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What's the Secret to Successful Teamwork? Just Be Nice.

Don't underestimate the power of nurturing a 'close-knit' team
What's the Secret to Successful Teamwork? Just Be Nice.
Image credit: Courtesy Disney Institute
By Bruce Jones

Last year, the New York Times published an article about how to build the perfect team, in which the author cited compelling research pointing to why some work groups are successful, and some are not.

The author wrote: “What interested the researchers most…was that teams that did well on one assignment usually did well on all the others. Conversely, teams that failed at one thing seemed to fail at everything. The researchers eventually concluded that what distinguished the ‘good’ teams from the dysfunctional groups was how teammates treated one another.”

The relationship employees have with each other plays a critical role in creating an effective work team effectiveness, keeping employees happier over time, and ultimately, impacting an organization’s overall success.

So, what was the secret ingredient in how these successful teams treated one another? Simply said, being nice! Which made perfect sense to us.

At Disney Institute, in our professional development training courses, we share with business professionals something we have found to be a key success factor: organizations and leaders should strongly encourage peer-to-peer (employee-to-employee) care.

Think about it. It’s much easier for people to stay and work hard with a “family” who is supportive, encouraging and has each other’s back. Peer-to-peer care can contribute mightily to fostering a “being nice to each other” organizational culture by:

  • Creating a healthy interdependence between co-workers, leading to an environment of mutual trust and collaboration.
  • Building and nurturing authentic relationships that tend not to be perceived as part of some other organizational agenda.
  • Fostering a genuine sense of a “caring community” where the bonds of trust are extremely strong—much like a family environment.

Ultimately, when co-workers like and trust one another, organizations can reap significant benefits in terms of higher productivity and higher retention, while also creating agile workplaces where teamwork, creativity and continuous innovation can flourish.

Interested in learning more? Read how genuine care can boost employee engagement and strengthen company culture. Looking for a more in-depth learning on the topic of improving company culture by fostering peer-to-peer care? Consider enrolling in Disney’s Approach to Employee Engagement, our professional development training course that imparts techniques for improving workplace culture through employee training, communication and care.

What are some ways you can begin to create an environment of peer-to-peer care in your organization?

For more information, visit us at

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