Achieving
Business
Agility
with
Dynamic Teams

Achieving Business
Agility
with
Dynamic Teams

Dynamic teams are employee teams that come together organically to focus on a specific project and disband once the work is done. Such teams can help increase agility, improve performance, and boost employee satisfaction.

But how can you structure and manage dynamic teams to optimize outcomes? For answers, we interviewed and surveyed 15 HR leaders and nearly 1,500 employees and line managers. Here’s what we found.

Dynamic team size and structure

  • Most common
    team size

    5-7 Members

  • Most common length of engagement

    4-6 Months

  • Most common leadership type

    Formal Team Leader

  • Most common structure

    Somewhat Structured

    (In terms of defined roles, goals, and accountabilities)

Dynamic team participation levels

  • 82%

    Of employees say they have participated in dynamic teams more than once

  • 85%

    Of line managers say employees have “likely” or “very likely” worked in dynamic teams

  • 64%

    Of employees say they have participated in multiple dynamic teams simultaneously

Dynamic team outcomes

Employee perspective

  • 66%

    Of employees reported a positive impact on their career

  • 65%

    Of employees reported a positive impact on engagement

  • 65%

    Of employees reported a positive impact on intentions
    to stay

Line manager perspective

  • 73%

    Of line managers reported a positive impact on the business

  • 70%

    Of line managers reported a positive impact on their core team

  • 70%

    Of line managers reported a positive impact on engagement

  • 73%

    Of line managers reported a positive impact on direct reports’ career development

  • 75%

    Of line managers reported a positive impact on direct reports’ experiences

Satisfaction levels

  • 20%

    Of employees said they were highly satisfied with their dynamic team experience

  • 23%

    Of employees said they were very motivated to join another dynamic team

  • 36%

    Of managers feel very motivated to encourage direct reports to participate in dynamic teams

Why the disconnect between reported
outcomes and satisfaction levels?

The following common challenges at the HR, line manager, and employee levels play a role.

HR challenges

HR often lacks adequate tools for staffing and monitoring.

  • Team staffing
    Team staffing

    The informal “who knows who” approach often leads to suboptimal teams. More strategic staffing can help.

  • Performance monitoring
    Performance monitoring

    Limited visibility means limited performance monitoring. Flexible HR systems that track dynamic teams can help.

  • Recognition and rewards
    Recognition and rewards

    Team members can lose motivation when their contributions go unrecognized. Tying performance to clear KPIs – and rewards – can help.

Line manager challenges

Line managers often see dynamic teams as a net loss.

  • 3.1
  • 2.9
  • 2.7
  • 2.5
  • “When my direct reports participate in a dynamic team, they often have less time for their core job responsibilities.”

  • “My direct reports have difficulty meeting my performance expectations when they participate in dynamic teams.”

  • “It sometimes feels like I am losing talent when my direct reports participate in a dynamic team.”

  • “I am afraid that
    participating in a dynamic team will cause my direct reports to leave my team
    to pursue other
    opportunities.”

Value

Manager concern

Employee challenges

Employees would benefit from more support to optimize dynamic team experiences.

A gap between typical and optimal teams

Organizations should strive to realize the optimal characteristics for dynamic teams.

Team characteristics Typical Optimal
Team size 5 to 7 members >8 members
Reason for joining Manager’s influence Employee’s choice
Team lifespan 4 to 6 months The longer the better
Leadership type Formally assigned Formal or informal
Structure around roles, goals, and processes A moderate amount A large amount

A lack of information about team members

Access to information about dynamic team members can improve performance and satisfaction.

  • Passions
  • Strengths
  • Personality
  • Expertise
  • Motivation
  • Skills
  • Communication style
  • Work style
  • 2.6
  • 2.7
  • 2.8
  • 2.9
  • 3
  • 3.1
  • 3.2
  • 3.3
  • Access to info
  • Usefulness of having
  • Comfort with sharing

Inadequate talent management processes

Better feedback can help improve employee motivation for participating in dynamic teams.

  • Team
    recognition
    or rewards
  • Team
    feedback
  • Performance
    evaluation
  • Individual
    recognition
    or rewards
  • Individual
    feedback
  • Experience
    evaluation
  • 2.9
  • 2.95
  • 3
  • 3.05
  • 3.1
  • 3.15
  • 3.2
  • Importance
  • Satisfaction

Three keys for driving dynamic team effectiveness

1Understand the five “R’s”

Requirements for optimal dynamic teams:

  • Right members

    Select members based on skills, personality fit, and diversity of values, not “who knows who.”

  • Right relationships

    Use tools, technology, and information to build relationships quickly.

  • Right behaviors

    Use clear communication and strong leadership to build clarity around goals and expectations.

  • Right resources

    Help teams thrive by encouraging line manager support and making core jobs more flexible.

  • Right rewards

    Deliver the feedback and rewards that motivate team members to excel.

2Understand employee motivations

A ranking of what employees say motivates them most to join dynamic teams:

  • 1 Do the kind of work I am most skilled at.
  • 2 Develop a specific skill or gain specific experience.
  • 3 Leverage a skill I have but don’t get to use in my day-to-
    day role.
  • 4 Do the type of work I enjoy doing the most.
  • 5 Try something I’ve never done before.
  • 6 Work with people I already know and like.
  • 7 Work on a project with high leadership
    visibility.
  • 8 Work with new people and expand my network.

3Understand what employees and line managers need

A ranking of what employees and line managers say they need the most:

  • Employee Perspective:
    Five Most Important Factors

  • 1 My line manager is supportive of my participation in dynamic teams.
  • 2 My line manager has a good sense of my experience as a member of a dynamic team.
  • 3 My line manager is aware of my dynamic team’s overall performance and contributions.
  • 4 My line manager typically knows what my specific role is in a dynamic team.
  • 5 If I gain or improve a skill as a result of participating in a dynamic team, my manager is made aware of it.
  • Line Manager Perspective:
    Five Most Important Factors

  • 1 My employees feel that I am supportive of their participation in dynamic teams.
  • 2 It is important to understand my direct report’s experience as a member of a dynamic team.
  • 3 It is important to understand the challenges my direct report faced while serving on a dynamic team.
  • 4 It is important to understand the skills my direct report has gained or developed through their participation in a dynamic team.
  • 5 It is important to understand my direct report’s specific role in a dynamic team.

Learn more

Business agility and a more satisfied workforce

Dynamic teams can help your organization become more adaptable, resilient, innovative, and effective. To learn more, read the full report here .

Request a demo.