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Obstacle #6 Lack of focus on team rewards and appreciation (Teamwork Tuesday)

Award About a month ago I asked the question on several LinkedIn Groups “What is so difficult about teamwork?” I received well over 200 responses. My intention was to rank each of them and then figure out ways we can create better teamwork.

Today we will discuss obstacle number Six – Lack of focus on team rewards and appreciation.

  1. Lack of a competent leader (27)
  2. Lack of goals and goal alignment (26)
  3. Individuals focused on themselves and not the team (21)
  4. Lack of understanding of team members (20)
  5. Lack of clarity on team roles, and/or the purpose and vision of the team (15)
  6. Lack of focus on team rewards and appreciation (12)
  7. Lack of spending time together as a team (9)
  8. Poor communication (8)
  9. Lack of trust (7)
  10. Lack of accountability (6)

This is a self inflicted obstacle that teams encounter quite often. If you focus on rewarding individuals in a team environment, you will get a bunch of self-centered team members. It’s that simple. I have seen this with teams that I have developed over the years. The leader with good intentions decides that he or she will begin to introduce competition among the team. So individual productivity based rewards are introduced to the team as a way to drum up “healthy” competition. What the leader gets instead are team members not willing to give help, ask for help, provide best practices etc… Much like many of the team based reality games on television today like the “Biggest Loser” or “Survivor” team members will turn on teammates if it means they might win the game.

Is a focus on individual rewards always a bad thing?

Mike Rogers
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