Previous Article Next Article Getting team working right can reduce stress levels in workers but gettingit wrong can have the adverse affectsTeam-working can increase as well as decrease work-related stress, theHealth and Safety Executive has warned. A study for the HSE by the Institute of Work Psychology, part of SheffieldUniversity, examined the effects of team-working on work-related stress. It found stress levels among employees working in teams were often linked tohow the team was designed and how team-working was put into practice by thatorganisation. Team-working is becoming increasingly common among organisations – some 55per cent of UK manufacturers were using it by the middle of the 1990s and thiswas set to increase, said the HSE. But while getting it right can mean reduced stress levels because workershave greater control over their work environment and are more challenged,getting it wrong can mean raised stress levels, the HSE warned. Team-working could increase workload and mean employees were uncertain aboutwhat was expected of them under the new approach. Lean production teams – where employees work together on tightly-linkedtasks using highly standardised methods – can mean greater workload and lessjob discretion, the study found. But where team-working used a model that set it in an appropriate context,particularly its design, implementation process and support culture, thewell-being of employees was often better safeguarded. It can help employees work more collaboratively and better co-ordinateinter-dependent activities. Teams that promoted job autonomy, skill variety and feedback would generallyhave a positive effect on their employees. Report author Dr Helen Williams said: “Implementing team-working isimplicitly neither good nor bad for employee wellbeing. Rather, the effects ofteam-working will depend on a number of organisational, design, strategic,individual and implementation factors.” She added: “The important point is organisations need to recognise theycan make choices that have important consequences for employee well-being.Employers need to be fully informed about the choices available to them, andthe consequences of these choices.” www.hsebooks.co.uk Success is getting it rightOn 1 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.