1. Sales & Marketing
  2. Finances
  3. Your Team
  4. Technology
  5. Social Media
  6. Security
Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.
Grow Your Business Your Team

Why Your Employees Hate Teamwork

Why Your Employees Hate Teamwork
Credit: RawPixel/Shutterstock

Teamwork is a source of major frustration in the workplace — so much so, that it causes many employees to consider searching for a new job, research finds.

A new study from 5 Dynamics, a provider of human performance systems, discovered that nearly 60 percent of employees either always or sometimes work in teams. Of those, 41 percent said they have felt friction when collaborating with colleagues, and nearly one-third have thought about looking for new work because of negative team environments.

The research shows that less than 10 percent of employees would choose to always work in a team setting, with 50 percent preferring a mix of team and individual work.

"How well teams work together and communicate can make or break a company's bottom line, not to mention employee satisfaction and retention," the study's authors wrote.

Employees give a variety of reasons for why they don't enjoy working in team settings. The study found that 35 percent said the most frustration comes from trying to motivate others, with 27 percent saying that making sure everyone executes on plans is the biggest aggravation. In addition, 27 percent said the planning phase of a team project is their biggest source of irritation. [See Related Story: No Trust Among Your Team? How to Fix It]

Company growth and changes at the top of the corporate ladder also cause teamwork frustration. Thirty-five percent of the employees surveyed said they have trouble working in teams during executive changes, and 27 percent said that rapid company growth contributed to a lack of team efficiency.

"Many survey respondents also expressed in open-ended responses that they feel stress and productivity issues when onboarding new staff or when they perceive other team members not to be pulling their weight on a project," the study's authors wrote.

The researchers found that 40 percent of employers invest resources to try to understand the working styles and behavioral preferences of their employees. However, the vast majority of employers, 85 percent, only sometimes, at the most, use what they learn in their work environments.

The researchers suggested that employers need to do a better job of deciphering how employees can work better together and then actually following through on what they discover.

"In doing this, they'll reap the rewards both from the bottom-line, revenue-generating perspective and in attracting and retaining quality talent," the study's authors wrote.

The study was based on surveys of 500 U.S. workers between the ages of 25 and 64.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.