Self-supervision is usually regarded as an individual skill of maturity, responsibility and independence. Autonomy in the workplace can bring a high level of motivation and empowerment to the employees. Self-supervision or work autonomy has helped minimizing relationship barriers between management and employees. It also helps improve performance through the ideas of the workers, and cultivates healthy relationships with a high level of trust among employees.
In a traditional organizational structure, only those from the higher management are allowed to supervise or direct the first-level employees. With a more pragmatic approach to the organizational workflow, many companies now adapt structural changes, which include a wider coverage of work autonomy to low-level employees. With another shift in structure, organizational teams are given the chance to self-direct or self-manage.
Team self-supervision is commonly known as self-directed team or self-managed team and sometimes referred to as team autonomy. This article will talk about the concept of team self-supervision, how it functions in the organizational structure, its advantages as well as the challenges that an organization will face when developing self-supervised teams.
What is Team Self-Supervision?
Organizational teams that function autonomously have proven to be effective in helping achieve company goals. Team self-supervision or team autonomy is the term used to refer to self-directed teams that function without a supervisor and still perform management functions. If there is a team supervisor, that person does very minimal supervision to the members, and the team is left to manage themselve. The success of a self-managed team is largely dependent on the collaborative skills of the members and their ability to work as a team.
Team self-supervision is a dynamic and revolutionary change in the organizational design or structure from a traditional hierarchical design to a team-to-team approach in accomplishing tasks and goals.
In most cases, self-supervised teams greatly contribute to a more flexible and innovative work environment. Just as self-supervised individuals feel empowered when they have the chance to take control of themselves at work, the same thing happens to a self-managed team. Empowerment is a crucial element in measuring the success of autonomous teams.
Advantages of Self-Supervised Teams
Apart from a company’s success and growth, how else can an organization benefit from self-supervised teams? Here are the reasons for acquiring the concept of team self-supervision:
- A much better quality in products and service
- Increased level of work productivity
- Better and more improved work quality
- Minimal operating costs
- Flexibility to technological changes
- Lesser and simpler job categories
- Increased value towards work
- Higher level of commitment to the company
- Ability to retain top-performing employees
Challenges of Team Self-Supervision
In the process of transitioning to the concept of team self-supervision, an organization must consider the two major challenges that teams may encounter: developing self-directed teams, promoting a certain culture of management, and cross-training every team member for a fully empowered job variation. It is important to note that the shift in structure is a process that goes through stages, rather than an abrupt transition.
An effective method of developing self-supervised teams is conducting comprehensive trainings and workshops. These trainings supply the team members with sufficient knowledge and give them a chance to enhance their skills.
Self-directed teams are also challenged in fostering a culture evident in management support. Being “leaderless” teams, these individuals must be properly equipped with the basic management skills in order to direct their own work processes.
Team members in a self-supervised model should also learn how to be cross-functional, which means that members can function across jobs and across roles. That is why they are termed as self-supervised teams because they can autonomously function without being dependent on certain members to take on various tasks.
Organizations that have adopted team self-supervision are now experiencing a more dynamic work culture with employees who are multi-skilled, empowered, and interdependent. This revolutionary structure is rewarding not only for the company but to the team members as well. With the many advantages mentioned above, an organization could go a long way towards its goals with the inculcation of team autonomy. Even if the process of transitioning from a traditional structure to a more dynamic team self-supervision approach takes time, the end results are still worth it.