What Are Team Performance Assessments?

Team performance assessments analyze how well team members work together, produce results, and lead change to ensure long-term success for the organization.

Team performance assessments help leaders

  • Analyze their teams’ capabilities and strengths as well as any vulnerabilities and limitations that can disrupt the team’s ability to achieve expectations.
  • Identify team issues that may be hindering the overall performance of the group.
  • Discover ways to streamline activities, manage conflicts, or restructure their teams to elevate effectiveness, engagement, and productivity.
  • Identify strategies to improve collaboration, trust, cohesiveness, and team dynamics.

When Should You Assess Team Performance?

There are essentially four ideal times to assess a team’s performance and effectiveness:

  1. When the team has encountered external challenges and issues that are disrupting the tasks, goals, or plans the team is trying to achieve. This could include situations such as changing customer requirements, supplier issues, regulatory changes, competitor moves, and economic headwinds.
  2. When the internal dynamics of the team are changing due to the addition of new members or loss of existing members, shifts in the scope of work, new demands from internal stakeholders, resource contributions, urgent requests, repositioning of strategies, or seeking new innovations and creativity.
  3. When teams are relatively stable and productive and you want to maintain and monitor progress to ensure that there are no underlying issues that could emerge and derail the team’s future performance.
  4. When you want to measure the strength and wellbeing of a team and proactively measure the team’s overall capability in terms of understanding and managing existing or new work that lies ahead.

How Do You Evaluate Team Performance?

Leaders can gather data and assess team performance at either an individual or a combined team level.

Individual Level

The individual level looks at the experience of the team members and how well they contribute to the team’s productivity and overall effectiveness. There are two main areas for analysis:

  • Individual behavior. How well do team members work with their teammates and colleagues? Metrics for individual behavior can include the following:
    • How much an employee contributes and participates in team meetings
    • How well the individual collaborates and solve problems with their teammates as projects unfold
    • How often people volunteer for new assignments or tasks
    • How well a team member feels connected to the team and able to contribute to its goals
    • The level of conflict, tension or stress team members feel
    • The willingness of team members to share knowledge, skills, abilities, and information
  • Individual results. What kind of results does a team member produce for the team? Do these outcomes enhance or diminish team performance and achievement of objectives? Metrics for individual results can include the following:
    • Quantity of work performed
    • The quality of one’s work
    • Errors and oversights
    • Responsibility and integrity
    • Respect for other team members
    • Willingness to share insights, information, and subject-matter expertise
    • Accountability and commitment to fulfilling expectations
    • Willingness of team members to share feedback and coach each other
    • The quantity of innovative and original thinking
    • A team member’s flexibility and adaptability
    • Rate of individual learning and growth

Team Level

The team-level approach also evaluates the overall performance of the team along two dimensions:

  • Team processes. How efficient and productive is your team? Leaders can review internal team practices, tools, and procedures using metrics and scorecards that focus on the following areas:
    • How well team members work together:
      • How well do they make decisions and formulate plans?
      • How well do they support each other?
    • The productivity of team meetings:
      • Does the team build consensus?
      • Are the main discussion points covered?
    • The accountability of the team:
      • Do team members collectively fulfill assigned tasks in a timely fashion?
    • Dealing with team conflict:
      • Does the team resolve differences constructively and take advantage of different points of view?
  • Team results. Does the team meet its expectations in terms of workload, output, speed, and quality? Examples of metrics used to measure these areas include
    • Timely reports and recommendations that illustrate the team’s progress, achievements, and areas for improvement. Leaders can also compare historical data to assess whether their team’s performance is improving.
    • Stakeholder surveys and evaluations on team performance and service quality.

What Are the 4 Roles in a High-Performing Team?

business partners looking at laptop
High-performing teams typically require four roles that can be performed by various team members:

  1. Leader: Leaders provide the team with direction, facilitation, and oversight. They clarify the goal of a task or project, map out a plan of action, and create the milestones team members must meet. The leader typically works with the team to assign individual roles and is responsible for conducting regular team interactions and meetings.
  2. Facilitator: Facilitators are responsible for organizing and encouraging interactions. They help individuals understand the objectives and help them solve problems and make decisions.
  3. Coach: Coaches provides one-on-one support. They help members learn and inspire them to achieve goals and solve difficult problems. If a team member faces a conflict, the coach would be the first person to step in and orchestrate a resolution. Therefore, a coach is typically someone who is more experienced than most of the other members of the team.
  4. Member: Members are the contributors who provide expertise and are assigned specific roles, responsibilities, and tasks to fulfill. They also participate in team meetings and generate ideas that will help the team achieve its goal.

What Are the 3 Most Important Qualities and Characteristics Needed to Achieve High Levels of Team Performance?

There are three essential traits needed for effective team performance:

  1. Mutual Trust
    Trust is essential to building a feeling of security among team members. Trust ensures that members feel connected and are comfortable speaking up, being vulnerable, and initiating meaningful dialogue. This enables the team to discover solutions that will add value to the enterprise.
    Moreover, trust builds a community of contributors with shared goals and common interests. Trust enables the team to collaborate and provide candid and constructive feedback—feedback that is essential to elevating the self-awareness and skills of all members of the team.
  2. Strong Communication
    Communication enables team members to create synergy and achieve success. Eighty percent of employees and leaders believe ineffective communication leads to most of the setbacks in an organization. Therefore, strong communication is paramount to creating high levels of collaboration and team performance.
    Team members that practice good communication:
    • Truly listen to each other.
    • Have clear ground rules and working agreements.
    • Explore new ideas and brainstorm together.
    • Ensure everyone is clear about assignments.
    • Check for “buy in” and commitment to plans and solutions.
    • Speak up and constructively say what others need to hear (not what they want to hear).
  1. Drive
    Leaders of effective teams understand what motivates as well as what frustrates each team member. When team members feel included, respected, and understood, they are driven to succeed.
    Driven teams take initiative, focus on quality results, and feel engaged in their work. In addition, they adhere to critical deadlines, understanding how their work affects others across the enterprise.

How Do You Promote Better Team Performance?

Leaders can promote better team performance in the following ways:

Measure the effectiveness of your team. Measurable data will indicate team progress as well as issues that are emerging within the team.

Discover what your team wants to learn and how they want to grow. Shifting team strategies in a way that better aligns with the organization’s overarching goals can foster commitment and overall satisfaction. This may require learning the team’s strengths and weaknesses to assess how each person can make greater contributions to the team and organization.

Give your team members ownership. Leaders should empower team members and encourage them to lead out and take ownership for tasks and desired outcomes. This ensures greater accountability because each person feels a sense of responsibility and understands the impact of their work on the organization.

Provide and receive regular feedback. According to a Gallup study, team members are three times more likely to agree they feel “motivated to do outstanding work” when they are receiving frequent, constructive feedback. Giving and receiving regular feedback is a good approach to finding ways to consistently improve and grow. Feedback provides team members with an opportunity to voice their points of view, concerns, and ideas.

When these practices are executed successfully, leaders can achieve amazing results, retain talent, and create a work environment where each member can produce their best work and feel connected to a supportive community of coworkers.