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People holding different size gears together to represent teamwork

How is your team's soup?

​Every good team needs a strong mix of skillsets and personalities. The way in which a team collaborates and resolves issues can mean the difference between success and failure.

But when companies are looking to recruit new members, they often always opt for the highest performing, most dynamic individual they can find, assuming this is the key to success. It pays to assess your current team dynamics first and make a decision based on what type of person fits into the role and the team right now.

A client once long ago told me that their team wasn’t too different from a soup. With this analogy in mind, let’s talk about team dynamics.


You need to start with your Potatoes

Your potatoes are the stalwarts in the organisation. They are your base and the ones that will be around for a long time. Although long tenure doesn’t seem to be commonplace in today’s market, these employees will still make up a significant percentage of your workforce and they provide a lot of benefits too.

They help new people adjust to the culture and processes of the team and provide the steady consistency that every team needs. They know their role inside out, can help to train new employees and are loyal, hard workers for your business.


Chilli - the X factors

On the opposite end of the scale, you have the chilli. These are your X factors, your high achievers and your ambitious employees. They are looking to progress and fast! They may not stay around for more than 18 months, as even that is a long tenure for them, however, they will be looking to add a list of achievements to their resume in that time, which will in turn benefit your business.

When hiring this type of candidate, you will want to engage them from the start. Talk about projects that they can get involved in from the get-go and be open about what they want to achieve before they leave the organisation.

You couldn’t have a whole team of “chilli” as you couldn’t have a whole team of “potatoes”, which doesn’t make for great soup, but together they can complement each other to work towards common goals for the team.

Salt & pepper

Add the seasoning

The seasoning binds the whole team together. These are your employees who will be there for 3-4 years.

Historically, employees that have remained in their current position for 3-4 years were the sweet spot. They showed enough commitment to their role to learn it thoroughly but also showed ambition to progress and continue their learning.

Nowadays, with a global pandemic behind us and a lot more options on the table, it is difficult to find these people. The trick here is not trying to fill the team with “seasoning” but to utilise the ones you can find to help bind the team together.

A cooking pot

Simmer to combine

Sometimes, all the team needs is a bit of time to adjust.

Good team dynamics don’t happen overnight. Any good team takes time and will need guidance from leadership, to establish the right culture and behaviours in order to be successful.

Keeping lines of communication open and being transparent about business goals and the personal goals of your individual team members will help to keep everyone engaged and on the path to success.

​​If you are looking for further advice on how to optimise your team dynamics, call me on 02 9248 6202 or email me at to arrange a confidential chat.

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