Business Success Through Self Directed Work Teams

Self Directed Work Teams

Assume you have offices in different parts of country or city. And these are managed by teams at those places. The team is group of people or employees of your company. Each team may be of 2 to 25 members. Team size of 5 to 10 members is preferred. Team members have skills and talent. Company has defined mission statement. Team develop its purpose to work to move towards the mission. e.g. work purpose of a team may problem solving or increasing sales or productivity or career training or product improvement or something else. The team works with its decided purpose and manages the team itself. There may not be a supervisor or manager or boss to manage and control the team in every task. Team manages the work or project itself. Such teams as known as Self Directed  Work Team.

Federal Express is an example of a successful company that use self-directed work teams.


Self directed work teams should have following characteristics –

Joint Responsibility

Let every member feel that he is responsible for the success or failure of the project. Let him develop a sense of shareholder or ownership of the project. This will motivate him to work harder for the project. He will invest more of his time and other resources to make the project successful.


A sense of interdependence among team members is needed. It increases  the success of team. Members should rely on each other and share the information for best results. Let each member understand his responsibility and work for it. Let him complete his tasks towards success of project.


Self-directed teams need to feel empowered to proceed with their project. A team with a successful plan for completing its project needs the ability to proceed with its plan. The company needs to provide the team with the authority to move ahead with the plan without seeking additional approval. Self-directed teams empowered to proceed maintain the momentum for seeing the project succeed.

Common Goal

There should be a common goal. Team members should work towards the common goal. e.g. A team sets common goal to set 2000 TV sets in the city.  Let the planner, promoter, salesmen and every other member work to achieve this common goal.

(This post was written with love to Dr. Avinash Singh for blog


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