How Work Teams Resolve Social Loafing and Groupthink
In any group, team, or organization, there will always be problems or conflicts that will arise. However, among all those problems, possibly two of most notable ones are social loafing and groupthink. Social loafing is a social phenomenon wherein a person working in a group contributes less than when he or she is working alone. This basically leads to decrease in productivity among a team.
On the other hand, groupthink is when members in a group resolve a problem or come up with consensus without first analyzing and evaluating other pertinent ideas to avoid possible conflict which is due to the usually different point of views of team members. This attitude or mentality usually causes a team or a group to make hasty or irrational decisions that may lead to disastrous results. These two problems, however, can easily be resolved through concerted team efforts. One of the best ways to solve or even prevent social loafing is by inspiring or motivating team members.
The first step in doing so is by pairing a certain team member who is not doing anything with another member to finish a collaborative task. In addition, all team members must somehow feel that their task or role is as valuable as any other role in team to motivate them more to do their jobs well. Moreover, it is also imperative that team members be given a chance to choose which tasks or roles they feel they can accomplish so that they would function more as a team and just simply several individuals working together.
On the other hand, one of most important ways to eliminate and prevent groupthink is by allowing all team members to freely express their ideas, thoughts, and views. In addition, the team should also assign several independent groups that would work on the same task or the same problem in order to minimize conflicts and bias among team members. It is also helpful to invite experts who give their insights and thoughts meetings to promote impartiality. Furthermore, any team or organization should also see to it that all of the team members’ opinions are heard and that all alternative solutions are discussed.