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Employee Connection Tips: How to Strategically Place Workers

Employee Connection Tips: How to Strategically Place Workers

Composing a successful team requires selecting individuals with the right skills and knowledge to help the team achieve its goals. At the same time, there's more to it than simply looking at the hard skills required.

Beyond having the ability to get a job done, a team needs to have a strong and positive dynamic to fulfill their true potential. Other factors, such as interpersonal dynamics, must be considered to ensure effective communication, collaboration, and overall performance.

Strategically placing your employees means you can make the most efficient use of your available human resources by placing workers in positions where their skills are most useful. Additionally, you'll find that your employees are happier when they are in roles that align with their career aspirations and showcase their strongest skills and interests.

How can you strategically place workers to produce the best possible outcomes? How can you create connections between employees to ensure that teams and the organization as a whole are functioning like a well-oiled machine? Let's take a look at some tips and tricks to help you strategically place workers and create employee connections.

Recommended Assessment
Team Effectiveness Profile
  • Identify issues that block effectiveness
  • Eliminate issues draining group energy
  • Maximize productive efforts
Learn more

Why It's Worth Placing Workers Strategically

When you strategically place your workers, you are deliberately allocating each employee to specific projects, teams, departments, or roles. Rather than giving people responsibilities and pairing them up willy-nilly, you're striving to optimize the utilization of human resources in a way that best benefits the organization.

An Effective Team

There are practically countless perks to strategically placing workers. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Optimizing skill utilization: When you place employees in roles that fully align with their strengths, expertise, and skills, it means that you can fully utilize all of their abilities. This means that employees will be more motivated and engaged, which, in turn, leads to higher job performance and satisfaction.
  • Improving employee engagement: Employees will be much more likely to be engaged and committed to their work when they feel their role resonates with their interests and career goals. When employees are engaged, they tend to be more enthusiastic, creative, and productive.
  • Enhancing teamwork: Rather than throwing teams together without considering the ideal mix, strategically placing employees allows you to create teams with complementary strengths and diverse skill sets. That allows team members to be better able to come up with creative and innovative solutions in an effort to solve complex problems.
  • Creating efficient workload distribution: When you give careful thought to how you place your employees, it can ensure that workloads are distributed evenly and equitably. Balanced workload distribution is essential for effective and efficient task completion as well as burnout prevention.
  • Increasing retention: Workers will be much more likely to stick with your organization for the long haul when they feel their role aligns with their long-term career goals. When you can increase retention and decrease turnover, it can have exceptionally positive benefits for the culture and organization as a whole.
  • Boosting innovation and creativity: Creative thinking and innovation can be sparked when you put together the right group of people to take on a specific task or project. There truly can be a chemistry between teams that allows them to produce outcomes that would have been impossible for individuals on their own.
  • Promotion of knowledge sharing: When teams are created with care, it can also help to promote knowledge sharing and expertise among team members. That can have positive rippling effects on the entire organization, helping to create a culture of skill development and continuous learning.
  • Healthy company culture: We all know just how vital company culture is for employee satisfaction and performance. When you take the time to determine the best possible placement for your workers, it helps to support a positive organizational culture that attracts and retains top talent.

Are you interested in creating happier, more productive workers who stay with your organization longer? Make sure you check out our Employee Engagement Course.

How to Strategically Place Workers

What factors should you consider when determining where to place your employees?

A Team Working Efficiently

Let's take a closer look.

Have a Clear Understanding of Job Roles and Responsibilities

While there are many considerations to consider when strategically placing workers, one of the first things you'll want to do is ensure you have a crystal clear understanding of everyone's role and responsibility.

Employee Fulfilling Their Job Responsibilities

This information is vital in helping you make informed decisions about where they would best fit within the organization and a team.

Take an Assessment of Skills and Competencies

The next step is thoroughly assessing each employee's skills, strengths, and competencies.

Assessing Employee Skills and Strengths

Having a clear sense of everyone's strengths and weaknesses can help you compose more productive, resilient, and adaptable teams.

Reflect on Interpersonal Dynamics

Now that you've taken a look at the roles, responsibilities, and skills of your employees, it's time to think about how you can make the strongest possible teams from an interpersonal standpoint.

Positive Team Dynamics

That means considering each worker's communication styles, personality, and interpersonal dynamics. While your first instinct might be to put the most similar employees together on the same team, creating a balanced mix of personalities, communication preferences, and work styles is generally ideal.

Would your team benefit from taking stock of their interpersonal skills? Everyone uses influence as a part of their everyday work life, whether they realize it or not, and self-awareness is the first step to ensuring that your management team and employees are able to have a positive impact on organizational importance. To learn more, check out our Interpersonal Influence Inventory.

Consider Career Aspirations

When strategically placing employees, another consideration is the career aspirations of each employee. When you consider this information, you can ensure that you place employees in ways that provide growth opportunities and promote career development.

Strategically Placing Employees

While this obviously will benefit your employees, it also has its perks for the organization as a whole. When workers are assigned roles that fit with their desired career path, you'll find that both motivation and engagement increase. Beyond that, ensuring that people are well placed in relation to their career aspirations can mean dealing with less turnover and retaining valuable talent instead.

