Why You Should Work In a Smaller Team
Teamwork and collaboration is an inevitable part of working in any organization. When it comes to team size, advantages of small teams are numerous. Author Jacob Morgan explores the research around Why Smaller Teams Are Better Than Larger Ones in his Forbes article. Here, our focus is to explore the advantages of small teams and why you should work in a smaller team. Let’s dive in!
Advantages of small teams
Social Loafing is a common psychological phenomenon which “may” take place in large teams. A person putting in less efforts for meeting their goals while working in a large group as opposed to when working in small teams (or alone) is known as Social Loafing. Which, as a result may reduce the overall productivity of members in larger teams.
So, Jeff certainly has a point here. Smaller teams surely do have substantial benefits to offer.
Primary being “everyone in the team COUNTS”
Another massive benefit is that you will be satisfied as you’ll be able to eat enough pizza! Just kidding.
On a serious note, let us look at the advantages of small teams, and why you should work in a smaller team—
1. A Massive Learning Opportunity
The purpose of our life is to learn. Learning starts from the moment we come into the world.
A smaller team will not only help you learn, it will help you learn massively!
So, why does a small team offer massive learning?
Ask the same question to a married couple. That is the smallest team and both of them will be eager to share their massive learnings after the “team” was incorporated! Isn’t it?
Every individual contributor/member in a smaller team typically has greater responsibility as compared to members in a larger team. You will probably end up talking with customers directly. You may report on status, speak about issues and resolutions. You might be required to estimate and communicate timelines as well. The silver lining here being, with greater responsibilities comes greater learning!
Working in smaller teams presents you with an opportunity to develop your skills.
2. Greater sense of ownership and autonomy
Working in a smaller team requires a great deal of ownership and will make you more accountable.
When you are tasked with work and in a small team, it gets tracked closely. Your contribution is visible so it creates a positive stress of performance. Vis a vis – large teams will typically have hierarchies. With reporting structure, ownership is distributed.
So, It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this greater sense of ownership will ultimately make you more productive and make you value your work more.
You not only have greater ownership, but also enjoy greater autonomy in smaller teams.
3. More recognition
It comes as no surprise that one will get more recognition as a part of a smaller team. You are “more visible” to the people who matter. There are fewer chances of your efforts going unnoticed, certainly increasing your chances of a good career growth.
4. Opportunity to take initiative
In smaller teams, you will always find ways and means to add value and take initiative.
Somebody will get stuck, someone will be overwhelmed with work, somebody may not be a perfect match for the work…grab such opportunities and put your best foot forward.
5. Better approachability
Another advantage of small teams is that there is ease of communication and better approachability between team members . You can quickly reach out to your team members/seniors and there is a quicker turnaround time (there is no long drawn process or hierarchy involved).
This ease of communication takes team collaboration a notch higher.
6. Greater team bonding
Lastly, behind the effectiveness of smaller teams is the greater sense of team bonding the members enjoy.
With fewer people onboard, good working relationships are formed between team members, with more sense of comfort and familiarity, which contributes to an increased team productivity.
An overall good and healthy team spirit is harboured within smaller teams.
Working in a small team gives you good exposure, which also means that you will face situations where you need to step out of your comfort zone and face a variety of scenarios. But worry not, as this is laying groundwork for your all-round growth and will better equip you to deal with adversity. You will also end up gaining more confidence.