We don’t get what we expect, we get what we inspect! Things that are evaluated get elevated! Therefore measuring team effectiveness and taking improvement actions based on the feedback is an essential aspect of creating great teams.
In my blog post on the 7th of May 2014 titled ‘How great is your team?’ I promised to go into details of the 11 different aspects that make a great team. The first ten aspects regarding Burning Platforms, Team Alignment Around Critical Goals, Clearly Agreed Way of Working, A Great Decision Making Process, Information Flow is Encouraged, Great Leaders Don’t Mince Their Words’, Positive Crisis, Great Conversations, Radical Conversations and Regular Team Activities, have already been posted in this blog (please search this website to find the earlier instalments). Here is the Eleventh and final installment, Team Evaluations.
It is quite confusing to see organisations mostly evaluating individual performance when results of most organisations are delivered by teams. When I search for the reason for this interesting phenomena, I hear reasons such as, it is easier to measure individual performance, evaluating teams will give scope for poor performers to hide behind good performers, it can de-motivate the good performers and it will be difficult to find those for promotions and special achievements etc. While all these are valid points, leaders of great teams find ways of evaluating teams while overcoming these concerns, without throwing the baby out with the bath water.
The benefits of evaluating teams include, improving team qualities such as trust, respect, information flow, idea sharing, team innovation, team creativity, execution effectiveness and corporation etc. that are important for team effectiveness. While these aspects are important for team performance and for the creation of great teams, we do not get this information when we only measure individual performance. Team evaluations give interesting insights that can lead to healthy, growth giving, candid conversations and radical action conversations that help the team to have a deeper understanding, acceptance, growth and performance improvement. In addition the supplementary benefits could include; fostering better team work, poor performers getting developed by the better performers and creation of leaders, etc.
Steps taken to overcome the above concerns include; having a mix of team and individual evaluations, individual reward and recognition to be based on a mix of individual and team performances as well as qualities of team spirit displayed. It also requires developing team evaluation tools that minimises the ambiguity and developing the maturity of the team to take a mutual approach than a selfish approach at work.
Sir Albert Einstein once mentioned that; “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Great leaders know to find out what counts and find out ways of counting (measuring) them.