The Impact Of Teamwork On Organizational Productivity

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The Impact Of Teamwork On Organizational Productivity


Abstract


The extended Study reviews the impact of teamwork on organizational productivity using the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) as the case study. Data analysis were taken and the study concludes that team work is critical in the functioning of an organisation and reasons for employee working as a team at NIPOST Nigeria are; to reduce on the costs, to encourage efficiency and effectiveness, to promote productivity, to act as advertising, for easy communication and to reduce on employee’s mistakes.

The study in making had to establish the influence of employee team work on the profit level. The study concludes that team work has a high influence on profit levels given the fact that all of respondents signed against it, also it is summed that the kind of influence is positive according to majority of them, this is exhibited further in the trend of sales performance where the study concluded that the sales performance was increasing.

The study also makes a conclusion that there is a strong relationship between team work and performance of Nipost and that the kind of relationship is a positive one that translates to increased performance.

The study deduces further that Nipost has numerous challenges as acknowledged by majority of respondents and the overriding ones are; labour turnover, competition, high transport cost, and inflation.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Teamwork is usually an integral part of the work place. Basic teamwork involves everyone working together to support the organization and complex forms of teamwork could involve “work teams” chosen to complete a project by working closely. teamwork enhances productivity through joint and collective effort. Allowing team members to bring their specific education and training to a project or a work task, which maximizes the variety of work the team can accomplish as well as the number of tasks completed without additional research. It is true that more minds can sometimes work better than a single one (Okoh, 2006).

Teamwork is the actions of individuals, brought together for a common purpose or goal, which subordinate the needs of the individual to the need of the group. In essence, each person on the team put aside his or her individual needs to work towards organizational objectives. The interaction among the members and the work they complete is called teamwork. Effective teamwork is essential to the success of any business. As “no man is an island”, the positive effects of productive teamwork can energize an entire organization, just as the negative effect of a lack of team work can cripple an organization.

In this world of increased competition, leaders recognize the importance of teamwork more than ever before. Teams can expand the output of individuals through collaboration. Employees who are working in teams become the standard for the organization (Alie, Beam & Carey, 1998). It is the mean of improving man-power utilization and potentially raising performance of individual. With a support from upper level management, an employee works confidently in team and increases productivity of the organization. Nowadays, in the new business world, managers are assigning more team projects to employees with opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and develop their skills (Hartenian, 2003).

Teamwork has been around the world for as long as anyone can remember and there can be few organizations that have not used the team in one sense or another. It is common to hear of management teams, production teams, service team or even whole organizations being referred to as teams that is, many organization today are moving towards “team based” approach to work, this means that working in teams is the basic method used to get work done in these organizations. As a result, employers stress the importance of employees working as a team and advertise for staff with the ability to work in such a way (Richard, 1991).

McShone (2005) said that teams are replacing individuals as the basic building blocks of organization – French language television programs has shifted to team-based projects and giving more recognition to teams than to individuals. Companies are not just looking for technical ability but looking for people who can work on teams and solve problems. According to Steiner (2003) teams and teamwork are not novel concepts; teams and team thinking have been around for years at companies such as Procter and Gamble; and Botany. In the 1980s the manufacturing and auto industries embraced a new team-oriented approach when United States firms retooled to combat Japanese competitor who were quickly gaining market share. Brown et al (2004) examined that managers discovered the large body of research indicating that teams can be more than the tradition corporate structure for making decisions quickly and efficiently. He further said that teams needed for the restructuring and reengineering processes of the future giving instances that simple changes like encouraging input and feedbacks from workers on the line make dramatic improvements.

Both profit and non-profit making organizations are finding teamwork very important in their operations and especially in employee performance and the overall performance of the organizations. Many organizations that have established the culture of teamwork do operate with high quality, speed and are more economical in their operations. According to Aichouni (2005), man is unable to live on his efforts alone and he therefore requires the help of a fellow man. Consequently, teamwork in many organizations is as important as the mutual interactions of man. A secure and friendly work environment is not a condition within itself for forming progressive teamwork. Politeness and respect are the first conditions for successful advancement of the team. However, they do not characterize teamwork (Romig, 1996). The important values of teamwork are communication, conflict resolution, and cooperation among employees.

