Implementing self directed work teams

Harvy Simkovits, CMC, President of Business Wisdom, works with owner managed companies to help them grow, prosper and continue on by offering innovative approaches to business development, company management, organization leadership and learning, and management education.

For the teams to have a proper incentive, a new system was required that would appraise and reward group performance in addition to individual players. Self-directed teams result in: Self-directed or Mis-directed Work Teams?

The Plant Manager of MANUFAC had done a reasonably good job in structuring and staffing the teams and in outlining overall productivity, delivery and quality goals for them.

Also, the company was still trying to use its old appraisal and reward system which worked to motivate and compensate employees individually rather than as a team. At MANUFAC, the Plant Manager, who had spent both a year educating himself in the concept of teams, and months working to get the company owners and production employees interested in this concept, spearheaded the effort.

Share this item with your network: Federal Express is an example of a company that use self-directed work teams.

But, in the end, the team is held accountable for the success or failure of a project.

It can generate innovative solutions to problems and greater organizational commitment from employees. Over the course of several months, and with good intentions, MANUFAC, switched from traditional production departments into separate product-oriented teams with each team made responsible for production functions for different product categories.

Studies have shown that self-directed teams are more effective than Quality Circles and Total Quality Management in generating high performance from employees. Not everyone within the team or within management believed that the self-directed team concept would work.

SDWT members must decide how they want to work together. It can lead to exciting gains in productivity and quality. Group productivity and quality incentives, when properly combined with individual incentives for skill mastery, work to heighten collaboration and decrease competition among employees.

When the teams took their issues to the Plant Manager for his guidance, he turned the problem back to the teams by saying "You work it out yourselves in your team. A self-directed work team SDWT is a group of people, usually employees in a company, who combine different skills and talents to work without the usual managerial supervision toward a common purpose or goal.

Because a manager or boss does not lead, they must agree on the rules and deadlines for accomplishing their purpose.

Often they just stood by as the teams floundered. Quinn Millssuggests that four conditions need to exist before a company can consider moving towards self-directed teams: Also, trust became an issue.

Also the original production supervisors, who were now team members, did little to help the teams get their work accomplished.

It also involves ongoing communication and follow-up to ensure a successful transition. Purposes might include problem solving, increasing sales and productivity, career training, and product improvement.

Nevertheless, making the shift from a traditional hierarchical organization into a team structure is not simple, nor easy. It is extremely important to prepare for and think through the implications of this change before implementation.

self-directed work team (SDWT)

Proper planning, preparation and education are needed to make empowered, self-directed work teams successful. Also, the old supervisors had never been trained to act as coaches in order to help the teams through their difficulties.

In the case of MANUFAC, the Plant Manager had done a good job in providing abundant information to the teams and positively encouraged the teams to learn from their mistakes.

The move to self-directed teams is worth the investment. You can, however, make the transition easier by keeping in mind the elements discussed in this article.

If a problem arises during the course of a project, the team members work together to provide a solution.

Some teams create a charter or set of rules that describe what is expected of each member. Making a Successful Shift to Greater Self-Direction As you may gather from this discussion and example, the shift from a traditional organizational structure to self-directed teams can be complicated.

There was very little inter- team communication and collaboration, which was necessary for team learning. An optimal SDWT is said to be between five and nine members. In order for an SDWT to succeed, the company or organization must provide a meaningful mission statement to the team, empower the team to do what it needs to do including making important decisions, support the team, establish and provide the boundaries, rules, and company policies, and train the members with the skills and knowledge needed to accomplish their purpose.

Reinforcing Team Self-Direction Even if the above four conditions are met, five other requirements need to be addressed while implementing self-directed teams: Evolutionary changes, rather than fast, revolutionary ones usually yield better results.

He can be reached at or.Even if the above four conditions are met, five other requirements need to be addressed while implementing self-directed teams: Employees need to be made clear of the organization's mission and vision, and be able to identify their work in the context of that mission and vision.

Implementing Self-Directed Teams (HBS Case )” Order Description Read HBS case “RL Wolfe: Implementing Self-Directed Teams (HBS Case )” and answer the following three questions: What are key design features of self-directed teams (SDT)? Do you think SDT is successful at the new Corpus Christi plant?

In terms of both human resource management and. Why Teams Can Fail identifies the most common problems faced by high-performance, self-directed teams and offers specific suggestions for spotting and solving the 5/5(1). Hence self-directed teams employ a more participative means of control, being able to determine work assignments, work methods and scheduling of activities.

Despite the fact that these teams are called 'self-directed', there must be a supervisory figure within the team. Topics Include: Designing Teams, Implementing Change, Self-Directed Teams, Workforce Management, General Management, Managing Teams, High Performance.

53 IMPLEMENTING SELF-DIRECTED WORK TEAMS AT A COLLEGE NEWSPAPER EmmElinE dE Pillis University of Hawaii at Hilo BlakE Parsons Winning Strategies Washington The problem: Motivating and retaining staff had become an ongoing problem at the student newspaper.

Implementing self directed work teams
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