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Team Players in Today's Business & Business Systems

Sep 14, 2008
In today's changing business climate you will often hear the question in interviews "Are you a team player?" Many are perplexed in answering this question. No matter what your feelings the best answer to the question is a simple "Yes" or "Of course!"

Why is there such an emphasis on this concept of team players in the business world when in America much of what we consider in successful people or people who in their lives had great and lasting personal effect was due to their own initiative and personal integrity even going against the grain and in effect singing "I did it my way."

The answer can be found to some degree in the concepts of "Mc Jobs" or assembly line concepts of jobs and job descriptions. If a person buys a restaurant franchise he or she is not buying a restaurant as much as they are buying a proven "system". It's the system that matters not the person making the sandwich or hamburger.

The employee is seen to have a limited function. Their role is one small cog in the wheel.

The employee that is there today may well be gone tomorrow being replaced by a new employee who needs limited extensive training as they too are seen to do a small repetitive function in the system. You may never get a great hamburger or sandwich as such an establishment but you will get a standardized basic product that is acceptable and predictable.

In such business organizations it's the system - or the team that matters most of all. It's true that being in a team and having a team spirit builds a spirit of collaboration. There is also the concept that the peer pressure of the team (or of the other members wanting to keep their jobs) may increase and enhance productivity and even profit. If a member of the group is not "pulling their weight" the other members of the team may see to see that either the employee shapes up or even leaves.

Next in line with the concept of working in a team is the enhanced communication. This is necessary in business organizations to ensure that information and tasks are passed down the line to their end result and feedback of success of efforts be relayed back up "to the top floor" or even "head office" If one worker is away - say sick or the position opens up communication becomes key in filling that slot and ensuring that the worker in that position both knows and is able to competently fill the slot.. Not only that but with the efficient communication of the team efforts it is often the case that there is more efficient allocation and application of the resources of any organization or business, talents and strengths. Team members in most cases, feel that they are part of a team effort "of something bigger than just themselves" and generally apply themselves to the best of their abilities, usually very willingly. On top of that it is often the case that when one team member may lack certain skills or knowledge components then the redundancy of the team spirit kicks in, and another member of the team will be there to assist or even fills in the gap.

It's no accident that businesses are now organized in team structures. Just as the game of American football is played by well organized and practiced teams - so are most business organizations. It makes excellent business sense both in terms of the business systems of the day and of company and business productivity and profit.

This why when asked in a job employment interview "Are you a team player?" always answer in the affirmative.
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