Survey Finds Teamwork Can Be Stressful for Employees

21 Feb, 2020 Chriss Swaney


Sarasota, FL (  A new survey from Reflektive, found that teamwork can be a source of pain at work.  Nearly half (46 percent) say the biggest problem with working on teams is the different working styles. And 90 percent of workers say groups of six or more make it difficult to contribute in a meaningful way.

“We found that the most pervasive obstacles for individual team members are communication, equitable distribution of work, accountability and trust,’’ said CEO Greg Brown of Reflektive, a people management platform “empowering companies to get the most value from and for their employees,” the company says.

Even more concerning, the survey revealed that 84 percent of directors say they do not even know their teams’ goals. The survey, which canvassed 1,000 workers nationwide also found that many companies lack the technology and programs to create a culture of continuous feedback.

“Our research also found that there are significant discrepancies in how different demographics view teamwork,’’ said Brown.

For instance, the research shows that women are twice as likely as men to feel anxious when they first hear about a new team project. In addition, workers over age 65 respond more positively to new team projects; they are 114 percent less likely to be concerned and 20 percent more likely to be excited, compared to their younger peers.

Brown said the data also revealed discrepancies in the resources and organizational transparency available to team members.

Women are 38 percent more likely to not have visibility into teams’ goals. Older workers are 94 percent  more likely to report that they don’t  have the tools they need to work with other teams effectively, according to the research.  

One of the drivers of these teamwork issues is simply personality differences; 46 percent of  survey respondents reported that working on teams is difficult  due to different working styles.

“Frequent communication  and greater visibility into colleagues’ goals and projects

can help alleviate the inherent challenges of teamwork and technology platforms that enable ongoing  team feedback and team goal alignment can help mitigate these issues,’’ Brown said.

Brown further recommends that leaders, “help define the outcome and what success looks like. They should identify the ideal end state, but give the team autonomy on how they want to get there. This helps the team feel they have more ownership of their work.”  Brown also recommends that leaders strive to create diverse teams to bring in different perspectives, strengths and skillsets.

Despite the many challenges to effective teamwork where 81 percent of the nation’s workers work on teams, survey results showed that performance conversations are still not supporting teams effectively.

The report found that traditional management solutions focus on past performance rather than continuous improvements and that performance technologies and programs are centered on the individual rather than the team.

“To support the new ways in which people work, companies need programs and technologies built for team work and collaboration,’’ according to the Reflektive data.


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    About The Author

    • Chriss Swaney

      Chriss Swaney is a freelance reporter who has written for Antique Trader Magazine, Reuters, The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, the Burlington Free Press, UPI, The Tribune-Review and the Daily Record.

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