Get expert advice on every topic you need as a small business owner, from the ideation stage to your eventual exit. Our articles, quick tips, infographics and how-to guides can offer entrepreneurs the most up-to-date information they need to flourish.

Subscribe to our blog

5 Steps to Build a Self-Managed Team

Posted by Kanika Sinha

September 28, 2023

Exploring effective ways to build high-performing, self-managed teams

Imagine a team that manages its schedules, progress, and deliverables without any supervision from a manager. A team that works towards a common goal, where hierarchy is replaced by collaborative decision-making. While this may seem like a far cry from a traditional setup, this is routine work for self-managed teams. 

A self-managed team embodies a culture of trust, autonomy, and accountability. All are essential qualities to have in employees of all fast-growing companies. But, building a successful self-managed team has its nuances. 

Schedule a call today

Find out the five most important steps to build self-managed and effective teams.

1. Identify the right talent

Effective, self-managed teams require members capable of performing their roles and willing to take ownership of their work while actively contributing to a shared vision. As a result:

  • Search for candidates who have complementary skills and expertise needed for the project. 
  • Look for qualities such as adaptability, self-motivation, and a collaborative mindset.
  • Seek diversity in skills, backgrounds, and perspectives to ensure a well-rounded team. 
  • Consider individuals comfortable with independence and see if they can thrive in a less structured environment. 

2. Establish decision-making processes

Clear decision-making guidelines allow team members to work autonomously where needed. To help them contribute freely: 

  • Define situations and circumstances when either consensus or autonomy is appropriate. 
  • Set up clear guidelines for decision-making processes, enabling team members to navigate options confidently.  

3. Provide training and resources

These necessary investments enhance team performance. They also demonstrate an organization’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of its employees on both an individual and a team level. So:

  • Many learning opportunities ensure team members stay on top of industry trends and practices. 
  • Equip employees with the latest resources and practical training to give them the skills and knowledge to excel in their roles.
  • Invest in development programs that ensure each team member has expertise in their area and can take the lead.  
Talk to us about how Escalon’s essential business services can help your firm improve workplace productivity.

4. Promote accountability

While self-managed teams promote independence, regularly tracking and measuring performance against these objectives helps team members move steadily on the right path. 

  • Individual accountability starts with setting clear expectations and objectives for each team member and ensuring they’re clear on their roles and goals. 
  • Set up effective feedback mechanisms amongst peers and managers. It is an accountability measure that provides team members with clear and actionable feedback.

5. Celebrate successes

Doing so builds a culture of appreciation and support. After all, the goal is to motivate employees to work towards the best outcome — individually and for the team’s benefit.

  • Recognizing and appreciating team members’ efforts and achievements helps build confidence in their abilities and boosts their morale. 
  • It enforces the power of positive feedback and a constructive mindset that helps members put in the effort to continually better themselves. 
  • It shows appreciation for the team member’s efforts and contributions to the organization.
  • Celebrate every success, big or small, within the team. Another option is to consider investing in recognition tools to foster a culture of appreciation.  

The final word 

By building self-managed teams, organizations can unlock the full potential of their workforce, drive innovation, and remain agile in an ever-evolving market. The essential thing to remember is that success is not a destination but an ongoing journey of growth and achievement. 

Start with minor adjustments towards restructuring your organization into smaller self-managed teams. Bring an external expert who can help you get started if needed. 

Want to know more about setting up self-managed teams? Since 2006, Escalon has helped thousands of startups get off the ground with our back-office solutions for accounting, bookkeeping, taxes, HR, payroll, insurance, and recruiting — and we can help yours, too. Talk to an expert today.

Schedule a call today

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. Escalon and its affiliates are not providing tax, legal or accounting advice in this article. If you would like to engage with Escalon, please contact us here.


Kanika Sinha
Kanika Sinha

Kanika is an enthusiastic content writer who craves to push the boundaries and explore uncharted territories. With her exceptional writing skills and in-depth knowledge of business-to-business dynamics, she creates compelling narratives that help businesses achieve tangible ROI. When not hunched over the keyboard, you can find her sweating it out in the gym, or indulging in a marathon of adorable movies with her young son.

We provide you with essential business services so you can focus on growth.