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Self managed teams are able to plan and execute their day to day work effortlessly. They are more focused and motivated and are more likely to succeed. 

This is because team members plan,and manage their work on their own, set their own deadlines, and execute all tasks from start to finish by themselves. This has more creative space for innovation and new ideas. Not to forget, it feels great not having a micromanager on your back every time you turn around.  

Do managers have a role in self managed teams? 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. A manager’s role isn’t just limited to assigning tasks and ensuring that they get done. 

A manager sets the overall direction of work or a project or a task. And it is upon them to equip team members with the tools and resources necessary to accomplish those tasks. 

In self managed teams, team members can manage their everyday work without much interference from their managers. But they still need them for help and direction in their goals. 

Managers are an integral part of any self managed team because they provide the much needed support that is otherwise missing in self managed teams. 

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How to encourage teams to be self managed?

Adapt new technology  

Tools can solely enhance your team’s self management skills. Think about it this way – would you prefer that team members remember all their tasks at all times? Or would you prefer them to write it down so that they don’t forget anything later?

Of course you’d want team members to note everything down. Because it reduces the room for mistakes and errors. 

Similarly, if team members are going to manage and execute their own work, they need tools that would provide them with the information and overview needed to get things done right. 

Task overviews, access to intelligent analytics, and enhanced transparency are only some of the things your team would require if you want them to self manage their actions. And managers need to ensure that their teams have everything they would need. 

Make tasks more fluid

Before we talk about blurring the boundaries around tasks, here’s what you need to understand. 

Tasks need to be defined carefully and their ownership needs to be assigned to specific team members. This ensures accountability and responsibility among the team members. However, when you blur the boundaries around task ownership, self managed teams take the initiative to work together to achieve those goals. 

Self managed teams own multiple parts in the process of accomplishing a task. You can ensure that this smoothly flows by reminding your team not to focus on ‘whose task is this’. Instead focus more on how to collectively achieve the goals. 

By eliminating rigid boundaries between roles, teams can explore their passions, build trust, and thrive without requiring constant direction from management.  

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Encourage team to make their own decisions

This is highly crucial if you want your team to be self managed. Because individuals can’t possibly manage their actions if they do not have faith in their decisions. 

Traditional organisations rely heavily on managers for approval and decision making. But you can empower your team by putting decisions in their hands. 

Don’t tell your team members what you do as a manager. Instead, let people talk about their challenges and try to find their own solutions. Inspiring people to trust their own decision-making abilities is powerful. In fact, a key aspect of leadership coaching is motivating team members to find solutions for themselves. If you want to see people stand up, you need to show that you trust their judgement and keep reminding them until they can trust themselves.

As you work to build trust in your team, make sure that your team members benefit from taking responsibility for their decisions. Having someone closest to the job in charge makes it easier to determine the right course of action. Plus, managers no longer need to approve everything, speeding up the process and allowing teams with strong self-management skills to work more efficiently.

Conclusion

Making it clear to your team that you encourage independence and initiative, paves the way for a stronger, more confident team that values doing their best work. 

Remember, helping your team develop self-management skills doesn’t mean that you, as a manager, abandon them. Instead, you should meet with each and every team member weekly to help them continue to improve and grow.  

Poorvi Naithani

Content Marketer

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