Teamwork is the concept of people working together cooperatively, as in sales team, sports team etc. It has also become so valued that many large corporations have developed specific tests to measure potential employee’s teamwork ability. Hence, it has become important goal in most work places, the belief is that teamwork gives employees a sense of ownership and encourages cooperation (Adeleke, 2008). According to Jenner, Foote and Zhao (2010), several people have defined teamwork differently. However, though the views slightly differ, the organization of work using teamwork can be defined as a wide range of possibilities such as quality work, cross-functional teams, self-managing teams, or virtual teams. Many employers usually provide autonomy together with teamwork. A distinctive feature of teamwork is the successive work actions to assemble different parts of the product. In places where the aim is to improve the process of production, teamwork is more of complexity, increase in communication and integrative work. However, for the purposes of this study, a team was used to mean Group(s) of employees who have at least some collective tasks and where the team members are authorized to regulate mutually the execution of these collective tasks’ (Critchley, Edwards & Fallon, 2007).

Employee team development in United States organizations is often viewed as a series of stages. Although all the attributes and skills needed for an ideal working relationship are important at every stage, some become more crucial as the team develops and staff members increase their level of involvement (Aydin & Ceylan, 2009). At a minimum, it’s important for individual staff members to realize the benefits of teamwork in organizations and to have a commitment toward working together. With a positive attitude toward team efforts, and with increased opportunity and time to practice teamwork skills, staff members can develop as an effective working team, and consequently have greater impact upon clientele problems (Nguyen, 2003).

Czaplewski, (2003), employee teamwork involves the collection of individuals who are independent in the tasks and who share responsibility for the outcome. Teams enable employees in organization to co-operate, enhance individual skills and provide constructive feedback without conflict between individual. Therefore, teamwork is an important factor for smooth functioning of an organization. Czaplewski added that most organizations activities are becoming complex due to advancement in technology therefore teamwork is a major focus of many organizations that can maintain the performance in such organizations. Performance is a measure of the results achieved.

Performance efficiency is the ratio between effort expended and results achieved. The difference between current performance and the theoretical performance limit is the performance improvement zone. Performance assumes an actor of some kind but the actor could be an individual person or a group of people acting in concert. The performance platform is the infrastructure or devices used in the performance act (Aydin & Ceylan, 2009). An essential ingredient to effective teamwork is attracting and keeping the right team members that would facilitate productivity in an organization. As such most human resource approaches lay so much emphasis on teamwork due to its importance to organizational productivity. Hence there is need to conduct this study on the impact of teamwork on organizational productivity.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

According to Aydin & Ceylan (2009), the benefits of teamwork are obvious to any manager. Work gets done faster, employees are easier to manage and where safety matters, everyone is usually safer. However, the benefits of teamwork for the employees are often more abstract and difficult to distinguish. This doesn’t make them any less important or meaningful, however.

At Nipost, employee teamwork is considered crucial in doing the organization’s work as field marketers even move as a team with the view of passing clear message to the public about the company products. This have however been puzzling the researcher whether employee teamwork is associated with performance of the same organization in question. The study will therefore examine the impact of employee teamwork and performance of NIPOST.


1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to examine the impact of teamwork on organizational productivity. The specific objectives are;

  1. To identify the benefits of employee teamwork.
  2. To assess the relationship between employee teamwork and productivity.
  3. To identify the sources militating against teamwork in workplace

1.5 Research questions

  1. What are the benefits of employee teamwork at Nipost
  2. Is there a relationship between employee teamwork and performance of Nipost?
  3. What are the factors affecting employee performance in Nipost?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study would be beneficial to corporate organization as it would enhance policy formulation as regard teamwork in workplace. The study would also be beneficial to the general public, as it will educate them on the impact of teamwork on organizational productivity. The Study will also contribute to the existing knowledge on organizational teamwork. The study will be a useful material to incoming students who may wish to use this study as a reference material to undertake their own extended Study.

The findings of this research would add on the existing literature that would help other interested researchers to formulate related research questions on related issues employee teamwork and organizations performance especially Nipost.

It was also hoped that, this research would provide data that may assist organizations planners, policy makers and implementers in Postal companies in order to come out with proper decisions and policies based on reliable data about employee teamwork and organizations performance especially Nipost in any business environment.


