Psychological climate is an important component of the effective functioning of the team, because it affects the personal productivity of employees, and the coherence and synergy of the team. Historically, despite the interest in collective education in the domestic, then Soviet psychology, the problem of psychological group atmosphere, compatibility, and collective cohesion in science was first raised in the West. This was due to the social order to the development of the topic. The business of psychologists has a question - how, besides material incentives, it is possible to achieve an increase in productivity in groups. Psychotechnicians of that time found out that labor productivity is related to the compatibility of the personalities of the employees in the group.
The psychological climate is favorable or unfavorable. If it is impossible to be in a group, the motivation to work, even with a strong initial interest, will steadily decline.
The concept of socio-psychological climate
Each group has a competitive atmosphere that can be traced even in the world of animals and children's groups, where the subjects themselves do not give themselves an account of that, but some of them are always more initiative, sociable, skillful. A certain hierarchy of leadership and subordination is being formed, and cultural mechanisms of interaction should be included here.
How can people navigate in their relationships in groups? There is a need to select people into groups according to the principle of psychological compatibility, which has been done in the West for more than 100 years. Today, however, most of our teams are formed spontaneously, without observing any principle. Occasionally, the task to form a coordinated effective team is given by a private large business or specialized government agencies. In other cases, a favorable psychological atmosphere is a rarity, often even an accident.
Next to the formal relationship management structure, if it is present in a group, there is an informal leadership structure. It is important whether the official structure is unofficial. It is good for the team if the leader is also appointed in the psychological sense. Otherwise, when the leadership appoints a person from himself, and within the team, moreover, there is another informal leader, confrontations are inevitable.
A team can exist nominally, the participants can communicate very superficially or even not interact at all, as happens, for example, with groups of correspondence students or a team of managers located in different cities of branches. In order to create a favorable psychological climate in the team - the actual presence of participants in it, their belonging to the team, their interaction is necessary.
To create a positive climate, they resort to special classes, training at the advanced training stages, and corporate rallying games. People within the system reanimate themselves and relationships are not able to. In games for interaction, when employees at different ages and status must even make physical contact, hold, raise each other, look, communicate, they take off their masks, move away from assigned roles and begin to show themselves in live communication. Joint actions and transparency, when one can see a person in activities, contribute to the growth of confidence, the moral and psychological climate in the team improves.
However, attempts to rally the team through corporate values and joint pastime are not always successful. Often they are held only nominally by the task of the government, on the ground even without the participation of professionals and superficial in character. This is what happens when beautiful slogans sound, which are not found in response to living people, are not tied to their intrapersonal and interpersonal psychological reality. Important here are the psychological qualities of the person himself. Arrogance, suspicion, aggressiveness, bragging, even ordinary isolation repel people and become prerequisites for conflicts. To unite the team then it becomes possible only when solving hidden problems, protracted confrontations that reduce the moral and psychological climate in the team to nothing. Participation is also required of the leadership itself, which is an integral part of the team.
Today collectivism is a thing of the past, no matter what is declared, but in most groups individualism prevails. Corporate ethics, especially in highly specialized communities of the military, doctors, teachers, partly protects a person, facilitating personal responsibility and even partially replaces ideology, common values, norms within the professional group arise.
In a genuine team, employees want and recognize their interchangeability, but they recognize themselves as a union, they feel that they are for each other, whole as a group. Psychological compatibility means that the current composition of the group is possible to realize the goals of the activity. While psychological cohesion from the point of view of social psychology means that this group is not only possible but integrated in the best way, everyone perceives everyone as a necessary and positive person.
Socio-psychological climate in the team and its significance
The climate of the collective is most often under threat due to conflicts. However, after all, conflicts are a natural phenomenon that cannot be avoided and should not be attempted to be completely excluded from labor practices. Conflicts should not be afraid, but they need to be able to manage. The theory of real conflict reveals the fact that when we are divorced on opposite sides of the barricades, we have different interests, belong to different groups, we have different status - this situation can always be described as a latent conflict. Having studied the rules of conflict-free communication, the manager will be able to bring them to the staff, which will allow to extinguish conflicts or bring them out of the working environment.
The conflict has a diagnostic role, moreover, it can and should be considered as a certain critical point that can always be overcome. With the right strategy, even at the expense of this conflict itself, it is possible to reach a new level of communication, effective interaction. There are also more or less conflicted people, which can be assessed when selecting and not including the conflicted person in the team.
Why conflicts arise most often? The reasons here are psychological and sociological. The psychological component here is that some people have an unhealthy character, self-esteem, a bad attitude towards colleagues, work. Sociological is revealed through the theory of informal groups, explaining conflicts through their opposition.
According to Litvak, each team has three main subgroups. The first one is educational and careerist. These are people who study, constantly master new progressive methods, they want to improve, to make work more effective. The second group is called cultural and entertainment. These are not bad working people, but performing tasks only "from and to", having their own other interests, hobbies, or other, more fascinating profession. They want to leave everything as it is now, not to make changes, not to learn. And the third group is the so-called alcoholic. The goals of each group are different - the educational and careerist wants to develop, the cultural and entertainment wants to not be touched, the alcoholic wants to drink.
