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What makes a team effective? Which qualities set successful groups apart from other groups?

To find out, Google conduted more than 200 interviews with its employees and looked at more than 250 attributes of 180 active Google teams.

The primary finding of the analysis was that how team members interact, structure their work, and view their contributions matters more than the traits of individual employees.

Specifically, the researchers found five key group dynamics set successful teams apart from other teams at Google.

The most important of those attributes is "psychological safety" (can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?).

The remaining attributes of successful teams are as follows:

  • Dependability (can we count on each other to do high quality work on time?)
  • Structure and clarity (are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?)
  • Meaning of work (are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?)
  • Impact of work (do we fundamentally believe that the work we're doing matters?).

About the research: The report was based a survey of more than 200 interviews with Google employees and an analysis of more than 250 attributes of 180 active Google teams.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji