Why Teams Don't Work

How we love clichés, especially when it comes to teamwork.

“There is no I in team.”

“Teamwork makes the dream work.”

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

These sayings and so many more are seen on coffee cups and motivational posters in restaurant offices everywhere. We have preached teamwork so much that the idea of teamwork has become diluted. We have poisoned our own restaurants by talking a good game that on the surface sounds wonderful. What we end up with in reality is far from the uplifting quote floating around the employee bulletin board or mentioned during pre-shift.

We have become cynical and weary when other talk about teamwork as if it is the proverbial “boy who cried wolf.” While we want teamwork, it has become elusive and hard to find in today’s restaurants. Sure, it’s easy to blame the younger generation and say they don’t know what teamwork is all about. That is an easy out and is not accurate. If they do not know what teamwork it, it is because of the fact we have not set the example. Let’s talk about why teamwork doesn’t always work.