Informal teams are teams that crop up on their own among employees. Unlike formal teams, the former is formed by employees and are not supervised by the management. There are also no rules in groups that arise to create an avenue for interaction; relationships are what bind and guide them.
Casual interactions in an organization can form anywhere, anytime and can thus be disbanded similarly without consulting the management. Moreover, they help to get more work done and increase productivity.
One thing about informal settings in an organization is that they come up mostly to provide a sense of belonging to other employees. A sense of belonging and togetherness among employees tends to boost energy and motivation levels in the workforce.
Employees who feel welcomed and who are comfortable with other colleagues are often more productive than those who feel shunned out.Informal teams or groups emerge whenever people come together and interact regularly.
As a manager, therefore, in as much formal teams are crucial in an organization and have a more defined role in the same, you should embrace these informal groups that crop up and appreciate your employees for trying to create harmony, love, togetherness, and coexistence in the organization.
While formal teams are formed by the management to solve matters specific to the organization, informal interactions are often formed for social reasons and mainly to interact. Other than that, there are many other benefits of casual interactions in organization, these include;
Benefits of Informal teams :
Unlike formal groups where communication is restricted due to the unity of command, informal groups breed excellent communication. This is because there are no chains of command, rules or regulations limiting people to speak their mind.
To put it clear, an advantage of casual groups in an organization is that it fosters good communication across all divides. When employees interact and mingle, they feel free with one another, and as mentioned above, the absence of a watchdog gives them the freedom and confidence to speak freely and express their concerns without the fear of being scorned or facing harsh consequences.
What is more is that an organization where employees coexist, productivity is always at its peak and problems solving can be quite easy. This is because employees can air out their concerns and bring up brilliant ideas that can be forwarded to the management and thus implemented to benefit the organization as a whole.
Informal interactions often provide an opportunity for leadership to other employees. In most organizations, the only way you can get a leadership role or senior position in the firm is when you impress the management with your work skills, are a highly productive person or simply a favourite of the big boys.
Now, not everyone usually fits in these shoes; not everyone is always able to meet the expectations to set to be considered for leadership roles in the organization. In an informal group, however, there is an equal opportunity to gain a leadership role. A simple cashier can be chosen to head their social group on a bowling game or hiking adventure.
3) Ethical and moral values
Teamwork supports in developing exceptional moral values among the team members. Being in a team enables employees to interact with very many people and at different levels.These are people that have different temperaments and attitudes. By being a member of these groups, employees learn how to deal with all kinds of individuals.
What matters a lot in casual interactions is the behaviour of the team members. Employees’ behaviour becomes a blend of politeness, courtesy, perseverance, patience, care, love and sincerity. When people get to know each other, they learn to reconcile on things like decision making, resources, timing, quality standards, etc.
Employees get better chances of grooming their personality when they interact with other people rather when they seclude themselves in the space of their own or when in a formal group where supervision and commands chains are the order of the day.
Informal groups often form when employees meet outside work and interact at a personal level. When they come together on a regular basis, trust, confidence, understanding, and bonds begin to form leading to relations i.e. friendship within employees.
When relationships are created in groups, member begins to feel a sense of solidarity for each other especially when they are faced with situations that affect them negatively. Being able to count on a friend at work whether it is hanging out after work or sharing issues and concerns with them bring a great source of strength for employees who are often under pressure at work. Members of informal teams tend to subordinate some of their individual needs to those of the team as a whole.
A good example of this situation is when a team of women with families come together. They will support each other as they share similar predicaments of managing work and family. Also, when they get marginalized for being women, they often give each other strength to look past their gender and work hard to prove every other person in the organization wrong.
Informal teams in an organization are quite useful. In these teams, people of different personalities, talents, and skills come together and interact. There is a wide variety of social interaction. If a frustrating situation comes up, the members are there to provide solidarity to the team. They support one another in every situation whether personal or work related.
In a causal interaction, people go in the same direction. Sharing the same ideas, supporting one another, and sharing love bonds to help them overcome work pressures.
A good manager, head or leader must, therefore, have the capability to support and be okay with casual teams cropping up in their organization. You should know how to provide moral support and not underestimate or ridicule groups that cater for peaceful coexistence and understanding in the organization.