How well do you know your team?

Are there hidden “Accelerators” or “Bottlenecks” who have undue influence on team performance?

The vast number of team and employee performance training, consulting, and remediation companies are a testament to the complexity of running large teams and organizations. Despite their best efforts, we’ve all seen the following perplexing scenarios at one point or another in our careers:


  • A top performer is promoted to manage the team and their team struggles.
  • Key new hires are ineffective.
  • Talent-rich Teams are unable to drive innovation.
  • Average (and seemingly expendable) performers leave and the Team performance suffers disproportionately to their perceived value.
  • Well-planned transformations are unsuccessful (75% of all change programs fail).
  • M&A integrations are not successful due to cultural misalignments (8 out of 10 fail).


The reasons behind these fails and low performance are often very varied and extremely situational, however, there is a trend and commonality to be gleaned from each of these scenarios — Team relationships are the linchpin that determines whether the team succeeds or ends up as yet another failure statistic.




Employees interact with each other in specific ways in order to meet team goals. These interactions are often not at all correlated to individual job responsibilities or org charts. Rather, they are scenario-based with different relationships established as a response to external “stimuli”, such as social events or changes in the business environment (M&A, restructuring, etc.)

Managers work hard to optimize their teams, but without analytics tools in place, they are often left to their gut instincts and experience to guide them in making the right team decisions, which leaves them vulnerable to biases and imperfect information.

Managers risk making organizational decisions that result in inefficiencies, cultural erosion, and unplanned attrition increasing employee costs by as much as 40%.*

Conventional metrics for analyzing individual performance, determining personality/behavior profiles, and measuring team engagement and morale tell only part of the story. Understanding unique employee relationships, within and across teams, provides the missing piece of the team success puzzle, since these relationships are the manifestation of those personality traits. Without this understanding, managers risk making organizational decisions that result in inefficiencies, cultural erosion, and unplanned attrition increasing costs in total by as much as 40%*.

In addition, employee relationships impact Change Management programs and Transformation projects, where success is highly dependent on efficient communications. A project sponsor or manager’s inability to empower the right Opinion Leaders and Change Ambassadors within the team not only risks the overall success of the project but can also result in as much as 12% higher project costs.**



Managers who use analytics tools that analyze employee relationships can drive significant cost savings and prevent future unintended team behaviors. In addition, managers can now easily diagnose dependencies, gaps, key bridges, and key employee profiles, while understanding how to leverage employee relationships to minimize unintended team behaviors and ensure team success.

For example, there may be a key employee within the middle management layer of the team who is the “Idea Validator” or perhaps there is a dearth of “Change Sponsors” within the team which is hindering its ability to grow and perform. Understanding these hidden roles that employees are playing helps managers identify ways to enhance performance while leveraging existing relationships or helping foster new ones.

Analytics and decision support tools not just help diagnose the issue, but also can track relationship and behaviors over time to ensure that each employee, and the team as a whole, are all moving an appropriate manner and are evolving towards a structure that ensures sustainable performance.

Pure-play analytics tools drive a lot of decisions in various other functions and areas of a company, from marketing analytics to financial analysis, but are still rarely used in HR related decisions to drive individual and team performance. These analytic measures can be especially potent when combined with solution providers, such a training software, change management consultants, etc.


1 “Retaining Talent: Guide to Analyzing and Managing Employee Turnover”, SHRM Foundation, by David G. Allen, PhD, SPHR, 2008
2 “The High Cost of Low Performance”, Project Management Institute, Pulse of the Profession 2016


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