Beyond Teambuilding Seminars
Managers value teamwork because it results in a more effective and profitable organization. In addition to the typical benefits expected from teamwork, our research shows that workgroups with higher teamwork:
- care more about the quality of their work,
- are better at learning from their experiences (acquiring and using information), and
- are better able to resolve their problems at work.
What can you do when teamwork is low?
The 1990′s solution: the teambuilding seminar. Many groups have found teambuilding experiences to be helpful. However, when you take a group of employees who have not worked well as a team in the past and have them attend a teambuilding seminar, the effects of the seminar seem to last for a few months and then tend to disappear.
Why? Surprisingly, it is probably not a reflection of the quality of the seminar. Our employee survey research identifies factors in the workplace that can enhance or hinder teamwork. If these factors are not identified and managed, like trying to get your garden to grow in weed killer, you may be trying to “force” teamwork to occur in a work environment that is actively resisting your efforts.
Pay and Recognition
First, examine your system of pay and recognition. What behaviors are rewarded by pay (increases, bonuses, or commissions)? What behaviors are rewarded by promotions? If your answer is “individual achievement” or “individual performance,” then you’ve discovered a portion of your “problem”: your own reward system. Restructure these systems to include group and team achievements.
Assuming that you have managed pay and recognition, of the factors inside your organization, which ones affect teamwork?
The organization is a white collar, generally progressive company with over 10,000 employees nationwide. Management considers teamwork essential to the organization’s success and teamwork is already part of the pay and recognition structure. As part of a larger project whose goal was to create an employee-driven, employee survey improvement process [our Continuous Improvement Process], NBRI identified four factors that influenced teamwork within workgroups. When these four factors were high, teamwork was high. When the four factors were low, teamwork was low. These factors are similar to what we have found in other organizations.
Related Employee Surveys
Organizational Assessment Survey – These employee surveys cover all aspects of employee life including coworker relationships. Through careful analysis, NBRI can provide your organization with specific actionable items that can combat any potential coworker relationship issues.
View all Employee Surveys by NBRI.