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Best Practices for Using Self-Directed Work Teams

Work TeamsSelf-directed work teams are pulled together to accomplish a specific goal. They are self-directed as they are not managed by a leader and are empowered to accomplish their task as they see fit – solving problems and making decisions as a team. They are comprised of individuals that represent cross-functional areas and have a variety of skills and expertise.

Use self-directed work teams to:

  • Develop training programs
  • Plan a customer appreciation event
  • Develop a new product marketing strategy
  • Work on a cross-functional initiative
  • Evaluate, refine and document processes

As a best practice, provide self-directed teams support they need to be successful in reaching their goals:

  • Training in how to work together as a team, how to make decisions and solve problems that arise
  • Ensuring that the team will have the autonomy needed to accomplish their goals, enabling for time to complete the tasks, resources needed in the way of equipment, access to information, technology, etc.
  • Ensuring the team has a specific, clear goal and that the team understands that goal.

Self-directed teams keeps employees engaged and motivated. It’s a great way to learn new skills, build on current skills, and enable team members to build networks throughout the organization. They also increase commitment to the organization and enable for creative, diverse solutions to problems.