Team Empowerment Practical Applications : LUSENET : work teams : One Thread

I have read the article on Team Empowerment and have two comments:

1. I couldn't view the graphs and charts, so the text wasn't much help. How can I look at those?

2. Unfortunately, this article was too high level to give any clues on how to implement practical application of the principles put forth.

If someone could give any advice on reading materials or experiences that have been successful in this area, I would be most appreciative!

Eric, can you reinstate my TeamNet function, please? Thank you.

-- Lisa Robinson Olson (, July 27, 1998


There are a couple of basic principles that I would encourage as first steps in beginnig an empowerment process. First perform work flow chart of the process that the team operates within. Next, identify the tasks that they are already responsible for, then the tasks that they actually perform (in most cases these two are not the same thing).

After identifying what is expected of them, and what they are actually doing, there will be obvious next steps on what to empower first. Also consider areas that the team would want to gravitate into, but try to have them work the entire spectrum of what they currently are to do prior to expanding into new areas.

Another area that is overlooked is the empowerment of management. Most companies try to empower the workforce, and reduce managers. That will only re-enforce the resistance of the managers. The managers should be involved in an empowerment plan that has them taking on tasks normally reserved for senior management, and senior management should be in a plan where they get new tasks from executives. There are multitudes of tasks that cannot be given proper attention (such as future product definition, market trends, root-cause analysis of process problems, customer nurturing, etc.). The long-range planning of the company should be taught to those who are freed from the day-to-day decisions that workers can probably make as well anyway.

Be careful if you are in a represented facility. Unions become very nervous when the workforce is being targeted for overhaul. My experience has shown that if you begin with holding the workers responsible for the full scope of their negotiated job descriptions, you will see tremendous improvement before considering anything more.

-- kevin cummings (, July 27, 1998.

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