When one of the groups is present in the team, it is a stable team, conflicts in it are unlikely. But already in the presence of a group of educational and careerist and second, cultural and entertainment, conflicts are inevitable. The head is often related to the educational and careerist, and his task is to form his dominant group, then the team will be stable and effective, since the other group that is in the minority will not be able to counteract. Identify who belongs to your group and make a bet on them, give them support, show that you trust them, that you are one group.
What to do with an alcoholic group? Clear - dismiss. Because if you do not remove the rotten apple from the plate, everything will spoil. And with cultural and entertainment? If its participants perform tasks well, do not oppose, do not anti-lead, do not interfere, and the group is small - you can work with them, but know that in the long-term perspective they will not become your followers.
The management style may be chosen from authoritarian, democratic or conniving. The middle one, democratic, is recommended, authoritarian can be resorted to in emergency situations, and conniving can be used in relation to, for example, simple work that the subordinate has already done many times.
What is better to use - rivalry or cooperation? It may seem that rivalry is more effective, because colleagues are fighting with each other, working better and better, trying to be evaluated. However, in a strategic perspective, this is a more dangerous relationship, fraught with the outbreak of the struggle for resources and influence. Cooperation is more profitable in the long term, especially for the educational career group. It gives respect and support to each employee of the team, which over time provides confidence and a sense of integrity of the group, whose interests people can put above their own.
Creating a favorable psychological climate in the team
Everyone has heard about the role of the psychological climate, understand its importance, but very few people really deal with it. Moreover, this is necessary and even costly justified, because most conflicts are hidden in nature, often not even manifested, but the tension between incompatible personalities is often acutely experienced by both parties, taking resources that could be invested in the workflow.
It is important to create the necessary psychological atmosphere and invest in the comfort of the participants. So in the educational team was carried out psychodiagnostics of children and found weak points of interaction for everyone. Then the children were asked to sit down as they would like. It is noteworthy that everyone tried to choose a place with that classmate who is complementary to him according to his personality, thereby compensating for weaknesses. In those groups where psychological features are taken into account, people are less sick and demonstrate greater productivity.
At work, where there is a favorable psychological climate, employees are held not because of stability or payment, but by their desire, they appreciate the condition they get at work. What are the factors of psychological comfort?
The creation of a positive climate is largely influenced not by the corporate psychologist or the personnel department, but by the immediate supervisor. No less important is the friendly shoulder of a colleague. Ask employees in a relaxed atmosphere if they feel that there are people nearby who are ready to help them and lend support.
The employee should know that he is being scolded only for real mistakes. Here he has all the chances to build a career, there is no cronyism and the appointment to leading positions "to pull". Moreover, he should have the opportunity not only to grow professionally and with personnel, but to grow personally. Is this a place of work where he learns more, grows over himself intellectually, morally, psychologically? Find out if the employee is willing to stay at work overtime. And, if he is ready, never leave him to work beyond the norm. You must exceed the expectations of people, and then they will feel satisfied.
Is there humor in the team? Humor helps to cope with tense, nervous work, especially in the field of working with people, sales, major transactions. Be sure to regularly celebrate some holidays at work, whether it is the birthday of an employee, a company, or generally accepted dates - it doesn’t matter what kind of a holiday is celebrated and on what scale, it’s important for employees to be together, open up and relax.
Some managers hold the position that friendship between colleagues is unacceptable. Psychologists disagree with what, stating the need for employees to interact through informal channels for natural functioning, comfort, and even team building. Man and the workplace must be treated not only as an element of the system, but as an individual. If a person realizes himself as a full-fledged person at work, this speaks of the effective work of the entire organization.
A manager in case of problems in a team should review their leadership style and even sometimes themselves, character, personality traits, which are manifested in relation to employees. The most acceptable in most organizations today is a flexible, situational leadership style, which requires a combination of different managerial styles depending on the goals of the manager. The authoritarian style becomes more rare and unacceptable, the democratic one dominates as the main style. On the part of the psychological atmosphere, teams with flexible democratic leadership look much more attractive and are more desirable for applicants.
However, the first error most often occurs at the time of team building due to the lack of professional selection and compatibility diagnosis in order to create a well-coordinated team. The reasons may be flaws in personnel services, a psychologist and a manager when they are personally present at the interview. Even if the goal is to reorganize the team later, taking into account the needs and peculiarities of the organization and management, resorting to the services of professionals - over time, this brings positive results.
Psychologists, unlike, unfortunately, from many managers, have a positive project approach to the personality, according to which person you can always develop. If a person is, for example, conflicted, but, as often happens, he is a valuable professional - if he has a desire, working with a psychologist can reduce his personal conflict level.