We all work on teams in some part of our life, and the importance of teamwork is evident in each one of them. If we don’t get our work finished on time , we realize at some level that we’re pushing responsibilities onto other members of the team. However, the importance of teamwork goes beyond fulfilling our duties to others. The old African proverb on teamwork says it best: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Teamwork helps us grow as people and accomplish more than we ever could on our own. Without teamwork, we wouldn’t be able to build companies at all. So what, exactly, makes teamwork so important in the workplace? Teamwork helps us in many ways. Without teamwork, many of our jobs would likely never get done. Below are just a few more reasons outlining the importance of teamwork. 1. Have Empathy and Support for Other Team Members The emotional side of leadership is finally getting the attention it deserves. Executives have found that while people might respect their “no-nonsense” boss, they might not be as inspired by them. Empathy can make team members more loyal, engaged, happy, creative, and willing to work together. A team working together closely can see what each member contributes. Think about what that means: through empathy, employees on a team can hold each other accountable, lend helping hands, and speak up when someone needs a break. They are dependent on each other for success and have real, in-person interactions, so they are much more likely to put themselves in each others’ shoes. My team uses a project management platform called Teamwork to support each other, and we’ve seen improvement in how we look out for each other. If everybody’s on the same page about where a project stands, it makes it easier to understand where somebody’s mindset is when they are doing certain tasks. 2. Share Responsibilities Like a football team, each member of a work team has his or her own specialty. Even if the right tackle dominates every play, it doesn’t mean that the team is going to win. It takes every player, doing his or her part and working together to win. Companies can’t hope to compete if only half the team is pushing for the finish line. If one player is having a bad day, the rest of the team has to pitch in — which keeps those team members from owning their own roles. This is how teams work: they make decisions that benefit the group, even if it means certain members need to make sacrifices. Group identity is what might inspire someone to go to war for their country or put in overtime hours on a group project. When you identify as being part of a team, it triggers a shift in you goals. No longer are you thinking “What’s in it for me?” You’re thinking “What does this mean for us ?” This motivates you to then pursue the goals of the group, making the company stronger. 3. Build Bonds We’ve probably all done the “trust fall” exercise. While this might be the most common team-building exercise, it’s not the only way to help a team come together. Workplace teams spend long hours together and need to trust each member to protect everyone’s livelihood.