Self-Directed Work Teams

Through the natural evolution of the Lean work environment, associates begin to work more as interdependent teams in order to accomplish area and company goals. When this begins, it is time to support the transition to a self-directed workforce, capable of managing their own areas with greatly reduced supervision and oversight. Self-Directed Work Teams, to a large degree, voluntarily interact with internal customers and suppliers to improve area effectiveness and effectively deal with area issues.

Implementation: Once you’re ready to begin formalizing Self-Directed Work Teams, we take eligible teams through a series of team-building exercises geared toward increasing trust, cooperation, communication, and responsibility for self and others. This is a truly incredible and powerful process that results in personal and group change to allow for a very rapid, but consistent evolution of the team.

Teams quickly learn to function at a basic level, determining simple things like who reorders consumables, how to adjust schedules, and resolving minor area issues. Later, team development may include providing input on hiring, discipline, advanced area troubleshooting, and production scheduling (within the area). Effective self-directed work teams yield highly competent and capable employees with a genuine investment in area and company success.

At TPS we find no undertaking more satisfying then helping empower individuals and teams to effectively contribute to their company. In such an atmosphere, everyone enjoys a more rewarding work environment. This is a process that takes time and careful attention to many nuances. We facilitate the entire process while creating co-facilitators for long-term training and implementation.

Summary: Creating Self-Directed Work Teams that truly function is an advanced undertaking that yields outstanding results when properly implemented and supported. Such teams earn the trust and respect of management to deal with increasing individual competence and team responsibilities. These efforts benefit the team, an area, and the entire company. The best companies in the world attribute their success to maximizing the talents of their human resources by creating positive production environments driven by advanced teamwork.

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