What Are Self-Managed Teams? (With Tips)

Here at Clockwise, we enjoy keeping track of the ways that groups of people and businesses are changing the nature of work. Self-management is not a new concept. Although some sources claim it has existed since the 1950s, more and more businesses are now capitalizing on the momentum created by profound changes in our working environments (hello, virtual work!) and looking for even more opportunities for reinvention.

Self–managed Teams: An insider’s story | Helen Sanderson | TEDxUniversityofHertfordshire

Benefits of a self-managed team?

In the appropriate setting, self-managed teams can be a fruitful and enjoyable organizational strategy. Here are some potential advantages of a self-managed team to aid you in determining whether self-management is appropriate for your company:

Increased sense of employee ownership and agency

A self-managed team typically allows all members to participate in decision-making processes related to the work they do. This may increase the feeling of employee ownership over the good or service, which may result in better results. It can also increase employee agency, which is the sense that they are encouraged to make choices on their own regarding their work. Team members may be more inclined to act in a beneficial manner more quickly as a result, which can also support positive outcomes. Ownership and agency may both contribute to improved hiring and retention of staff.

Better productivity

Self-managed teams frequently experience higher productivity due to elements like self-efficacy in workflow management. Additionally, team members may be more aware of one another’s strengths than an external manager. They might be able to take advantage of the team’s strengths in a more efficient manner as a result. Self-managed teams may also devote more time to other crucial job duties rather than scheduling meetings and assigning tasks.

Higher revenue

Higher revenues could result from a self-managed team’s increased productivity and efficiency. By giving every worker a platform to contribute, self-managed teams may also be better able to identify areas where the company could become more cost-effective. This, in turn, could possibly drive higher profits. These encouraging results could inspire a self-managed team to continue to succeed.

Cost savings

Self-managed teams can help an organization cut costs in addition to increasing revenue. For instance, a self-managed team may have lower overhead because of the time and money saved on supervisor salaries. Additionally, self-managed teams may more quickly implement cost savings in day-to-day operations than they would if changes were first approved by an external supervisor.

Increased innovation

Self-managed teams may be more likely to drive innovation. Their potential for having more creative freedom and agency in their roles frequently contributes to this. Self-control may also inspire and motivate people on an individual level by fostering greater morale and camaraderie. Self-managed teams may also be more likely to act quickly on innovative ideas because they may be able to quickly come to an agreement on how to put those ideas into practice.

Good workplace morale

Self-management has the potential to increase workplace morale, depending on the situation and the professionals involved. This is due to the fact that many professionals take pleasure in advancing the overall objectives of their company and contributing their knowledge to the team’s management effort. Self-managed teams may also experience mutual respect as a result of getting to know one another’s leadership ability and job-specific expertise. The function of self-managed teams can be supported by high morale because team members are more likely to have participated in the group’s previous decisions. High morale can help reduce employee turnover.

Better customer service

Self-managed teams might offer customers of an organization better customer service outcomes. These teams’ members frequently work in customer service, so they may be best suited to make decisions about how to provide solutions in an efficient manner. Self-managed teams may also offer an advantageous diversity of viewpoints that can help deliver excellent service to clients from all backgrounds and experiences. A self-managed team may also be able to make any necessary modifications to the customer service procedure more quickly because they have all the resources at their disposal to do so.

What is a self-managed team?

An organization of experts who share leadership responsibilities is known as a self-managed team. This indicates that they are jointly in charge of the planning and decision-making processes that, in a hierarchical team setting, might typically fall under the purview of a supervisor or manager. Self-managed teams frequently make decisions regarding the work itself, such as task distribution and workflow management, as well as providing support for decisions regarding issues like employee leave and absences. Self-managed teams may alternate in taking on the role of project or task leader when it is necessary.

Tips for leading a self-managed team

Some self-managed teams also report to a different manager or leader who is not part of their specific group. When an organization is particularly large or complex, or when the group has few members with leadership experience, this can be especially helpful. If this applies to you, the following advice can help you manage a self-managed team:

Empower your team

Encourage and equip your self-managed team to make decisions about their own work by giving them the resources they need to do so. Trust your team to make the decisions that are appropriate given their unique situation and the information at hand. Try to offer advice primarily when asked for while respecting the team’s right to decide what is best for them.

Advocate for your team

Self-managed teams’ leaders and supervisors frequently act as a liaison between the team and any positions that might be above it in the organization. Promote the success and autonomy of the team when it makes sense to do so. When it’s possible and reasonable, try to rely on their decision-making skills.

Seek balance

The team members and company leadership will likely anticipate that the self-managed team’s leader will act in their best interests. Make sure to strike a balance between the needs of the team and the organization. Make an effort to comprehend and fairly represent the viewpoints of each side to the other. When possible, attempt to negotiate solutions where the needs of the team and the larger organization don’t align.

Sort teams wisely

Self-managed teams typically perform best when they include a range of viewpoints, backgrounds, and levels of experience. To ensure that your teams are successful, carefully consider the qualities that will work well together when assembling them. You could check the qualifications and resumes of your team members to make sure there are individuals with leadership experience present to aid in group organization. When assembling self-managed teams, you may also take into account preferred work preferences and styles in order to foster a welcoming and effective workplace.

Communicate clearly

Clarity of communication with team members and external stakeholders will be crucial as the team leader of a self-managed group. Ideal team members should understand exactly what they are responsible for completing, for instance If applicable, other organizational leaders should be fully aware of the services that team will offer.

Provide responsive feedback

If your team needs or requests your assistance, try to do so quickly and skillfully. Quick responses to questions can help self-managed teams move more quickly through their work because they usually know what to do next once they have the information they require.


What does it mean to be self-managed?

Self-management, also known as “self-control” or “self-regulation,” is the capacity to successfully control one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in a variety of contexts.

What does self-managed mean in business?

self-managed. adjective. HR, MANAGEMENT. Instead of being directed or controlled by a manager, making your own decisions about how to organize your work is preferred. At the manufacturing company, self-managed teams have taken the place of hierarchy.

What are self-managed employee?

A self-managed work team is a small group of employees who, without the direction of a manager, assume full responsibility for providing a service or a product through peer collaboration. This group frequently collaborates over an extended period of time to decide on a specific procedure.

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