PHOENIX, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent University of Phoenix national survey finds that 95 percent of those who have ever worked on a team say teams serve an important function in the workplace, but less than a quarter (24 percent) prefer to work on teams. Furthermore, 36 percent of younger workers (ages 18-24) who recognize a team's importance in the workplace, would prefer to work alone all of the time. Some of the hesitation to working in teams may come from negative team dynamics. Nearly seven-in-ten (68 percent) of those who have ever worked on a team, admit they were part of a dysfunctional unit.
Collaborating with different personalities can be challenging, which might be why many Americans believe that college graduates should possess teamwork skills. In fact, a majority (65 percent) say that collaboration and team-building are among the necessary skills for students coming out of school today, followed by conflict resolution (64 percent) and team management (61 percent).
"Employers and students should expect education to mirror the dynamics in the workplace," said Dr. Bill Pepicello, president of University of Phoenix. "This is why University of Phoenix integrates learning teams into curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Learning team projects help prepare students to be more effective in work environments that include team members with diverse skills and experience."Teams Behaving Badly The survey identifies several key factors that may contribute to Americans' reticence to engage in teamwork, including verbal and physical confrontations, scapegoating and spreading rumors. Forty percent of those who have ever worked on a team in the workplace have witnessed a verbal confrontation among team members, and 15 percent said a confrontation actually turned physical. Forty percent report that one team member placed the blame on another for something that went amiss and 32 percent said a team member started a rumor about another team member.