When Helping You is Hurting Me: How to Encourage Healthy Teamwork

One-DreamEvery day, employees make decisions about whether to act like ‘givers’ or like ‘takers.’ When they act like givers, they contribute to others without seeking anything in return. They might offer assistance, share knowledge, or make valuable introductions. When they act like takers, they try to get people to serve their ends while carefully guarding their own expertise and time.”

So begins the introduction of an article, “In the Company of Givers and Takers” by Wharton Management Professor Adam Grant in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review. As I noted in my previous post, I’m going to share findings from the article and pass along some related best practices from Intertech. But first a bit more introduction from Grant:

“Organizations have a strong interest in fostering giving behavior. A willingness to help others achieve their goals lies at the heart of effective collaboration, innovation, quality improvement, and service excellence. In workplaces where such behavior becomes the norm, the benefits multiply quickly.”

I couldn’t agree more. Intertech team members truly embrace the “one team, one dream” philosophy and our company continues to grow and thrive. We do not tolerate ego-inflated “superstars” who think only of themselves to the detriment of customers or fellow consultants. We pull together, like crewmembers of a rowing team, with corresponding positive results.

Apparently, we’re not alone.

The link between employees helping each other and desirable business outcomes is well documented:

Higher rates of (employee) giving were predictive of higher unit profitability, productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction, along with lower costs and turnover rates. When employees act like givers, they facilitate efficient problem solving and coordination, and build cohesive, supportive cultures that appeal to customers, suppliers and top talent alike,” notes Grant.

Next time: Why worry about so-called “takers” if we want employees to “give”?