I spell "team" with an "m" and "e" - Why some people hate working as a team
Psychtests.com uncovers some of the reasons why employees may dislike working as a group.
MONTREAL, CANADA (PR.COM) -- July 26, 2010
Psychtests.com, one of the web's foremost sources of personality, career, and IQ assessments, are revealing the results of their popular Team Orientation test. Men and women, individuals of different age groups, and even those who aren't very popular at work seem to express various concerns about the "uncooperative" side of working as a team.
You peer at the clock in the meeting room. It's two hours after your regular finishing time and you're almost completely brain-dead - the most you can muster is an occasional "mmm-hmm" and a few nods. You return your focus back to the meeting, a brainstorming session on a new marketing idea for your latest product. The team has been debating the same idea for the last two hours, until the IT guy pipes in about perhaps getting some dinner…Chinese anyone? Dear God, another debate ensues about fried vs. steamed rice. Finally, it hits you. A brilliant idea that will get you that raise you've been looking for. You announce it to the team, and everyone agrees enthusiastically. You feel like a hero. The next day, your boss thanks the whole team for their hard work. You're flabbergasted - now you have to share the credit for your masterpiece of a plan? You run to the fridge, stabbing away at the leftover chicken dumplings with a vengeance.
Teamwork is the foundation of success for many companies. Creative ideas are more easily generated, large workloads can be shared, and it's always great to have others to turn to for help. For many people though, teamwork rarely works like a well-oiled machine - more likely a rusty set of gears that creak and squeak at each other. And there's always that one gear that doesn't work well with the rest…
After collecting data for their Team Orientation test from over 18,000 test-takers, PsychTests learned a great deal about why teamwork isn't always hugs and pats on the back. Their statistics reveal that the top three concerns that their testing population had about teamwork were unclear team roles, unfair workloads, and concerns about being held up (taking longer to reach decisions, slow workers, etc.). In terms of gender differences, men were more frustrated with having to constantly consult with team members and not having full control over the outcome of a project, while women were slightly more concerned about being criticized by team members and having to speak up in front of others.
"Our data show that the majority of people don't mind having a mix of solo and group projects, but of course, teamwork doesn't come without reservations," points out Dr. Jerabek, president of the company. "Even sports teams may look good out on the field, but the locker room will tell a different story. Almost every team, in sports and business, has its "divas", or the ones who refuse to listen to others, the ones who don't want to pull their own weight, the ones who want to keep all the good ideas to themselves...the bottom line is, if you don't have a strong team leader pulling everyone together - and this is often a management issue - you'll have a whole bunch of "I's" rather than "We's".
PsychTests' data also revealed that younger age groups (24 and under) tended to have more teamwork concerns than their older counterparts, particularly in terms of being held back by team members, unfair workloads, and the idea of having to depend on others. In fact, 40% of people agreed with the statement that "if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!"
Even if you hate working on a team, would you go as far as to decline teamwork opportunities? Well, 16% of PsychTests' test-takers have done so. Top concerns for this group indicated that once again, the main concerns were being held up, unclear work roles, and an unfair workload. Even level of popularity at work seemed to impact views on teamwork, with less popular employees hating the idea of getting stuck with someone else's workload, of being held up by their team (50% feel that they could work much faster on their own), and having to depend on others. PsychTests' data also reveals that 44% of people worry about whether other people like to work with them, 45% have worked with at least one difficult person, and 36% feel that working in a group means receiving less praise and credit.
"Teamwork concerns are an important issue that management should not overlook," emphasizes out Dr. Jerabek. "It's been said that a team is only as strong as its weakest member. So if you have someone who just doesn't jive with the rest or who's difficult to work with, it affects everyone involved. This isn't to say that a group made up of people from different backgrounds, views, and strengths won't work - on the contrary…they have a lot to offer. But management needs to accept the fact that team building is such an essential process for functioning teams…and that perhaps some people are at their best when they can work on their own. These are facts that one cannot change; what we can do is to make the best of it by managing team and solo work accordingly."
Those who wish to learn more about their own teamwork preferences and concerns can go tohttp://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/2139. Employers interested in using this or other pre-employment tests can visit http://psychtests.com/solutions/hr_testing. A white paper with insights about creating and managing teams is available at http://psychtests.com/pdf/teamwork_article.pdf.
Psychtests originally appeared on the internet scene in 1997. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. Psychtests staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts. Psychtests was founded and is led by Dr. Ilona Jerabek, a specialist in the field of psychometric assessments and Vrat Jerabek Ph. D., a researcher and authority in the field of artificial intelligence.