If one were to ask a human resource practitioner to name the biggest challenges they face, designing and administering an effective performance appraisal system would rank at the top. It seems that there is no ‘right’ way to do it and managers, employees, and unions themselves are divided on how to measure performance. The fact that organizations objectives are increasingly tied to teamwork and team goals, adds yet to a bigger question on how to measure teamwork. Not only because team-level evaluation and feedback are new to most organizations, but also because teams differ in their roles and responsibilities.
Team-level feedback – For an organization it is important to measure team performances because of their highly valued contribution to the organizational success. Scott and Einstein (2001) noted, performance appraisal systems that assess team-level outcomes need to provide the team with the information necessary to identify team problems and further develop team capabilities. These measurements should be closely aligned with both the organizational and team goals. In cases where both team members and team performance are important, team-level feedback helps to emphasize that the interaction among individual team members leads to the overall success. This type of feedback is a review of the team interplay. Each team member receives reviews as indicators of the team output.
Teamwork skills evaluation – Another approach that can be used in conjunction with measuring goal identification and team output is to measure the degree to which the team demonstrates key teamwork skills. This performance appraisal provides a way to understand how the team performs and how their performance can be maximized. The three main teamwork skills are communication, decision making and problem solving. High performing teams successfully master communication processes within the team and are effective in decision making by sorting through various alternatives, consider their implications, and ultimately select the option that best serves the organizational and team goal. High performing teams also quickly recognize a problem, dig deep to understand the causes, develop creative approaches to dealing with it, and put their ideas into play. These team skills can be measured through observations or surveying the team members themselves.
Multisource feedback – In team-based organizations, strategic teamwork measurements are performed to increase a team’s positive contribution to the organizational effectiveness. Though, there is often the question about who should evaluate the team performances: the team manager, team members or customers of the team? Based on research, all of these sources can provide important feedback to the team. Thus, the use of multiple sources can assess teamwork through a 360 degree feedback evaluation. 360 degree feedback is valuable both on the individual level to further develop team member’s skills and on the team level to improve the overall team performance.
Have you measured your teamwork performance yet? Do you know if your team is goal and relationship focused? If you don’t know, visit our main page and choose the button corresponding to the size of your team. Enter the email address of your teammates and take a short TeamType questionnaire. This will provide you with inside of your team performance and suggestions for increasing Rapport and Results.