Buffalo NY – Mike Cardus asked to quote about Erie County Government and the giving of T-Shirts (and polo shirts) to increase camaraderie and teamwork amongst county workers. You can read the quote below;

From the Buffalo News;
The shirts are a fine tool for team building, said a “team building facilitator,” Michael Cardus of the Buffalo consulting firm Create-Learning-Team Building.

“I think it’s a good idea, and I think it’s a positive step,” he said. “But for the workplace to feel greater ownership and pride in their place of work, there must be things put in place for them to have pride in their work.
“For instance, let’s say you have a group of people, and you want them to feel empowered to make decisions. But then the first time that someone makes a decision that doesn’t align with the boss’s decision, they are squelched. There must be correlating cultural shifts,” he said.

I believe in incentive based positive reinforcement models – as I mentioned in the article companies must also change more than their Facade to create camaraderie. Throwing a Picnic or having the team wear matching shirts is a start – you must work on the inside, the core, to cause a good team work shift. Additionally, if someone is already unhappy with their job it is highly unlikely that shirts or a picnic are going to solve these individuals issues.
The simple solution is creating an environment of Transparency (speak the truth and share information) as well as measurable and achievable goals for team members to understand where they stand and what they are driving towards.