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Preparing for Self-Directed Work Teams

Preparing for Self-Directed Work Teams

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Preparing for Self-Directed Work Teams

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  1. Preparing for Self-Directed Work Teams COS 4880 Bruce K. Barnard

  2. Self-Directed Work Team • A highly trained group of 6-18 people • Responsible for turning out finished work • A wide-range of cross functional skills • Access to information to make decisions • Plan, set priorities, organize, coordinate, measure and take corrective action. • Solve problems, schedule and assign work. • Make personnel decisions.

  3. Results • Xerox -- increased productivity by 30% • Proctor & Gamble -- 30-40% better productivity in team-based plants • Tektronix -- teams reduced product assembly from 14 days to 3 days • General Motors – 20-40% better productivity in team-based plants

  4. So Let’s Get Started! • Will self-direction work here? • What is required to support a self-directed work team?

  5. Feasibility • Are the work processes compatible with self-direction? • Shared technology, territory, & time • What goods and services are produced? • How are they produced? (automation, interpersonal involvement)

  6. Feasibility • Are employees willing and able to make self-direction work? • Can each member perform at least 80% of the required tasks, including administrative functions? • Do members have a capacity for problem-solving and interpersonal relationships • Do members have the capacity to manage the ambiguity of the start-up phase?

  7. Feasibility • Can managers handle the hands-off leadership style required? • Will they permit autonomy and provide the necessary information? • Do they encourage employee involvement now? • Will they support the move to self-directed work teams?

  8. Feasibility • Is the market healthy or promising enough to support improved productivity without reducing the workforce?

  9. Feasibility • Will the organization’s policies and culture support the transition to teams? • Beware and “us versus them” mentality or efficiency at the expense of job satisfaction. • Multi-level communication • The switch to teams requires strong support from corporate or upper management.

  10. Feasibility • Will the community support the transition to teams? • Teams may clash with values and strong held beliefs. • Employees are members of the community first and teams second. • Family support is critical

  11. Start-up State of confusion Leader-centered team Tightly formed teams Self-directed teams Optimism Role upheaval Reliance on team leader Fierce loyalty to team Cooperative self managment Stages

  12. Stages • As we move through the stages responsibility gradually shifts from managers to the team.

  13. Stages • Managers must be prepared for a long-term process of transferring authority to the team • The organization must be willing to invest in the required training • Planning should include operations, social aspects, and communication.

  14. Stages • Prior to implementation, organizations should think through tasks traditionally considered management responsibilities. • Compensation • Performance review • Planning • New product development

  15. Stage One (Start-Up) • The goal is preparation, preparing the field for planting.

  16. Stage One (Start-Up) • Conduct awareness training, what they are and what they aren’t. • Select members • Align the method of production with the way people work. • We must establish trust BEFORE we will get “buy-in”.

  17. Stage One (Start-Up) • Boundaries • Teams have a clear sense of identity • Harmonize team efforts with the organization • Ensure accountability • Ensure compliance with specification requirements, fiscal, and legal mandates.

  18. Stage One (Start-Up) • Training for managers • Training for team members • Technical skills • Administrative skills • Interpersonal skills • Group process awareness

  19. Stage One (Start-Up) • Involve the team in the start-up process! • Build a culture of experimentation, measurement, & re-evaluation • Stage one lasts 6-9 months.

  20. Stage Two (State of Confusion) • The goal is regulated growth, building a solid root structure to support later growth.

  21. Stage Two (State of Confusion) • Members will naturally mourn the loss of certain predictable events and expectations, “we have always done it this way”. • Concerns about job security. • Will it really work?

  22. Stage Two (State of Confusion) • Managers need to be visible during stage two. • Encourage reorganization for self-management • Monitor team performance and benchmark • Hand off new responsibilities as soon as the team is ready • Facilitate communication among teams and provide education to others.

  23. Stage Two (State of Confusion) • Hazards of stage two • Managers who won’t let go • Managers who are hoping the team will collapse • Managers who won’t get involved

  24. Stage Two (State of Confusion) • Offer technical assistance • Positive feedback • Do the teams have the information they need? • Are procedures in place to support self-direction? • Access to training and consultation • Stage two lasts 6-9 months

  25. Stage Three (Leader-Centered Teams) • Goal, focus on the outcome and develop an identity. Nurture the plant until it is capable of adapting to its conditions and sustaining its own growth .

  26. Stage Three (Leader-Centered Teams • Members take more of an interest in the quality of their product or service. • Team members may begin to challenge managers. • Teams are assigning work and organizing themselves. • Managers take more of an external role.

  27. Stage Three (Leader-Centered Teams) • Team leaders may be appointed or elected, team input is critical. • Leadership may rotate • Team leaders must accept the goal of self-direction. Their mission is to guide the team towards autonomy.

  28. Stage Three (Leader-Centered Teams • Build team identity • Promote a vision • Recognition and rewards • Encourage leadership activities among all team members • Stage three lasts 6-12 months.

  29. Stage Four (Tightly Formed Teams) • Goal, begin to look outward. Pollination and flowering requires relationships with other plants and sustenance from outside sources.

  30. Stage Four (Tightly Formed Teams) • Teams may turn inward and become self-absorbed • They actively resolve conflicts • They manage their own production • They communicate regarding resources and goals

  31. Stage Four (Tightly Formed Teams) • Maintain communication with management • Integrate the team with other teams and the rest of the organization • Increase information about performance • Manager to team – not manager to team member • Stage four lasts 6-12 months

  32. Stage Five (Self-Direction) • Goal, link the team’s work directly to the outcome of the organization.

  33. Stage Five (Self-Direction) • Continue to respond to training needs. • Build team-friendly systems • Focus on external customer needs and expectations

  34. Stage Five (Self-Direction) • Focus on the work process, issue, or behavior not on the person. • Maintain the self-confidence and self-esteem of others. • Maintain strong partnerships with internal and external customers • Improve and lead by example

  35. Discussion • What factors might effect the times required in each stage? • What types of training would be required for any self-directed team conversion, regardless of the product? • Can anyone be trained and coached to be an effective team member?