5 Teamwork Challenges Every Team Encounters!

by Srikant Chellappa Oct 27,2023

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

A study conducted by the i4cp (Institute for Corporate Productivity) Rob Cross, Edward A. Madden (Professor, Global Business at Babson College) found that top employers are 5.5 times more likely to promote individual, team, and leader collaboration in the organization.

Teamwork undeniably fosters creativity and enhances overall organizational productivity. However, amid these benefits lie unspoken challenges of teamwork that can lead to a frustrating collaborative experience. Many organizations resort to employee engagement software to address these teamwork-related issues effectively.

This article aims to shed light on common questions such as “What challenges do you typically encounter in teamwork within your organization? How do you approach overcoming them?” Delve into valuable insights to navigate and tackle the challenges of teamwork for a more harmonious and productive collaborative environment.

Also read: The ultimate guide to 30 60 90 employee performance reviews

5 Challenges of Teamwork

There are multiple challenges of working in a team. As a leader, one has to be available for their team members and must understand their concerns to ensure that they stay productive and engaged. The following are some of the teamwork challenges and how one can overcome them.

teamwork challenges in the workplace

1. Role Uncertainty

Role uncertainty is one of the most common challenges of group work. There are a lot of difference in working as an individual employee and working as a part of a team. When you work with a team, your responsibilities are shared with other team members.

This culture of shared responsibilities might be a little hard to get used to if you have never worked with a team before. Working with many people can create a confusion on your role in the team, resulting multiple people taking up the same responsibility or leave out some vital tasks. Asking the manager of the team clearly about your role in the team could help avoid these situations.

Also read: Impact of employee engagement on productivity

2. Lack Of Trust

When you work as an individual, you are used to making decisions and complete tasks individually. But when you work with a team, you have to trust your teammates and let them take a few decisions for the team.

Sometimes, team members make mistakes and it could be hard for you to trust them with any other decision. But as a team, it is important to trust your teammates and function as a team. Building trust goes a long way in resolving the challenges of group work.

Also read: The dos and don’ts of giving negative performance reviews

3. Unclear Goals

Some employees perform better when they function as a team, and some perform better than individual contributors. One reason for this could be setting the right goals. You can easily set the right goals for yourself as an individual contributor, but when you are a part of the team, you have to consider your teammates before setting goals.

One of the most common reasons for conflicts in teams is the ambiguity of goals. If you are not on the same page with your other team mates about your goals, it affects the productivity of the entire team, so communicate with the team/ manager and be clear about your goals.

Also read: 5 Reasons To Use OKRs At Work

4. Disengagement

Disengagement is one of the most common challenges of group work faced by everyone in the workplace. Teams tend to get disengaged when there’s a lack of proper direction or vision. Team members fail to understand their role in the bigger picture, which leads to lack of motivation.

Disengagement in teams is often a result of lack of clarity on team goals and how they contribute to the organization.

5. Talent Differences

Some employees contribute more to a team than the rest of the team. The reason is not always that they feel responsible for the team, the share of their contribution depends on their individual talent and efficiency. But sometimes, these talent differences cause conflicts between team members.

Some employees of the team could be slower and less efficient than the rest. This could decrease the overall productivity of the team which could be frustrating for the high-performers of the team causing conflicts within the team. To avoid this, the goals should be set based on their capability and skills.

Also read: OKR Examples For Marketing Team

How To Overcome Teamwork Challenges?

It is critically important for teams to work together to get a higher output and ensure organizational success. However, there are scenarios when challenges in teamwork can reduce employee productivity and engagement.

Challenges of group work can be managed by providing regular feedback, having an open communication channel, checking in with team members, and discussing individual and team goals with employees. Organizations are now relying on HR software tools to manage and analyze performance to reduce teamwork challenges.

Employee engagement, learning and development, reward and recognition, goal setting, and effective communication are the foundational elements of teamwork productivity. Organizations need to ensure that they are focusing on all the foregoing aspects to overcome group work challenges.

We hope this article helps you manage your team effectively. Do let us know about the ways you use to overcome teamwork challenges in your organization. Tell us about the challenges you face when working in groups in the comments below.

Do you want to know how Engagedly can help you manage the challenges of teamwork? Talk to our team experts!

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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