“…and you’ll be working in groups…” Words that can strike terror in the hearts and minds of students and employees everywhere. The inevitability of most of the work being done by a fraction of the group. The disagreements over who/what/how/and in what order. Breathing in clouds of perfume or cologne or hair spray worn by the person who still doesn’t think the No Scent policy applies. Yes, group work can be the stuff of nightmares. However, with the right structure, it can also have great benefits for the participants and workplace.
- With a shared workload, groups can be more efficient and get work done faster, particularly when the workload is distributed evenly and in accordance with each member’s skills and strengths.
- Each person who works on a problem may bring different information and knowledge to bear, which can result in solutions and approaches others may not have identified. Therefore, teams are better able to produce more creative, innovative, and practical solutions to problems than someone working alone. In fact, some companies have embraced this idea by using teams to create a work environment that fosters creativity.
- When a workplace encourages collaboration and teamwork, strong relationships are established among coworkers. This allows more open communication, encouragement from the group, and increased trust. Working within a team provides employees with a support network where they can freely seek guidance when they’ve run into a wall in order to deliver high quality results.
When the workload is shared through collaboration, coworkers can feel a greater sense of accomplishment than they would individually once a goal is met. This combined with a sense of belonging, appreciation, and recognition can drastically improve employee self-esteem and morale.
Not surprisingly, when employees are afforded the opportunity to forge strong relationships through collaborative work, they experience increased job satisfaction and less stress, which results in a drastically lowered turnover rate, and much higher workplace wellness levels.