5 Delightful Side Effects of Creating a Culture of Interdependency

Why building teams that rely on each other makes everything better.

I had created a culture of interdependency.

Other managers, the leadership team, and even HR thought I was insane, but I was persistent with my approach. Fast forward to a few months after all of these positions were filled and onboarded, and I could see my plan was working. The blurred lines between each of the roles forced collaboration. The collaboration led to sharing ownership over their work. And that shared ownership led to more collaboration to push our whole team forward. Soon enough the team practically functioned on its own. Sure I still provided guidance and overall direction, but no longer did each of my employees come to me individually as the sole source of input into their work. Instead, they relied on each other to move us forward as a team, often surpassing any level of expertise I brought to the table on my own. I had created a culture of interdependency.

Accountability

When team members are only accountable to their manager, a lot is lost. The manager controls their employment — and thus their paycheck. And so, oftentimes they won’t admit when they’re having trouble with something, because they’re afraid of the consequences.

Morale

Quite simply, as social beings, people like to work together. Even when some of our tasks aren’t the most enjoyable, misery loves company, and working together helps create a team spirit to keep moving through the bad times. Of course, there’s also the morale boost when the team can celebrate successes that they all had their hands in. Overall my team had stronger morale because they were forced to work together as a team and not pushed into a situation where they felt like they were competing with each other. And this same result applied as my team collaborated with other teams throughout the organization.

Efficiency

Having overlapping roles and skillsets helps make things more efficient by giving you extra capacity that can be shifted around between tasks. This works especially well for tasks that happen on a regular interval. My team used to create reports at the end of each month, and as these reports grew larger and more complicated over time, they were taking more and more time.

Growth

As the team worked together, they started to highlight opportunities for growth and improvement to me. In a more traditional environment, I would have had to identify these opportunities myself as each team member worked in their own silo, and there’d be significant friction trying to pull them together to take advantage of new opportunities. Because my team members worked so closely together they had a lot of opportunities to cross-train and expand their skills into areas where they would otherwise not have the opportunity to learn and try new things.

Resilience

Every team has to deal with various types of time off, whether for vacations, weddings, or medical reasons. In the past, it was always a big rush to offload all of a person’s day-to-day tasks onto someone else before they left. The person filling in still had their normal work to do, and they never had much practice doing the tasks they were filling in for. Building an interdependent team helped with this a lot. Instead of only having to fill in once or twice per year, now the team members were always immersed in the work their colleagues were doing, and so shifting workaround for time off, or even to help manage workloads or special projects was easy.

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dreadfullyposh (Jeremy Gimbel)

Written by

I write about a web development, leadership, management, humor, and LGBTQ+ issues. Find me at https://dreadfullyposh.com.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +788K followers.

dreadfullyposh (Jeremy Gimbel)

Written by

I write about a web development, leadership, management, humor, and LGBTQ+ issues. Find me at https://dreadfullyposh.com.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +788K followers.

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