A company is only as strong as its people.
And while there is no “I” in team, every employee will have times when they must work alone and times when they must work with the rest of the team.
It can be challenging for employees to navigate between solitary work and teamwork, because some people perform better in groups while others work best when they go solo. A good manager will be able to find the right balance for the team, recognizing that it's impossible to please every individual team member 100% of the time.
Find the right mix
If you do not understand the employees you work with, it will be very difficult to manage them to their full potential. Therefore, it’s crucial that managers identify what type of workers are on their teams so they can put each employee in a position to be successful.
A manager can help employees grow by assigning them to work in a group when they may not feel like it or have them work on projects alone when they’d rather work in a group. These instances can be made into learning experiences that will help employees push beyond what they think they are capable of doing. Getting employees to switch gears can lead to breakthroughs on projects.
Growth only occurs outside of one’s comfort zone
Allow team members to work and grow within their comfort zone, but also encourage them to work outside of their comfort zones. This means, allowing employees to hone their strengths, while simultaneously helping them to expand their skillsets and do things they find harder. This enables them to grow into more well-rounded professionals. The more well-rounded the team, the better they will be at coming up with novel solutions to problems that arise. Remember, the best way management can teach team members to work outside the areas in which they’re comfortable is by example.
Knowing when to "join the band" and when to "go solo" will be hugely important to getting everyone on the team to pull the cart in the same direction so the work will be done efficiently. At the end of the day, managers and team members must communicate with each other constantly to make sure everyone's needs are being met, keeping in mind that servicing the client is the #1 goal.
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