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Chapter 24. The Self-Directed Team > Getting the Self-Directed Team Underway - Pg. 322

The Self-Directed Team 4. 5. 322 Give members the authority, the freedom, and the discretion to plan, organize, schedule, and perform the work. Set up a self-appraisal system, so that team members always know what is expected of them. That way, they can measure their activities against standards on an ongoing basis and make immediate adjustments if standards are not being met. Team Builder Self-directed teams should establish a feedback system that will enable all members to see, at any time, the progress of every member as it relates to the projects being worked on. Members can keep tabs on their colleagues' progress and avoid being surprised when their own work is held up because of a glitch in a team- mate's activity. Evaluating Performance In a traditional work group and in a leader-led team, performance appraisal of individual members is done by the supervisor or team leader. In the self-directed team, there is no leader. Who will evaluate performance? There are several approaches to this. Let's look at a few of them: Replace appraisals of individuals with team appraisals.This is based on the assumption that the team is responsible for meeting its goals and the performance of each individual is secondary to that of the total team. Criteria are established against which team performance is measured. If the team meets these criteria, the entire team is rated high; if not, steps must be taken to bring the team up to par. Team members are expected to help each other. Members with greater knowledge of an area will teach those with less; members will motivate each other and work to build up the productivity of all. Salary increments and other rewards are based on the team's accomplishments and shared equally among the members. The danger here is that weak members will depend on their more effective associates to carry the ball. Stronger members may resent this and seek jobs elsewhere. Self-evaluation.Members appraise their own work. The criteria are set by the team for all the jobs that they are commissioned to perform, and by the project subteams for new projects. Members know exactly what is expected of them and can check their progress on an ongoing basis. If quality is below standards, production behind schedule, or there are other deviations from the standards, corrections can be made immediately. If the company requires annual or periodic formal appraisals, members report on their own work, matching results against the standards. The member is rated on the basis of the results achieved. The downside of self-evaluation is that, although it works well in measuring tangible results, it doesn't take into consideration the member's soft skills. One cannot objectively rate one's own abilities to relate with other members, communicate effectively, or participate effectively in team activities. Self- evaluation has to be supplemented by another opinion.