There are many and interesting variations between conventional and team working environments. In the conventional context, the role of preparing and deciding the job to be performed is played by supervisors, while in the team environment, management and employees work together as a team to organize and determine the activities to be accomplished. The definition of work is limited and cross-training is not encouraged in the conventional setting as it is perceived to be inefficient. Team cultures, on the other hand, have cross-training as the standard, and positions are designed to favor workers with a wide range of talents and competencies. The traditional environment discourages and punishes risk-taking, focuses on individual productivity with rewards hinged on employee performances resulting in a skewed reward system. The team working environment is founded on players, managers, and workers, working together in teams to realize goals that are beneficial to all members, sharing of knowledge among group members including the management is encouraged, and the reward system is designed to recognize both individual and team performances (Perry Jr et al., 2013).
Building and Implementing Effective Self-Managed Teams in the Business
Self-managed teams are designed to function successfully without any authoritative figure to supervise their actions or performance. Individuals within the work team are dependent upon one another, but the role of the supervisor is absent. Although self-managed teams report to the management, managers do take part in the ongoing and daily activities of the work team. The process of building and successfully implementing self-managed teams to operate indefinitely within the business will involve the following stages.
Managers and employees from all the eight business locations will meet each at their location of work and form a work team. During this stage, each team will learn about their opportunities and the challenges they are likely to face while members who do not understand the importance of the team or may be confused about their responsibilities are informed accordingly (Perry Jr et al., 2013). The team will then lay down ground rules or team guidelines that will guide performance and accountability.
The second stage will involve the team members coming together and selecting their preferred leadership approach and model of decision-making. This is important to help quell the open hostilities and conflict that arise as each member tries to express their ideas and compete for the leadership position or influence. The team leaders selected are responsible for creating harmony, patience, and trust among team members by guiding the team towards achieving the defined goals in a responsible manner within a conducive and open environment.
Here, the group members will agree and assume responsibility for the assigned tasks and outcomes, develop work habits that are supportive of team rules and values, and use established mechanisms to attain team objectives. Team members develop close relations, understand the strengths of one another and use them appropriately to achieve the defined goals.
At this stage, there exists mutual trust among team members; members are highly motivated to work and participate in the team-decision making process. Team members, being loyal and committed to the group objectives focus their energy towards accomplishing their assigned tasks.
Contribution of Self-Managed Teams to the Overall Effectiveness of the Business
Building and implementing successful self-managed teams will prove crucial in uplifting the effectiveness of the business as a whole. Self-managed teams will help save on time and cost of doing business as less time will be used by the manager to travel from one location to another to solve minor issues whereas self-directed will help improve efficiency, reduce wastage and save on management expenses. The executive manager will have additional time to focus on overall business performance, and the making strategic decisions including the desired business expansion over the next five years (Gallie et al., 2012). The overall productivity of the business will increase significantly due to a concentrated effort, increased employee motivation and morale, and accountability for individual actions. Moreover, decision-making is expected to become more effective due to the involvement of all players making it quick to make and implement crucial decisions.
Gallie, D., Zhou, Y., Felstead, A., & Green, F. (2012). Teamwork, skill development and employee welfare. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 50(1), 23-46.
Perry Jr, E. E., Karney, D. F., & Spencer, D. G. (2013). Team establishment of self-managed work teams: a model from the field. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 19(1/2), 87-108.