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Such a popular expression now is “emotional burnout” ... What should happen to a person so that he becomes insensitive to others, immune to grief, to feelings, hard-hearted and rather…

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Conducting a staff study: causes and benefits
While customer understanding has long been the key to a successful management strategy, the special importance of understanding our own employees has become increasingly recognized. Employees can be excellent representatives…

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Triggers and motivation in advertising
Why do some products get our attention and some not? How do some foods shape our habits? Do these products have any similar features and patterns? This book describes a…

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Social laziness in a team or Let’s do my job together

Social laziness in a team or Let’s do my job together
The effect of social laziness (Ringelman effect) is a psychological effect consisting in a fall in individual effectiveness when working together in a group. The total achievements built on the individual efforts of the participants, as a rule, exceed those in which the participants act together. The larger the team, the more social laziness manifests itself.

Barge Haulers on the Volga, Repin
If there is a lot of work and one person can’t cope, then by putting two on this section we will double the productivity, and if three – we will triple? Let’s take an example: One horse can pull a cart weighing three of its masses, about 1.5 tons, in good conditions and on a level road. What is the total mass of a team of two, three, six horses? The theory of team work, widely disseminated by popular resources on the Internet, argues that in this case a team of two horses will pull not three tons of cargo, but six. It is not for nothing that they say that one head is good, but two are better; one is not a warrior in the field, etc. Yes, there are often situations that seem overwhelming to one, and, having leaned together, it seems like they are arguing. How many times have examples of spontaneous self-organization of teamwork been observed in work collectives and in offices? Maybe it is not in vain that they say that man is a social animal and it is also more convenient to work for him in a team, jointly solving one problem?

Returning to the problem of horses, fortunately, scientists were puzzled by this question, and according to Academician V.P. Goryachkin, the loss of traction force with a double team is 6%, with a three-horse – 12%, a four-horse – 18%, etc. Practically, the loss traction force in multi-horse harnesses largely depends on how correctly selected are the same in height, strength, speed and temperament of the horse. It turns out that there is a direct loss of productivity with an increase in the number of horses. Researchers of the effectiveness of horse-drawn traction at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries came to the conclusion that the effectiveness of multi-horse teams is mainly achieved by saving on coachmen, carriages, and the most effective team is a pair, and for heavy mail carriages and long-distance transportation – six.

In the modern theory of management, one manager for 6 executors will be considered the normal ratio of managers and subordinates, depending on the complexity and coordination of tasks, this indicator can change by plus or minus two subordinates. Thus, it will be quite effective to have one supervisor for 4-8 employees. It turns out that a team of seven or six works on the effectiveness of five people plus one boss with a complete separation of production. Five work for seven, although the proverb says “one with a bipod – seven with a spoon”, which is more like the truth. Take another look at Repin’s painting “Barge Haulers on the Volga” – how many of them are pulling their straps with full dedication, and how many are standing on their feet just because their yoke prevents them from falling. Of the eleven hacks, three or five work, the rest barely stand on their feet.

It is only believed that the team reaches for the best, it may be during some special emotional outbursts, but in gray everyday realities everything is simpler – the team is built on the weakest player, since no one wants to rework. As in the calculation of complex systems – the performance of the entire system depends on the weakest element. If the computer has a weak processor, then what difference does it make that the other parts work fast – the whole computer will “slow down”. So with people, everyone will stand with great pleasure and will wait until the slowest completes their work.

In Russia, the situation can be observed quite often, especially in work collectives, when seven are waiting for one; either they didn’t deliver the materials, then the electrician didn’t have time, the boss didn’t sign, and not only those who are forced to stand idle begin to wait, but all with the team “for the company” so that it would not hurt others to work while some are resting. In this case, no one will think about how not to waste time and do now what is now possible, or to help someone who is delaying everyone. In Israel, on the contrary, it is more often possible to observe a situation when everyone walks in a crowd and do the work of one, then the other together. At first it surprised me very much, but I think the reason is the same – no one wants to recycle. The kibbutz past left its mark – they don’t like lazy people, but they’re afraid of recycling, so everyone tries to do it together, although labor productivity does not greatly benefit from this.

Psychologist Fred Emery, one of the pioneers of modern organizational development science, proposed in 1980 the theory of sociotechnical systems, which suggests that the best results are obtained if tasks are grouped so that employees are initially related to each other by a common task, but are independent in separate assignments.

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