Forced team-building exercises at work have been slammed as ‘nosy, ‘controlling’ and unwelcome in new University of Sydney research.
The university’s School of Project Management recently dug further into 2019 findings that showed many staff believe team-building is ‘a waste of time’.
The new research, released in February, showed people believe their bosses networking plans can be just too pushy.
Even when activities aimed at strengthening relationships are presented as fun via exercises like Zoom dress-up parties, joke-telling sessions and trust falls, employees tended to ‘despise’ them.
Employees tend not to enjoy forced fun and friendships on top of busy jobs and stressful work environments, the University of Sydney research found
Zoom parties have become a popular go-to management tactic for team-building – but in reality people hate them
‘All this is done with the aim of improving workplace effectiveness, efficiency, collaboration and cohesion – but does any of this work?’ said Petr Matous, the lead researcher.
‘Many people do not want to be forced into having fun or making friends, especially not on top of their busy jobs or in stressful, dysfunctional environments where team building is typically called for,’ said Associate Professor Julien Pollack, Interim Director of the university’s John Grill Institute for Project Leadership.
While the researchers found that some vulnerability and openness between colleagues can improve workplace relationships, pushing people to reveal personal attitudes was seen as ‘heavy-handed and intrusive’.
‘These activities often feel implicitly mandatory. People can feel that management is being too nosy or trying to control their life too much,’ the research found.
‘Among the participants we interviewed, some were against team building exercises because they felt they were implicitly compulsory and did not welcome management’s interest in their lives beyond their direct work performance.’
Management showing interest in people’s personal lives is not the right way to strengthen relationships at work
Source: Daily Mail Australia | World News