More than Four-in-Five Working Adults Find it Difficult to Work in Teams, Reveals University of Phoenix Survey

  More than Four-in-Five Working Adults Find it Difficult to Work in Teams,
  Reveals University of Phoenix Survey

 Lack of training and desire to prove individual success cited as barriers to
                               teamwork success

Business Wire

PHOENIX -- October 15, 2013

A recent University of Phoenix survey finds that 84 percent (more than
four-in-five) of working adults (or employed adults) think that working on
teams in the workplace is difficult. Of working adults who think teams often
fail in the workplace, more than three-in-five (61 percent) say there is not
enough training.

The survey looked at why working adults found working on teams to be
difficult, the reasons behind why working teams fail, as well as why
individuals are or aren’t personally successful in working in teams. The
online survey of 1,072 employed U.S. adults was conducted by Harris
Interactive on behalf of University of Phoenix in August 2013.

When questioned about the specific reasons for this, 45 percent feel there is
an “in-it-for-one’s-self” mentality in the workplace. Workload is also an
issue, with 40 percent of working adults citing fewer employees are doing more
work, which causes for less time for team efforts. Electronic communication is
also a barrier, with 35 percent of working adults saying that emails, instant
messaging and other electronic communications have reduced the opportunity for
face-to-face interaction with co-workers.

“Working in teams can be one of the more challenging dynamics one faces in the
workplace,” said Dr. Bill Pepicello, president of University of Phoenix.
“Developing teamwork skills is a critical factor for success for individuals
and the businesses for which they work. At University of Phoenix, we integrate
collaborative assignments and learning teams into our curriculum at both the
undergraduate and graduate level, so that students enter their careers with a
firm understanding of team dynamics in the workplace.”

When asked specifically about why team efforts in the workplace fail, the
focus on the individual versus the team was even stronger. Fifty-nine percent
of working adults who think teams often fail in the workplace note that part
of the problem is that individuals are more motivated to be individually
successful. More than half (52 percent) of these working adults also felt that
a lack of clearly defined roles contributed to team failures.

Lack of proper training, however, was the most often-cited reason for why team
often fail in the workplace; more than three-in-five of those working adults
who think teams often fail in the workplace (61 percent) say there is not
enough training. Further, only 26 percent of working adults who are college
graduates (those holding a bachelor’s degree or more education) said teamwork
was a focus during their college education.

“Teams of diverse workers with a breadth of experience can bring strength to
everyone involved when both employers and employees are committed to
developing high-functioning teams,” said Pepicello. “Today’s corporate
environment hosts multiple generations of employees with different skills and
experiences. University of Phoenix’s student base directly reflects this with
students from varied generations and professional experience, and our
curriculum mirrors today’s workplace by requiring our students to carry out
projects in learning teams so they can be more effective when working in these
environments as they begin or advance in their careers.”

To learn more about University of Phoenix degree programs, visit

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris
Interactive on behalf of University of Phoenix from August 5-7, 2013 among
1,072 employed adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a
probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can
be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables,
please contact Christopher Fielder (

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move
efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible
schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help
students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while
balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:
APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering
associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and
learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For
more information, visit


University of Phoenix
Christopher Fielder, 847-285-2608
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