Adopting a Team Performance Assessment Strategy
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Adopting a Team Performance Assessment Strategy

Abstract: It is critically important for companies to have a system for evaluating employee and team performance. Managers need to consistently manage teams of employees. Each manager needs to understand the importance of a specific set of assessment strategies. Employee performance evaluations focus on the employee. Team performance evaluations focus on the whole team. While both types of assessments share similarities, each has it's own specific methods.

Developing an Assessment Strategy

Understanding the areas of team performance assessing is an important part of developing an assessment strategy. Once you have this understanding, the company needs to have a strategy for implementing the team performance assessments. Just as employees need to have periodic and ongoing performance assessments, teams need the same thing. However, the nature of the team performance assessment needs to be focused on discussions rather than endless form filling. One reason for this is the appraiser needs to be focused on the team as a whole. To do this, it makes sense to conduct discussions with each team member with the majority of any documentation aimed at the whole team. Conducting “periodic formal discussions” allows the performance appraiser to get a wide view of team concerns and gain an understanding of overall team success in meeting the designated objectives (Smith, 2004). In addition, these discussions can aid teams in updating or revamping their current objectives to adjust to improved understanding of what the team’s primary objectives need to be. This can be done for the team as a whole and individually for each team member. Just as the individual employee performance appraisal systems are conducted, the team performance assessments can be conducted formally periodically throughout the year. In addition, informal day to day coaching also needs to be done by the team manager in an attempt to record feedback on an ongoing basis that can be used in the formal assessments. Main points to keep in mind during the discussions can include a variety of questions aimed at assessing performance based on overall objectives. In addition, to strengthen the team, individual opportunities for training aimed at improving relevant team member skills need to be addressed (Smith, 2004). Furthermore, team members need to be encouraged to be candid and open when discussing their needs, feedback on relevant objectives, and potential modification of goals.

Employee vs. Team Assessments

As I mentioned earlier, employees need ongoing performance evaluations just as teams need ongoing performance assessments. The strategic approach to periodic formal performance appraisals and ongoing informal assessments can be applied to both employees and teams. However, there are differences in the evaluations of the two. For example, employee evaluations are primarily conducted with each employee. In contrast, team performance assessments are focused more on the team as a whole. In addition, there are many tools used to assess employee performance. Many use specific questionnaires and surveys to collect current information on performance. In contrast, the performance assessments for teams tend to focus more on discussions as the main tool for evaluation. This approach allows the appraiser to collect input and feedback from the team while keeping the majority of the documentation on the team as a whole rather than on individuals. Furthermore, performance appraisals for employees are aimed at providing feedback for administrative decision making and employee development. The purpose is to improve employees so they can do a good job for the organization. On the other hand, performance assessments for teams tend to primarily be focused on helping teams stay on track to achieve the team objectives. So the main focus is on results with the secondary focus being to do a good job for the company. The focus is very similar but the objectives are slightly different. 

Works Cited

Smith, G. (2004). Leading the Professionals: How to Inspire and Motivate Professional Service Teams. Retrieved February 18, 2011, from Books24x7: http://common.books24x7.com/book/id_8475/book.asp

Free photo from Stock.xchng VI: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1382394

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