More Than Four-in-Five Working Adults Find It Difficult To Work In Teams, Reveals University Of Phoenix Survey

A recent University of Phoenix survey finds that 84 percent (more than four-in-five) of working adults (or employed adults) think that working on teams in the workplace is difficult. Of working adults who think teams often fail in the workplace, more than three-in-five (61 percent) say there is not enough training.

The survey looked at why working adults found working on teams to be difficult, the reasons behind why working teams fail, as well as why individuals are or aren’t personally successful in working in teams. The online survey of 1,072 employed U.S. adults was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of University of Phoenix in August 2013.

When questioned about the specific reasons for this, 45 percent feel there is an “in-it-for-one’s-self” mentality in the workplace. Workload is also an issue, with 40 percent of working adults citing fewer employees are doing more work, which causes for less time for team efforts. Electronic communication is also a barrier, with 35 percent of working adults saying that emails, instant messaging and other electronic communications have reduced the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with co-workers.

“Working in teams can be one of the more challenging dynamics one faces in the workplace,” said Dr. Bill Pepicello, president of University of Phoenix. “Developing teamwork skills is a critical factor for success for individuals and the businesses for which they work. At University of Phoenix, we integrate collaborative assignments and learning teams into our curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate level, so that students enter their careers with a firm understanding of team dynamics in the workplace.”

When asked specifically about why team efforts in the workplace fail, the focus on the individual versus the team was even stronger. Fifty-nine percent of working adults who think teams often fail in the workplace note that part of the problem is that individuals are more motivated to be individually successful. More than half (52 percent) of these working adults also felt that a lack of clearly defined roles contributed to team failures.

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