As business processes become more complex, teamwork forms a larger part of an enterprise. And just as employee performance is evaluated, team performance must be assessed. Otherwise, its value and impact in the corporate structure is limited.
Tracking Group Progress
Teams are as much a separate entity as any of the individuals forming them. Therefore, they require as much assessment as these employees. Before a team even begins its work, the members and managers must decide what dimensions are the most important to evaluate. Although the team’s function is likely externally determined, having a goal tied to the parent company’s wider objectives helps the group’s internal cohesion.
Proper assessment always requires a predefined measurement and review tool, and there are multiple perspectives to take when evaluating a group. Certain perspectives may be more useful than others, but each offers valuable insight a team’s effectiveness:
- Top-down assessment. When the team is analyzed from a management perspective, it’s referred to as top-down assessment. This technique is goal-focused and concerned with the overall functioning of the team and individual members. The evaluators are only interested in the internal dynamics if they affect the group’s functionality.
- Bottom-up assessment. This method evaluates management; team members analyze the support they received and how effective it was. This works together with top-down assessment to evaluate the team’s relationship to the rest of the company.
- Peer to peer assessment. Team members may assess each other’s performance from the perspective of other members. This layer is where internal dynamics play a strong part in evaluation. A successful group should have few internal conflicts revealed in the peer to peer assessment, and those conflicts should have been resolved internally without any need for management involvement.
- Customer perspective. The final assessment is from the customer’s perspective. Whether the consumer is an end user outside the company or another corporate division, he or she needs to be satisfied with the team’s performance. Teams need to ensure their customers have as much input into the end product as needed to be satisfied. They also need to follow up to ensure users are satisfied with the product as it was or if they need to make improvements.
Before a group even begins working, identify which assessment style you’re going to use. This ensures your team understands what’s necessary to succeed.
Making a Plan to Go Forward
The process doesn’t end with the evaluation. Once the team has been assessed, take the lessons you learned and go back to the beginning to apply them. Develop a plan of action for your team members. Encourage them to get involved in the creation and implementation process, and set achievable goals together. Collaborating with your employees focuses on the future of the project and creates a sense of unity amongst the team.
After a period of time, revisit the assessment and identify objectives that have been accomplished. This will highlight areas and employees who still need improvement and gives you a chance to address those who have excelled. To more effectively engage your employees through the review process, check out our eBooks to help you execute your evaluations efficiently.