Disadvantages of Teamwork in the Workplace & Tips for Effective Workplace.
Disadvantages of Teamwork in a Workplace: Workplace efforts to collaborate on a project can increase employee productivity and creativity. Group work can help accelerate job completion, help supervisors recognize their employees’ individual talents, and reveal the direction for future work assignments.
In some circumstances, group work can cause challenges, so it may be better for employees to work independently. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of group work and tips for establishing effective teamwork.
What is Group Work?
Group work is when two or more employees work cooperatively to complete a project. Often, individuals receive different roles within the group to provide accountability among its members. In some fields, creativity thrives when people share ideas freely and can benefit from others’ input. When assembled thoughtfully, employee groups can produce quality work with positive collaboration and encouragement.
Disadvantages of Teamwork in a Workplace
There may be an unequal division of labor
Group work can make uneven contributions seem the same. In some scenarios, one or two team members may be responsible for most of the work and the entire team may still receive credit. This can affect a team’s unity and purpose.
It may create a loss of available resources
There are times when a team will lose its focus collectively because it looks toward the end result more than the steps needed to get there in the first place. Planning and organization traps can cause teams to drop their productivity levels dramatically. Some teams struggle to get started because everyone tries to pursue their own specific ideas instead of using brainstorming processes to find an outcome that is mutually beneficial for everyone.
Employee Assessment Problems
Because a team functions as a group and a group has communal responsibility, it can be difficult for managers and supervisors to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of individual team members. If a team is successful, for instance, how and why they achieved their goal may not be clear. Which individuals contributed the most work? Which individuals were the most detail-oriented? Also, which individuals did the most to keep the group organized and delegate tasks?
It can create conflict at home or in the workplace
Different personalities will always clash. If this issue comes with ineffective communication, then the team will experience conflict. This problem will continue to grow if no one involved wants to try to find a resolution. These concerns can disrupt the productivity of the rest of the team too, which lowers morale for everyone.
Conflict can even cause some team members to become so unhappy that they purposely sabotage the environment to prevent others from achieving success. The only way to prevent this issue is to respect ideas, be polite, and have a willingness to compromise.
Communication skills can vary by a person on a team. Even those who are well-practiced at it can experience breakdowns on occasion. When this happens, a lack of trust almost always develops in the team.
Longer Project Timelines
Many processes take much longer when there’s a team involved. Much more coordination, work distribution, feedback, and general organization are needed when a project is being tackled by a team rather than an individual. Decisions can also be harder to reach in a group situation, which can result in slower progress toward goals, projects taking longer to complete, costing more money, and consuming more of an organization’s resources.
It prevents individual workers from finding ways to excel. Some people naturally work better on their own. These folks do not fit well into the average team environment because it makes them uncomfortable. If they can work on their own and be left alone by the rest of the team for most of their work, then this structure can still offer benefits.
It requires additional training time
If you have someone work with a new employee, then you can have your new hire hit the ground running. Bringing a new team into an environment generates additional training responsibilities in comparison.
You can almost always see where an individual worker made a mistake, making it a simpler process when corrections are necessary. Team-based environments generate more information, which makes it challenging at times to determine where a fault may occur.
It may not produce higher levels of productivity
Teamwork creates higher productivity levels because it meshes the strengths of multiple people together into one cohesive unit. This process does not work as efficiently if several individuals have the same strengths and skills.
Managers can cause a team to disintegrate quickly by hiring the same personality types, skill sets, and other similarities for their comfort. Putting together a group of individuals does not create a team. You must have people who complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses for the best results.
Blame and Responsibility Issues
When something goes wrong, there can be a tendency for team members to blame one another. While this isn’t always the case and depends largely on the team members themselves, it is not uncommon for individuals to attempt to distance themselves from blame and responsibility.
When a single individual completes a task or project and a mistake is found, it is usually quite clear that they were the ones who made the mistake. With a group, however, it can be much more difficult to work out where the fault actually occurred, especially if team members have differing opinions as to who was responsible for what.
In addition to conflicts arising between individuals, teams can also split into factions, where two or more sub-groups each have their own agenda or “political” stance. This type of situation can be difficult to resolve without dissolving the whole team and rebuilding afresh.
You can experience successful outcomes if you use these tips to organize groups:
Consider personalities and work styles. Try to assign people to a project who has similar working styles and work schedules. For example, two employees who work in the same office may have an easier time coordinating meetings than members of a group who work remotely. Creating a group with similarities can increase collaboration and productivity.
Assign each person a role. A group can function smoothly when each person’s responsibilities are clear. When creating a group, make sure each team member receives a role that entails specific duties. For example, you can assign someone to be the group coordinator who would be responsible for creating a meeting schedule and ensuring that the team completes tasks on time.
Use groups for training. New employees can benefit from the expertise and work experience of long-term members of the company. Assigning new or younger employees to groups where they will feel valued and encouraged can be a great way to train them. The company’s work environment and mission can become clearer to them through participation in collaborative work.
Group work can be effective if you use it in the right scenarios and you carefully select the team. Consider using a group for longer or more complex projects with tasks that could benefit from the expertise of multiple employees.