A national survey from the University of Phoenix has found that 95 percent of employees who have functioned as part of a team think that teams are an important workplace function but less than 25 percent prefer working in teams. Additionally, 36 percent of 18- to 24-year-old adults who recognize the importance of team work prefer working alone all of the time. Tellingly, 68 percent of previous team workers said their group was dysfunctional, offering a strong causative factor to explain the contradictory data.
The challenge of working alongside different personalities has resulted in a consensus that college graduates should have at least a set of basic teamwork skills. Most Americans (65 percent) feel that team building and collaborative skills are necessary for entry-level jobs requiring a college degree; conflict resolution and team management follow closely behind at 64 percent and 61 percent, respectively.
“Employers and students should expect education to mirror the dynamics in the workplace,” Dr. Bill Pepicello, president of the University of Phoenix, said. “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.”