In today’s work environment, team performance can be the decider between success and failure. Multidisciplinary teams are being deployed in an increasing number of organisations, for example to shorten the time-to-market for a product and maintain its competitive position.
Recently, HFMtalentindex researched factors that play a role in increasing employee performance. Learning Agility was found to be one of the best predictors of growth and accelerated development. The Learning Agility dimensions of People Agility and Self-awareness, in particular, showed a strong correlation with performance growth (respectively 0.48 and 0.40).
In order to enhance team performance, it therefore makes sense to focus on the People Agility and Self-awareness of its members. Here are some practical tips to get started.
What is Learning Agility?
Learning Agility is the ability to quickly develop new effective behaviour based on new experiences – it is a form of change ability. When you score high on Learning Agility, you gather more information and learn more quickly from new situations. It consists of four domains and one underlying factor: Self-awareness.
People Agility and Team Learning
The relationship between People Agility and performance growth is best explained by the concept of team learning. In team learning, the individual not only uses his / her own knowledge and ability to achieve goals, but also learns from and incorporates the knowledge and skills of other team members. He/she uses the unique experiences, talents and skills of teammates to solve problems and raise his/her own performance to a higher level. This type of person is likely to learn more than when a more individual approach to developing is followed, because he/she has access to more resources.
In addition to the concept of team learning, it is important to also consider social learning. This theory states that the best way to learn is by observing and imitating desired behaviour in others. Simply put, you learn most effectively by watching and listening to an expert who performs a task, and then internalise this process so you can perform it yourself. These two theories explain why team learning and People Agility is so important for performance growth.
Working on People Agility: Tips
- Find out what you can learn from each of your team members.
- For one day or one team session, try not to argue with any of the points made. Instead, ask questions and find out what new insights you have come across.
- Identify what information you are missing and what questions you might ask.
- Organise a short session to share knowledge and experience on a set topic.
Self-awareness and self-management
Self-awareness has a slightly different relationship with performance growth. People with higher self-awareness demonstrate higher levels of self-management (self-development and feedback questions). Employees who practice self-management recognise both the need for continuous improvement of their own performance and the possibilities for doing so.
These employees seek new and challenging work situations to learn from and set goals for their own development. In addition to this focus on development, they also show a willingness to receive constructive feedback. They analyse where they can develop, whether they are focusing on the right tasks and whether they are on the right track to achieve their goals.
Working on Self-awareness: Tips
Self-awareness works as a lever for developing Learning Agility. A high score on Self-awareness means that you have a good idea of what your own strengths and developmental points are. It also means that you are focused on continual development.
Because you are able to pay attention to your personal development and consciously recognise your strengths and weaknesses, you will better utilise your talents. Insight into your own Learning Agility scores and keeping these in mind while working, is already an important step on the road to increased performance.
Your Self-awareness score affects all other Learning Agility dimensions. After all, if you do not want to develop and you do not know your own qualities, you will learn less effectively. Those with lower Self-awareness need to more consciously consider their own performance. One way to do this is to request feedback from others, for example, by regularly asking colleagues how they found your performance when working in a team. You could also schedule time in your calendar for reflection on your progress and your approach to your work. The end of the working week is an ideal moment for this.