Work Better Together Series explores the benefits of team wellbeing in organisations as well as looking into how managers and employees can cultivate a positive work environment. Episode 1 looks at the why organisations ought to make wellbeing a priority.
Story: A Tale Of Divide & Conquer
A retiring manager left a team in disarray. Using divide and conquer tactics, the retiring manager had split the team into two factions quarrelling with each other. The newly appointed manager found a team who was more interested in being defensive and arguing who is right over doing what was needed.
Burton (2005) argues that when the workplace environment is unsafe, stress and workplace conflict can arise leading to issues such as absenteeism and people leaving. The impact this has on organisations is that of increased costs, lower quality and increase workloads. For the new manager, change in leadership style was essential.
Lesson: Lack Of Teamwork Breaks Performance
The first few months were a nightmare for this manager. Although there were objectives and deadlines, time was being wasted on dealing with people arguing on air-condition temperature, petty office fights and childish tantrums by grown up adults. The result was no teamwork, poor communication, inability to deal with problems and stress.
Adair argued that a manager cannot focus only on achieving a task but needs to look at building the team and developing individual members. Building the team relationships allows for individual strengths to multiply with each other so that the collective is stronger than the sum of individual contributions. Growing individuals will allow you to give them the tools to be team players and satisfied to be at work (Thomas, 2007).
Implications: Team Wellbeing On Profit
In an extensive study spanning across Finance, Retail, Service and Manufacturing companies, Krekel, Ward, De Neve (2019) found that employee wellbeing has a tremendous impact on the organisation:
Staff turnover reduces by 20%.
Profit increases by 15%.
Manufacturing companies increase profit by 42%.
Customer loyalty increases by 27%.
In light of this the manager decided to do a team development workshop. During this day the team not only got to know each other but also worked together what they want to create in their work environment. Talking openly to each other people felt accepted and safe to be with each other and went back happy and ready to work.
Team Development 101
According to Thomas (2007) team wellbeing and effectiveness needs to be an integrated and ongoing practice within the organisation. The manager needs to:
Define Objectives: set goals for tasks, involve team and gain acceptance.
Organise: establish priorities, agree on standards and assess skills to delegate tasks.
Inform: discussions to check for understanding, gain feedback & enthuse people.
Support: report on progress to develop suggestion, resolve conflict and support.
Evaluate: Review progress, reward success and learn from failure.
Want Help With Team Wellbeing?
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My name is Adrian and I support employees, managers and teams to improve wellbeing at work. I achieve this through offering
Training on stress management, mental health & wellbeing and leadership skills
Mentoring/Coaching to develop compassionate leadership & team wellbeing
Consultancy on mental health issues at work & managing wellbeing at work.
If you would like to explore how to improve your team's management and wellbeing, we are offering the following:
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Burton. (2005). WHO Healthy Workplace Framework and Model. World Health Organisation.
Krekel, Christian & Ward, George & Neve, Jan-Emmanuel. (2019). Employee Wellbeing, Productivity, and Firm Performance. SSRN Electronic Journal. 10.2139/ssrn.3356581.
Thomas. (2007). Mastering People Management (2 ed.). Thorogood.