Self-Managed Teams: Do More with the Same

From Unmanaged to Self-Managed

Self-Managed Teams LogoIf you are looking to replace a team leader, you might have another option: Don't.

In less time and at much lower cost than it takes to recruit and fully train a new manager, TeamTrainers can convert many teams into self-managed teams. Also known as self-directed work teams (SDWTs), these handle all of the administrative duties a team leader would and report as a group to the next-level manager. The manager often gets more influence over and information about the team's activities, with relatively little impact to their work time. Ask yourself:

  • How long will it take for you to hire and fully orient a new leader?
  • How much will that cost, in formal training and your labor time?
  • How much extra will you have to pay them, year after year?
  • Will that person know how to take all the steps science says he or she could to maximize group productivity?

Here are two examples that illustrate the profit-raising potential:

  • The graphics department in Palm Beach County (Florida) formed a self-directed team by splitting half of the former supervisor's pay among the team members in exchange for taking over the supervisor's duties. Within a year the team created a 21% increase in revenues—while saving the taxpayers the other half of the supervisor's pay!
  • At Los Alamos National Laboratory, after four months as a self-directed team, three technical communicators were doing as much work as the group had done before with five people—including a team leader—yet reported no additional stress.

Consider the Possibility

Our team coach can assess in half a day whether the group can be successful as a self-managed team. If not, we'll say so rather than set ourselves up for failure. But if it can, the coach will help the team continue its regular work by facilitating its team meetings while training the members to take over. Using our unique SuddenTeams™ Program, the team will learn to manage itself under a middle manager's guidance. The process generally takes about three months plus follow-up coaching. In that short time you can get:

  • Higher Team ProductivityEmpowerment is proven to increase productivity, and self-direction requires team structures that increase productivity in any team, but few use.
  • Lower Team Costs—You do not have to pay someone extra to be the team leader, plus team structure usually reduces operating costs.
  • Higher Worker Satisfaction—Empowerment is also a powerful tool for increasing employee motivation, engagement, and job satisfaction, according to scientific findings.

Contact TeamTrainers today to explore the profit possibilities of a self-managed team.