Share this Page URL

Chapter 3. Laying the Foundation for Tea... > Overcoming Resistance to Teams - Pg. 25

Laying the Foundation for Team Success 25 Fighting Supervisors' Fears First-line supervisors have another dimension of concern. Many fear that their roles will be dimin- ished and perhaps their jobs abolished. Most of the supervisors at the housewares company had worked long and hard to merit promotion to management and looked at the new program as a diminution of their status. After an orientation session in which the team concept and examples of successful team programs were described, I had meetings with the individual supervisors to answer specific questions and calm qualms that they had. Changing from supervisor to team leader is not accomplished overnight. It takes time and is some- times difficult. First at the orientation meeting, and then in the one-to-one discussions, I pointed out how they would benefit from the change. A frequent comment from supervisors was, "If I let my team make decisions on what to do and how to do it, why do they need me?" I assured them that by delegating these functions, they would have more time to improve overall processes, tackle new projects, and broaden the scope of their jobs. I also assured them that I, along with their senior managers, would be available to help them over the hurdles of getting this new approach underway. Overcoming Members' Fears One concern that team members have is that their personal accomplishments will be overshadowed by the team's. Another concern, particularly among the more productive workers, is that they will be penalized because of the poorer performance of less productive team members. One ingredient of successful team programs is a rewards and recognition program that does con- sider both individual and team efforts. If such a program is in place, tell them how it works. If it is still under study, tell them you will keep them advised of its progress.