In the workplace setting, performing independently from others is barely possible due to the state of interconnectedness of workplace processes. Since the outcomes of a specific process hinge on the results of another one in the organizational setting, it is expected of staff members to cooperate in a team. However, managing teamwork may be a challenging process unless effective strategies for managing conflicts and building motivation are deployed.
The goal of this essay is to study the advantages and disadvantages of using teams in a workplace, as well as analyze the various approaches toward building teams in the organization environment. The essay contains the introduction, body, and conclusion. In turn, the body section comprises the analysis of teams as a unit that can be used in the workplace setting (Kinicki et al., 2021). Specifically, the positive and negative aspects of working as a team will be provided from the perspective of the organization. Thus, a comprehensive overview of the nature of teamwork is made. Due to their organic functioning within a workplace setting, as well as increased communication efficacy and collaboration, teams should be used to increase employee engagement, motivation, and, therefore, performance rates.
Teams in the Workplace: Assessment
Advantages of Using Teams
To understand the full extent of advantages that teamwork can provide in the workplace, one should consider using some of the employee motivation theories. Specifically, applying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to the scenario in which teamwork is prioritized in the workplace, one will observe changes at the top tiers of the hierarchy (Velmurugan and Sankar, 2017). Specifically, once a strong team is created based on the principles of corporate values geared toward collaboration and support, team members are likely to experience stronger belonging due to their participation (Kinicki et al., 2021). As a result, staff members’ self-esteem will rise as they recognize the importance of their contribution to the team’s performance. Consequently, employees’ satisfaction rates and, therefore, their engagement in the company’s performance, will increase.
Additionally, teamwork can encourage shared learning and the acceptance of continuous professional development. The described outcomes are especially likely to be observed in interdisciplinary teamwork since it presupposes active knowledge sharing and allows keeping the motivation levels high even as staff members’ esteem- and belonging-related needs are met (Carney et al., 2019). Thus, the opportunity to increase employee motivation and, thus, performance quality, through engagement (belonging) and professional growth (self-actualization) opportunities are the principal advantages of teamwork.
However, the outlined benefits are not the only positive outcomes of teamwork in the workplace. Apart from enhancing professional development and promoting corporate values, teamwork can also contribute to increasing the success of data management in the workplace. The outlined outcomes stem from the same changes listed above, namely, improved collaboration and sharing of information. Moreover, working in a team allows employees to see the bigger picture of organizational performance, understanding their place in the corporate mechanism, and, thus, managing their workplace tasks accordingly (Lohmann et al., 2019). The knowledge about one’s role in achieving the common corporate goal adds to the sense of self-importance in the organizational setting, giving staff members confidence and motivating them to perform better through increased engagement.
Finally, improved communication will also cause team members to develop better communication, negotiation, and conflict management skills. Since creating a workplace environment that is entirely devoid of conflicts is impossible, team members will have to learn to resolve conflicts (Kinicki et al., 2021). Specifically, it is expected that, with a due amount of support and direction, team members will develop an objective and critical approach toward conflict management, meaning that they will focus on seeking solutions and compromises as opposed to holding grudges and engaging in confrontations emotionally. Specifically, from the perspective of the Rational Choice Theory tenets, team members are expected to select compromising and collaboration out of the existing five conflict management strategies (Davis, 2018). Therefore, teamwork is expected to help staff members grow professionally and develop crucial communication and negotiation skills, which will help to streamline key workplace processes.
Disadvantages of Using Teams
Remarkably, using teams in the workplace does not necessarily lead solely to benefits. Moreover, when mismanaged, team relationships may even damage the business on multiple stages, including communication, production, and delivery (O’Neill and Mclarnon, 2018). Among the key disadvantages of creating teams in the workplace, the threat of failing to meet the deadline must be mentioned first. The descried outcome is particularly common in mismanaged and inappropriately structured teams due to the domino effect, which will imply that delays in the performance of some team members will cause others to wait, thus resulting in the overall failure to meet the deadline (O’Neill and Mclarnon, 2018). The observed problem aligns with the principal concepts of the Systems Management Theory, which posits that all workplace processes are interconnected and interdependent (Beqiri et al., 2019). Therefore, delays in one area will cause missed deadlines in the rest of tasks.
The threat of conflicts in teams is another disadvantage, which increases with the extent of cultural diversity due to the greater probability of opinions collision. Although the opportunity to improve team members’ conflict management skills is one of the benefits of teamwork mentioned above, developing an effective conflict management strategy and helping all staff members to accept the importance of compromising and collaboration takes significant time (Kinicki et al., 2021). Consequently, team leaders will have to reconcile a large number of confrontations between team members before they develop an effective conflict management approach and learn to work toward a compromise. Applying the Rational Choice Theory mentioned above, one will have to admit that the development of understanding what issues must be prioritized during conflict management and decision-making will require additional learning and extra time. Indeed, team members will select the options that will suit their concept of rational decision-making that may not align with the course of the organization (Davis, 2018). Thus, a team leader must prepare for addressing multiple misunderstandings before team members learn to cooperate.
Challenges of Teamwork
Apart from several limitations mentioned above, teamwork also presupposes facing a range of challenges. Creating a shared sense of purpose, as well as building the concept of unity within a tam, in general, should be considered one of the most complicated tasks for a team leader. The described challenge is amplified by the necessity to collaborate remotely given the present threat of pandemics (Ferreira et al., 2021). Moreover, there is a possibility of culture clash between the backgrounds of team members and the values of an organization in which they work (Ferreira et al., 2021). Therefore, building trust and motivating staff members by creating the environment where they are empowered and encouraged to discover and improve their talents is essential. The significance of motivating staff members by building an appropriate environment is reasonable given the main premise of Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory, which suggests that hygiene factors need to be cultivated in the workplace (Holmberg et al., 2018). As soon as a proper setting is developed, employees are likely to become more enthusiastic about teamwork.
Apart from creating a setting that will result in team members feeling more comfortable and, thus, gaining motivation to meet set goals, teamwork can also be improved by enhancing communication and making it reciprocal. Namely, team leaders must provide team members with feedback and indicate the areas that will have to be improved in the future (Curral et al., 2017). Furthermore, it is important to ensure that all participants are aware of their roles and functions in a team. Thus, effective collaboration will be actively encouraged.
Additionally, as soon as team members are aware of their individual roles and the contribution that they make to the team development, they are likely to take their responsibilities more seriously according to Vroom’s expectancy Theory (Davis, 2018). Namely, by conforming individuals’ beliefs that their performance defines a particular aspect of the corporate progress, one will be able to create the sense of instrumentality and valence in staff members (Davis, 2018). As a result, individual team members will strive to meet the expectations set for them by the team leader.
Although teamwork is often taken for granted, it plays a key role in improving performance and maintaining product and service quality due to the larger range of communication opportunities and coordination of tasks. Once roles are assigned appropriately and all participants are motivated to perform accordingly, teamwork can be used to boost the levels of a company’s performance to a considerable level. Moreover, once a strong team with a clear vision and a thorough understanding of corporate needs is created, it becomes a central asset of the organization, increasing its competitive advantage and making it more powerful in the target market.
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