A group is simply defined as a number of individuals who talk to each other and interact closely, to the point where the actions of one person are going to influence others as well. To put it simply, a group can consist of two or more individuals who join together to work on achieving a specific target.
In modern organizations, most of the work is done in groups. Teams are made and objectives are assigned to each member to ensure that they are able to meet their targets properly.
A group is simply a bunch of people who get along with each other and have an innate desire to communicate with one another. They are also able to coordinate with one another in order to perform high-performance tasks with ease. A group is simply a bunch of individuals who regularly connect with each other and strive to ensure that each member is able to play their part to achieve a common goal.
There are simpler definitions of groups that you can use as well. These include:
- A bunch of people who are together in one place
- Multiple individuals who connect to each other based on a shared quality, interest, or even an activity
- Multiple individuals with a relationship that ties them together
Depending on the perspective one adopts, the term “group” can be defined in a variety of different ways. Ideally, the members of the group should perceive it as a singular unit, and should be willing to contribute in the fulfilment of different group tasks and playing their role in the completion of different group processes. They are also responsible for agreeing or disagreeing by interacting with each other.
Understanding the Function of a Group
The organizational functions that are separated for each group are essentially designed to help in the realization of an entity’s goals. There are several functions of groups that you should know about, such as:
- They are responsible for working on complicated or independent tasks that are usually quite complex for a single person to perform. If a task can’t be further broken down into a simpler and more independent task, a group might be assigned to finish it.
- Similarly, groups are also responsible for coming up with new ideas and looking for interesting or creative solutions that usually require insight and input from multiple individuals.
- Groups are also responsible for implementing complicated decisions in the workplace. When a group consists of representatives from various other groups, they can easily coordinate and ensure that the activities are aligned properly.
Groups also play an important role in training new recruits. The group members usually teach new entrants about the different norms of the group and the processes adopted within the company.
However, it all depends on the type of groups chosen and created in the workplace.
The Importance of Groups
Jobs in the workplace are becoming more and more complicated and complex, and there is a higher degree of interdependency between multiple jobs. That is one of the main reasons why the importance of groups is increasing with the passage of time.
According to research, it was found that most groups have both informal and formal functions, and they are designed to equally serve the needs of the individual members as well as the organization itself.
For instance, a formal workgroup may eventually turn into a psychologically dependent group that caters to the needs of each of the members within the group. If a group is able to evolve this way, it often leads to greater levels of energy, commitment, and loyalty within the groups. Ultimately, this just helps in meeting the goals of the organization and also improves employee morale.
Different Types of Groups
Now that you have a basic understanding of the various functions of a group and what they are responsible for, it’s important to focus on the different types of groups. Some of the most common types of groups include:
Formal Groups: Formal groups are designed to achieve different objectives within the organization. For instance, a formal marketing group might be created within the organization to help in the achievement of different objectives, such as higher sales numbers. People are generally brought from different departments in the organization to work together with each other.
Informal Groups: Informal structures run parallel to the formal ones in organizations. Informal group structures are generally focused on fostering personal relationships, such as a group of friends. The ultimate aim of informal groups is to meet the psychological and social needs of the individuals within the group.
Goal Groups: This one is fairly obvious: a goal group consists of a bunch of people who come together to work on achieving a desired outcome or an objective. However, you should know that goal groups do not have defined parameters; they are simply given an objective and must work out the best way to achieve their targets.
Learning Groups: Learning groups simply come together in order to increase their overall levels of knowledge. They usually collaborate with each other in order to discuss and explore different things to figure out the best option going forward and increase the net knowledge within the group.
Managed Group: A managed group is one in which a number of people are simply assigned under a manager with a designated title. It is probable that managed groups might not work with each other all the time. but they all share a common link: the manager. More importantly, they are also responsible for completing similar kinds of work.
Process Groups: Then, you have process groups. A process group involves a number of people who come together in order to achieve different objectives and implement different processes. A common example of a process group lies in a manufacturing line. Each movement is meticulously prescribed and every member working on the manufacturing line has their roles clearly defined.
While the interaction between different process groups is very limited in the process line or is predetermined, such as handing one thing off to another, it’s important to understand that the process groups must work in harmony with each other to achieve the objectives of the organization.
Developing Skills for a Healthy Group Situation
It’s also important that the employees who are assigned as a part of the group generally possess a set of traits. For starters, they should know how to take individual responsibility and must take accountability seriously. They should know that they are integrated as a part of the group and are going to have to play an important role in making sure that they uphold the processes and objectives of the group.
Furthermore, they should know how to trust the members of the group and, above all, should be willing to take constructive feedback and work on improving different elements about their work that may bring down the performance of the group as a whole.