The second thing is the importance and clarity of the team's overall mission. They express their findings in five points:
- Psychological safety: Everyone feels safe in taking risks around their team members, and that they won't be embarrassed or punished for doing so.
- Dependability: Everyone completes quality work on time.
- Structure and clarity: Everyone knows their specific expectations are. These expectations must be challenging yet attainable.
- Meaning: Everyone has a sense of purpose in their work (i.e., financial security, supporting family, helping the team succeed, etc.).
- Impact: Everyone sees that the result of their work actually contributes to the organization's overall goals.
This goes against a lot of what other business experts say; there is a whole industry devoted to identifying the particular personality traits that make for effective team members so companies can hire those people and avoid grumblers, prima donas and what have you. Some of these experts have vociferously criticized Google's work.
I suspect that Google's approach is closer to the truth because it fits with what I consider to be the central finding of modern psychology: circumstances have as much impact on how people act as anything internal. The notion that people have a core personality that manifests in the same way in every circumstance (honest or crooked, for example) has not been verified by research.
Personally I have found that how archaeologists get along is mostly determined by the circumstances of the project: if it's an interesting dig in decent weather with adequate time and money, everybody gets along, but if you ask people to dig a lot of empty holes at 100 degrees or 20 degrees and harass them to meet implausible deadlines, people fight. Now, when you get to *who* starts complaining and squabbling and taking extra breaks, personality seems to come into the picture in a big way; some people deal with lousy circumstances much better than others. But the best way to fix the problem is to improve conditions.
So if you want to get people to work well together, give them the right circumstances: pay them well, give them a clearly defined job, make that job something worth doing, and reward them for getting good results. Don't waste a lot of time searching for perfect team members and then throw them into a bad mission.