Developing a better understanding of your management and communication style is essential in today’s workplace. Take this Teamwork Assessment to see how well you are prepared with this essential business skill!
Instructions: The following survey was designed to assess your attitudes toward teamwork. Consider your current or previous job, or your university experience when answering the statements. There are no right or wrong answers to the statements. Circle your answer by using the rating scale provided. After evaluating each of the survey statements, complete the scoring guide.
- When I do projects in a team, the outcome is better…..………..1 2 3 4 5
- When I do projects in a team, tasks are done faster..……………1 2 3 4 5
- I have a positive attitude about the assignments I have done collectively……………………………………………….………1 2 3 4 5
- In general, I have a positive attitude toward teamwork..….……1 2 3 4 5
- Whenever I do an assignment individually I think to myself , If I did it with a team, a better result would be achieved…..….1 2 3 4 5
- I prefer to do my assignments/projects in teams…….………….1 2 3 4 5
- I feel my teamwork efforts are appreciated……….…………….1 2 3 4 5
- always feel that other team members’ performances have a positive impact on the team project.…………..….1 2 3 4 5
- I feel that the efforts of each team member are properly evaluated……………………………………………….……….1 2 3 4 5
- When I do team assignments, I feel others on the team help me perform the task properly……………………………………………..1 2 3 4 5
Total score for all items ______
Comparative Norms: Total score of 10–20= Low teamwork attitude; Total score of 21–39= Neutral teamwork attitude; Total score of 40–50 = Positive teamwork attitude.
Interpreting the Result
Teamwork is essential in today’s business environment. But there is a paradox. On the one hand, surveys of business leaders consistently indicate teamwork skills are both important for new hires to possess and difficult to find. As a consequence, business faculty see great value in putting students in teams to work on projects. On the other hand, business students often report they do not like working on teams for a variety of reasons.
Teamwork is important for many reasons. Here is a brief summary of some of the reasons given in the textbook.
- Productivity increases — Businesses find when teams are functioning well, the effectiveness of the organization improves.
- Increased speed — When employees work together effectively, business processes can be accomplished more quickly.
- Reduced costs — Expenses can be reduced because effective teamwork reduces redundancies.
- Improved quality — The pooled ideas of employees leads to better quality products and services.
- Reduced destructive internal competition — When employees are not working toward a shared, common goal, organizational effectiveness is reduced.
- Improved workplace cohesiveness — Persons involved in effective teams develop a collaborative spirit.
If your score is in the negative range, you might be a good example of the common student attitude described above. You might not like teamwork for a wide variety of reasons. The entire educational system is not helpful here because it rewards individual effort and achievement, rather than effective teamwork. Nonetheless, you need to work on fighting this negative attitude. Here are some things you can do.
- Learn to cooperate. Although it may be initially distasteful, your team experiences will help you to learn the value of collaboration.
- The fundamental attitude needed for effective teamwork is that teammates trust each other. Ample research shows trust is reciprocal. That is, the more you trust other people, the more likely it is they will trust you. So, the action you can take is to decide to trust your teammates more.
- Effective teams are cohesive. That is, they stick together even when times are difficult. Athletes know this very well. But it is also true in student teams and workplace teams.
- Having a common goal is very helpful for fostering positive attitudes. In everyday language, this means ensuring everyone is on the same page. You can help your team by being clear about what the goal is and what needs to be done to accomplish it.
If your score is in the neutral range, you can take action to improve your attitude by working on the same things that are listed above. Your score indicates you are closer to a positive attitude than some others might be.
If your score is in the high range, this might indicate you possess the type of attitude towards teamwork employers are looking for. When you are interviewing for jobs, you should think of two or three specific examples of when you have been a good teammate and have helped a team to achieve its goals, and then communicate those examples when appropriate.
Remember your score on this self-assessment, while useful for self-understanding, should not be over-interpreted. First, every person is complex and it is impossible to fully capture your uniqueness in a short self-assessment. Second, you may well find your attitudes towards teamwork may change over time, or you may come to understand what your attitude actually is only later in life. Third, attitudes towards teamwork can be changed. Use the advice given above as well as in the textbook to help you.
Source: Based on Mina Beigi and Melika Shirmhammadi, “Attitudes toward Teamwork: Are Iranian University Students Ready for the Workplace?,” Team Performance Management, 18 №5/6 (2012), pp. 295–311.
These surveys and feedback are part of a McGraw-Hill textbook by Angelo Kinicki and Brian Williams. “Management: A Practical Introduction 8e,” McGraw-Hill Education, New York, NY, 2018.
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