What’s the problem with Team Building?

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Employees are often called team members, so it would follow that strengthening or building the team would result in a unified group and more efficient work force. Employers often schedule team building activities, retreats and gatherings to encourage and foster a team spirit. So, what’s the problem? The problem is hourly employees aren’t interested in being on a team. They are hired to do a job and when the shift is over, they are out the door. That is the contract (whether verbal or formally written, as in a Union shop) they enter into when they accept the position. The expectation that hourly employees will welcome the chance to bond with team members (especially if there is no compensation to do so) is not realistic. When I was an hourly employee, I always wondered, What’s the point? And what’s in it for me? Management would do well to answer those questions before urging hourly employees to join the team.