1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study will cover an extended Study on the impact of teamwork on organizational productivity. The Study reviews opinions of authority on the concept of teamwork in workplace as well as the key factors influencing team effectiveness and factors militating against teamwork in workplace.

This work was constrained by time and natural resources.


Chapter Five


Summary of the Study, Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

The chapter of the study deals at length with exploring the objectives of the study as; to find out benefits of employee teamwork at NIPOST, to access the relationship between employee teamwork and performance of NIPOST, to investigate the challenges faced by NIPOST

The chapter further summarizes the main findings of the study by making conclusions, and recommendations


5.1 Summary of the Study Findings

The study findings revealed reducing on the cost of operation as a reason for team work. It was explained that costs of operation lower down when work is handled by many people and the task is accomplished in shortest possible time. The study got informed that at NIPOST failure to use team work could raise cost of the organization. Accordingly when a team is at work, clients are served and they get retained by the organization.

In addition, respondents pointed out efficiency and effectiveness as reason for team work. It should be noted that efficiency is doing things right while effectiveness is doing the right thing. Under team work things are done right and the right things are done due to combining of skill and efforts. For instance when there is a technical problem with a staff’s computer but has to serve the clients, another colleague staff can lend to put it right hence customers are served.

Also highlighted were reduced employee mistakes. Respondents argued that teams help in training staff most especially new recruits. Such training ensures that preventive techniques to likely mistakes are imparted in the new employee and when a signed full responsibility, occurrence of mistakes is minimized. Similarly when employees work as a team, a colleague easily alerts the other if a mistake is suspected to occur in nearby future, this enables company to avoid costs.

The study further established that team work helps in advertising the company. It helps in winning more clients when they hear about the togetherness in accomplishing tasks as well as the precision in handling customer queries is concerned. It was added this practice enables the company to sell its name hence being advertised in the public.

Team work is applied by organizations due to reason of easy communication in the organization. Where there is team work, “says the manager of NIPOST”, there is easy flow of instructions where by information is passed on to only a team member and the information flows to others freely. Also team work has enabled the provision of Postal services easy to the public hence making NIPOST the number one Postal Agency in Nigeria.

Further findings from the study revealed that team work enables productivity at work place and ensures satisfaction to clients. Team work enhances division of labour, tasks get accomplished with zeal in short time, large volume of work is handled and according to 8% (08) respondents productivity is high. Other reasons for working as a team were cited. Respondents said employee motivation when they back up, training of new skills where a colleague discover a skill, shares it with other members hence leading to a multi-skilled staff to the organization.


5.2 Conclusions

The study concludes that team work is critical in the functioning of an organisation and reasons for employee working as a team at NIPOST Nigeria are; to reduce on the costs, to encourage efficiency and effectiveness, to promote productivity, to act as advertising, for easy communication and to reduce on employee’s mistakes.

The study in making had to establish the influence of employee team work on the profit level. The study concludes that team work has a high influence on profit levels given the fact that all of respondents signed against it, also it is summed that the kind of influence is positive according to majority of them, this is exhibited further in the trend of sales performance where the study concluded that the sales performance was increasing.

The study also makes a conclusion that there is a strong relationship between team work and performance of Nipost and that the kind of relationship is a positive one that translates to increased performance.

The study deduces further that Nipost has numerous challenges as acknowledged by majority of respondents and the overriding ones are; labour turnover, competition, high transport cost, and inflation.

The study concluded that providing quality services, motivation of staff through offs and allowances, efforts to erect boosters, ensuring that enough fuel is always put in generators, prosecution of theft accomplices and making employees pay for the shortages they incur on addition to withdrawing the dealership from dealers who are reported to overcharge clients as well as revising of rates per unit product were the measures that NIPOST staff respondents and clients raised.


5.3 Recommendations

The study recommends that there is need to organize workshops and training to inform staff on team work which is not fully exploited hence training on how to improve team work and how work in teams needs to be put in place this will ensure increased performance of NIPOST.

The study recommends that there is need to further motivate the employees of NIPOST. This is because emerging Postal companies are looking out to source the experienced and well trained Nipost staff. Motivation could be in things like allowances; holiday retreats, increased salaries and promotions as well as recognition of efforts through annual awards


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