A team is a set of individuals who are bound to work together towards a shared goal or outcome. The number of teams an employee is involved in and the variety of the teams are important factors when addressing the employee’s learning and productivity.
THE RESEARCH STUDY
A recent team membership model shows that the more teams an employee is on the more productive the employee will be, up until a point where too many teams become overwhelming and productivity decreases significantly. On the other hand, the variety of teams an employee is on is important because the variety can aid in the increase of learning within teams and employees.
Understanding how team membership can affect productivity and learning will help managers and team leaders become more mindful of the number of teams they assign their employees too and the variety of the teams. Managers naturally want productive employees that gain experience out of the teams that they join. Employees can benefit from this as well. Knowing when to join teams and resisting teams they know will overwhelm them can help increase employee productivity and learning.
O’Leary, M.B., Mortensen, M., & Woolley, A.W. (2011). Multiple team membership: a theoretical model of its effects on productivity and learning for individuals and teams. Academy of Management Review, 36(3), 461-478.
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