Imagine you wake up one morning, no one else is around (yet) and you can blissfully and quietly have a shower, make your breakfast and enjoy that first cup of tea, coffee or orange juice. You get ready for work, still blissfully alone and you go to work on your own, managing your own direction and fate.
You arrive ready for the day – except when you arrive a team member informs you that there’s a major crisis. You’ve been hacked, or there’s been an explosion at one of your sites or a senior member is missing and is being investigated for fraud. You can no longer afford to be alone now.
You round up your team and try to attack the problem together. Eventually it dawns on you or your boss that you and your “team” are tragically unequipped to deal with crises that require a cohesive unit. No investment was made to train and bring the team together.
Some sort of battle will always need to be fought; be better than the competition, overachieve from last years to this year’s goals. However, doing this alone is impossible, approaching these challenges as a cohesive team dramatically increases the likelihood of success.
Unfortunately though, teamwork and collaboration are underrated, underutilised and misunderstood in the modern workplace. Working blissfully alone has its uses, when you need to just get on with certain pieces of work, but it mustn’t come at the cost of a team. At some point you will need to rely on the strengths of others and aid them with your own strengths.
According to Salesforce 86% of corporate employees, executives and educators cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. And according to Visix 39% of surveyed employees believe that people in their own organization don’t collaborate enough but that 37% of employees say “working with a great team” is their primary reason for staying.
Looking at these numbers, you can see why working in an effective team is good and why not working in a team at all can lead to some dire consequences. But despite these numbers why isn’t enough investment made into building better teams?
The main reasons that the investment isn’t done is due to two concepts around team-oriented experiences. One is that they are costly and time consuming and the other is that they offer no long-term value to the participants. And both concepts are unfortunately true.
Currently team-building exercises are time consuming and costly, because they have no long-term value.