Teamwork isn’t the answer.  Supervisors and managers know this.  They are often frustrated by an implied expectation that all work is teamwork—that teamwork is The Answer.

Teamwork is Not the Answer One on One

The problem is in the semantics.  It is more accurate to say that teamwork is an option.  It may be an answer, but it is not always The Answer.  Sometimes it is the best option.  Sometimes it is the worst!  It depends on the task.  Some jobs require a team.  Some jobs could be done by an individual but would be better accomplished by a team.  And other assignments are best carried out by an individual.  To use a team for such tasks is to mismanage resources.  It can also be an insult to the employees who see it as a lack of trust in their abilities.

There is freedom in acknowledging this truth.  And there is a responsibility to accompany this freedom.  It is up to the supervisor or manager to assess a task or project and assign it appropriately.  Teamwork is an option.  But it is not the only one!

Teamwork is Not the Answer -Team

The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.

-James Cash Penney

When delegating individual assignments, it is important to communicate the expectations and to ensure that the work is supportive of the overall goals of the group/department/team.  Many employees fulfill individual responsibilities without ever seeing the big picture of how their work helps reach larger goals.  It helps to build motivation and meaning when the employee understands the why behind the what- the reason behind the assignment.

Any organization will, in some ways function as a team-all pulling together toward a common goal.  But the tasks that lead toward that goal will be a mix of individual tasks and team-oriented jobs.  Use wisdom to ensure that you assign work appropriately.  Remember, teamwork is an option, but it is not the only option.