Ensure Equitable Distribution of Workloads

Another important consideration is ensuring that the workloads within teams are balanced.

An Equitable Distribution of Workloads

While this will need to be monitored in an ongoing way, as it can change over time, it's also something to think about as you place employees.

Consider Geographic Proximity

These days, it's possible to efficiently and effectively collaborate with others no matter where they are located around the globe. That being said, it's still worth considering team members' physical proximity when strategically placing your employees.

A Remote Team

For example, you might find that it makes sense to prioritize creating teams that primarily work within the same time zone. That can help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to communicate synchronously when necessary.

Are you still learning the ropes of how to manage remote workers? Take a look at our Managing Off-Site Employees Course, which helps managers gain the skills they need to design cohesive and productive teams.

Practice Flexibility

Determining where to place employees in a way that suits the needs of everyone involved can be a big task. For this reason, it's natural to be reluctant to make changes after you've made your decision.

Practicing Workplace Flexibility

The truth is, though, that there is a good chance that changing business conditions, individual preferences, or project requirements will require that you tweak things a bit at some point. Maintaining a sense of flexibility in relation to team assignments can ensure that you are being adaptable and flowing with the ever-changing landscape of your industry, organization, and team.

Employee Connection and Team Building Tips

While strategic placement can go a long way in creating effective teams, more work can be done to help improve team collaboration and success.

Employee Team Building

When your company comprises people with genuinely strong relationships with one another, it can lead to a more productive and engaged workforce. Of course, sometimes friendships emerge organically within and between teams. At the same time, this is increasingly less common as more and more employees work remotely and don't have the same natural opportunities to foster relationships with their co-workers.

Luckily, you can do several things to help your employees connect with one another and increase their collaborative skills.

Host Shared Activities

You can help your employees build relationships within their team and outside of it by hosting shared activities that everyone has the opportunity to participate in.

An Employee Book Club

For example, you could create a book club that allows your co-workers to get to know each other better and discuss ideas that otherwise might not come up in the regular workday.

Prioritize Interaction and Engagement

A significant influence on employee satisfaction is the company culture. When workers have a warm working environment that surrounds them, it actively supports their ability to connect with one another. The most successful companies are well aware of this fact and, therefore, prioritize engagement.

A Team Interacting

It's well worth the time, effort, and resources to create opportunities for workers to interact, get to know each other, and work together.

Form Joint Committees

If you're interested in fostering relationships across teams and departments, another thing you can do is form joint committees. For instance, you might choose to start a growth committee if your organization is excelling in its growth.

A Joint Committee

Employees then have the opportunity to volunteer to participate, allowing collaboration, creativity, and new relationships while also allowing people to showcase their ideas, skill sets, and knowledge.

Tackle a Volunteer Project

While this might not be as feasible for remote teams, hybrid or in-office teams can create relationships by tackling a project outside work.

A Team Tackling a Volunteer Project

By joining up and taking on a task that helps improve your community, you'll find that new relationships are forged and shared memories are created to help tie the team together.

Involve Employees in Decision Making

If you really want to get your employees engaged in their work, one thing you can do is involve them in decision-making.

Involving Employees in Decision Making

Doing so will boost engagement and morale and create opportunities for team members to get to know each other better and discuss their views on upcoming team and organizational decisions.

Create Built-In Opportunities for Interaction

Perhaps the most direct way to foster genuine relationships between your workers is by creating opportunities for them to interact with one another outside of daily projects and tasks. This is particularly important for employees who don't typically work together.

Employees Interacting Outside of Projects

There's an endless list of things you can do to create these interactive opportunities– from peer recognition programs and happy hours to coffee chats and book clubs.

Creating Strong Teams: The Tools You Need to Succeed

There is something remarkable about how different groupings of people can have such a tremendous impact on productivity and effectiveness. Just one small change to a team can produce surprising results, changing the dynamics and leading to vastly different outcomes.

When it comes to building the strongest teams, the truth is it's both an art and a science. So many different factors go into creating effective teams that it can feel pretty overwhelming trying to piece together your dream team.

A Strong Team

Even when you've designed the ultimate team for a particular project, it's worth considering that there is always room to grow. If you're interested in boosting your team's effectiveness, you'll want to look at our assessment and workshop: the Team Effectiveness Profile.

Designed specifically to help identify issues that block team effectiveness, maximize productivity, and eliminate issues that can drain the team's energy, the Team Effectiveness Profile can be used for intact work groups or to prepare a newly formed group for the types of problems that could block their success.

Do you have any questions about strategically placing workers, our Team Effectiveness Profile, or anything else we mentioned in this article? If so, be sure to let us know in the comments section down below, and we'll get back to you within a day or two. We make it a point to reply to every comment we receive, and we'd be more than happy to assist you however we can. 

Recommended Assessment
Team Effectiveness Profile
  • Identify issues that block effectiveness
  • Eliminate issues draining group energy
  • Maximize productive efforts
Learn more
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About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.