Do individual contribute less in the group?


“No one is accountable if individuals are unaccountable” – Santosh Avvannavar

Welcome to the next article to understand, why often people in a group feels that others aren’t contributing as much one think so? Let me take this out of my experience meeting an HR Manager of a company. Manager had invited me to discuss on the concern that is likely to exists in others. The following points were raised:

  1. How to make employees to take ownership of their work?
  2. People often make or take excuses while working on a project and this is heightened during deadlines. There is blame game everywhere!
  3. But this blame ceases when appraisals happen. Each individuals want to credit it as their project.

The case above and several others like at college project (like group project) Social Loafing is seen (labeled by Bibb Latane, Kipling Williams and Stephen Harkins). This happens because of the ‘common goal’ over the ‘individual goal’, where people tend to put less effort than otherwise. This is true because for a common goal, individuals are not accountable.

The case of Social loafing from Manager’s perspective could be tackled with combinations of following points:

  1. Developing a model to mechanize the evaluation apprehension.
  2. To provide/make task challenging, appealing and involving. This will lead individuals to feel that their efforts will be recognised.
  3. Incentive or reward or promotion could also be reflected on case basis.
  4. Helping people grow in their role that will give a vision to their expectations.
  5. Creating a team with like-minded people, likely to create a team.

The above mentioned five points could probably arrest social loafing by creating a culture of ‘us’.

If social loafing isn’t addressed, will people lose their sense of self in the group? Let’s look into this in our next article. Till then, Good day!

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