Teams are a vital part of a successfully run company. Often times, companies can get projects done faster when they use teams of professionals. Just like employees, team performance needs to be assessed. A successful team assessment strategy involves evaluating personal development, quality of service, financial health, and market success. When the team is performing efficiently in each of these areas, there is greater potential for project success.
Organizations are composed of teams of individuals. Teams need to perform according to organization expectations. As a result, team performance is an important issue for organizations to effectively manage. In order to manage teams effectively, organizations need to understand how to assess team performance. In order to adequately assess team performance, there are four areas that need to be considered. These four areas include “financial health”, market success, quality of service, and “personal development” (Smith, 2004).
Measuring financial results is critical in measuring team performance (Smith, 2004). First, assessing financial health involves analyzing how well teams leverage their employees. For example, the more work a team gets done using lower paid employees, the more profitable the organization is. The goal is to improve profitability by getting more work done with the use of lower paid employees. Second, balancing the number of chargeable hours with the cost of doing business is important. For example, the more hours you can charge, the more money you make up to a certain point. At this point, the number of hours you charge for becomes less profitable if the amount of work performed takes away from new business generating tasks. In addition, if higher paid workers are used, the profit goes down as well. Third, the next financial health goal is to increase the hourly rate or fees for services rendered. Through providing exceptional customer service and developing a highly sought after product or name, companies can increase the hourly rate for their services thereby increasing profit. Fourth, the more profit you can make while charging the same fees, is a sign the team is keeping its overhead down. Thus, teams that keep their overhead down the most tend to be more profitable and therefore assessed with higher marks. Fifth, resisting the temptation to under-bill for current services in progress, allows for greater profitability. It teams can produce work for customers over time and avoid reducing fees to keep clients, overall profit will increase. These teams would assess with high marks as well.
The next area of assessment includes how well the team is doing in the market. In order to judge a team on market performance there are several questions the assessment team can discuss (Smith, 2004). First, what percentage of clients generating the higher profit for the company is retained each year? Second, what percentage of profit is generated from newer services established over the previous three years? In addition, what percentage of this year’s profits is generated from new clients? Next, in competition with other businesses, what percentage of business sought after this year did the company win? Fifth, what percentage of profit this year came from new areas of business, clients, or expanded geographical locations? Finally, what percentages of current year’s clients fall into the higher profit generating clients? Asking these questions can help give the assessment team a clearer picture of how well the team is performing when compared to company goals.
Quality of Service
The next area of assessment involves measuring the quality of service provided by the team. In particular, the “manner and style” used to provide a service is the main focus of this area of assessment (Smith, 2004). Being able to obtain positive responses to the following questions is a good indicator of a high quality of service. First, did the team obtain a thorough understanding of the customer’s needs by accurately defining their needs, guaranteeing their work, meeting timelines, and providing appropriate solutions to the specific needs? In addition, in handling the customer, did the team provide appropriate communication through listening to the customer’s input, providing timely progress updates, being available for questions, and explaining the service solution for the customer’s needs? Finally, of chief importance, did the team give the customer a feeling of importance?
The final main area of assessment includes evaluating the team investment in personal development. This mainly involves evaluating “personal development goals” and comparing those to actual achievements (Smith, 2004). Although the goal is to evaluate the team, this part of the assessment is mainly achieved through evaluations of individual contributions to the team effort. Specific evaluations can include questions concerning job satisfaction, interpersonal relations, adequate access to employee skill development opportunities, and satisfaction with communication methods. Positive responses can be good indicators of moral and can give a sense of the level of team satisfaction.
Smith, G. (2004). Leading the Professionals: How to Inspire and Motivate Professional Service Teams.
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