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The Merits and Demerits of Teamwork

by Jody Ordioni

The Merits and Demerits of Teamwork

Teamwork is the motto of each and every company today. While collaborative efforts are a dynamic place to generate innovative ideas and enhance performance, they can also be high-pressure situation. Conflicts can overshadow the efforts, people are usually dissatisfied with the credit they get, usually someone ends up being responsible for the duties of other- these are some problems that arise when teams are supposed to work well.

However, what research fails to mention is that the source of this stress is most often the employers and managers pressurizing the employees, rather than conflict arising within the team. While employees have to be pushed to a certain degree to get them to perform their best, invading their boundaries might have adverse effects on them such as decreasing productivity and increasing turnover.

The Varying Effect of Teamwork

In a study that interviewed 664 managers and 5-20 employees under each of the managers, it was found that teamwork had varying effects on the well-being of employees and organizational performance. It was observed that teamwork positively affected organizational performance.

One of the reasons of this proportional growth was attributed to the sense of commitment of employees towards the organization. In workplaces where responsibility was equally divided among team members regarding products and services, there was a spike in the productivity levels. Workplaces where employees relied on each other to share responsibilities also reported an increase in financial areas.

Yet team work is also responsible for increasing the load of work on the employees, which in turn can lead to higher levels of anxiety. As the responsibilities were heaped more onto a concentrated group, the limitation of time leads them to feel highly anxious. The shared responsibility also creates a tension to meet deadlines, thereby forcing them to work overtime. These anxieties can be countered by instilling a pride towards the organization in the employees.

Moreover, sharing common organizational values also relieves the stress concerning this burden. Higher levels of engagement within the employees can also counter the demanding nature of such collaborative efforts.

There are certain traits associated with a workplace that results higher in team performance. Usually the managers make efforts to equip the employees with apt tools and resources. Time away from work spent in training and learning new skills. Even in the workplace, more than one-third of the managers were in favor of handing control to the employees- in areas such as pace, variety, input about decisions. Employees are also appreciative of such careful measures as it helps them to cope with the stress of the workplace.

On the other hand, those companies that did not perform well in the teamwork model, registered high levels of frustration amongst employees. The primary hindrances to success were uncooperative behavior of the managers, lesser opportunities for growth and development, and managers bit valuing the input of employees. Conflicts between managers and employees cause higher levels of stress in employees than any internal conflict within the team. Thus, managers have an important role to play in the maintenance of well being of the employees.

The Bottom Line

Teamwork is a model that remains relevant for all times to come. As an employer, it is to be understood that working closely can also have negative consequences. Better results can be achieved only when employers act as mediators, preserving the well being of the employees. It is the task of the employers to delegate work in such a manner that high priority tasks are accomplished first. Areas of concern should be communicated clearly, to build a better understanding of roles. Letting work pressure rise to high levels only deteriorates the health of the employees.

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