined will make an effective and successful team.
Hence the team will be cohesive because they know they are dependent on each other to accomplish the group’s goals. Again the team leader is the facilitator of this. The team leader pulls in all groups to update and clarify goals, projects, changes, etc and gets input on how each group will contribute to achieving the one goal. The team leader makes sure each group is involved and that they are working a task that best suits their needs. While group leaders are together, the team leader recognizes each group and members contribution.
This multi stage interaction creates a cohesiveness with the team and also builds trust as the teams sees each other shared goal and less of their perceived differences.
Tasks that are considered important are likely to increase motivation, promote collective efficacy, and strengthen task cohesion as the team strives towards accomplishing its goal(s). Rather than provide individual incentives (which can lead to competition and conflict), group feedback and rewards are encouraged. Lolled & Hickman, 2010). What advice would you give Google’s Laszlo Bock about managing a cross-functional team, team building, and team leadership. My advice to Bock would be to set the HRS part of the organization up with team leaders whose goal is to interact with each of the “thirds” and get each group working towards a common goal, understanding each there’s contribution and recognizing each group special skills and how they pertain to the team goal.
Google is a leader in technology so using the appropriate technology to bring remote groups or group members into the team discussion will not be an obstacle to succeeding in the team building. The team leader will be constantly working with the groups on preparing them for new projects, conflict resolution, reviewing team’s goals and accomplishments and encouraging collaboration and facilitating team building activities.