One of the values that guides our activities in Grupo Salinas is teamwork. It is an important value since we have set high goals and need the coordinated efforts of all to achieve them. Teamwork multiplies our productivity, creates value when tasks are carried out that complement each other, and contributes to the development of all.
A strictly economic principle that guides teamwork is the division of labor. The gains in productivity derived from this principle were very clearly demonstrated by Adam Smith in the 18th century, when he studied production in a simple company dedicated to manufacturing pins.
His analysis compared the company’s production in two moments, (a) when the entire volume of work was undertaken by a single person, and (b) when production was optimally divided, in 18 stages, with a team comprised of its own members. Each team member specialized in a task according to his abilities —from the purchase of wire to the packaging and sale of the finished product— and the results were surprising. The per capita production of pins rose exponentially, from 1,000 to 4,800 per day, thanks to the formation and composition of the team.
But teamwork goes considerably beyond the division of labor. It requires a mystique, common goals, shared values, mutual trust, appropriate incentives, and leadership.
Here, the role of the leader is key, since he or she: (i) outlines clear goals, (ii) assigns activities, (iii) sets delivery deadlines, (iv) involves all the team members in tasks in accordance with individual abilities, (v) determines an optimum use of resources, and (vi) defines the best possible size of the group.
This latter point is important, as bureaucracy should be prevented at all cost, and therefore we should avoid what is known as the “the helper’s helper syndrome,” which in an extreme case leads us to figuratively get in each other’s way.
It is also important that the team be comprised of the best workers in their area of expertise and that, in addition, they complement each others’ skills and abilities. The formation of such a team will serve as support and a growth platform for all.
In addition to the obvious advantages for the company, teamwork is key for growth of those who comprise it. This value helps us develop a sense of commitment and belonging. It also benefits us through the multiplication of value, with which we can achieve a better future.