Based on our continued study of organizations over the past 20 years, 87% of leaders believe that teamwork performance is crucial to their ability to create value for customers, owners, and employees, but only 18% of leaders actually evaluate teamwork performance effectively.
Although some leaders may see measuring team effectiveness as a time burden or an overly complex and lengthy process, taking the time to check in with your team and evaluate their performance will ultimately result in increased communication, higher production, improved efficiency, and improved morale. Thus, teamwork evaluations are beneficial for all teams and yield significant value for the team, the leaders, and the organization.
Below are the specific steps you can take to evaluate your team’s teamwork performance.
Step 1. Identify The Purpose of Evaluation
These are things your organization values in terms of performance and the achievement of common goals and the overarching mission of the organization. It is important to define these values before you begin the process as it will influence what metrics you use.
Step 2. Select Metrics to Evaluate Team Performance
Choose the key performance indicators (KPIs) that best reflect the team’s ability to achieve its mission and purpose.
This can include the following quantitative indicators:
- Timely accomplishment of the team’s goals and deliverables
- Client or customer satisfaction scores or service failures.
- Compliance with regulatory rule(s)
- Innovations produced
- Operational down time
- Product or service improvements
- Safety performance
- Waste and scrap
- Vendor relationship scores
The criteria or indicators of teamwork performance can also include qualitative indicators such as:
- Team member engagement
- Communication effectiveness within the team
- Evidence of collaboration
- Demonstrated ability to resolve differences
- Decision making efficiency
- Clarification of roles and responsibilities
- Meeting efficiency and effectiveness
- Compliance with team ground rules and working agreements
Although these are more difficult to track, they are critical for learning about the team’s culture and overall atmosphere.
Step 3. Data Collection
Collecting data for a team performance evaluation can be done by
- Interviewing key stakeholders, leaders, as well as the team members.
- Using electronic surveys or assessments to generate data and evaluate teamwork performance.
- Gathering data of the tangible indicators of success from the list of success factors that you identified in Step 2.
Step 4: Data Analysis
Whether you are conducting a one-time evaluation, evaluating data overtime or compiling and comparing survey and qualitative interview responses, we recommend that the assessor and/or the team carefully review the data. Identify the team’s advantages and disadvantages or limitations and then formulate action steps to elevate teamwork performance.
Step 5: Collaborate on Decisions
In order to achieve better teamwork performance, the team and key sponsors need to choose and reach consensus on specific changes necessary to become a highly optimized team. Based on the data and team’s purpose, you must decide how to go forward.
Step 6: Implementation and Sustainability
Applying changes or modifications to a team requires a simple plan of action with clear roles and action steps that each team member will commit to in an effort to elevate overall team performance. These action steps should be followed by periodic accountability check-in points which are designed to ensure progress for the deployment of the action plan.
Taking steps 1-5 can take anywhere from a day to a few weeks, but the true change in teamwork performance will come with the sustainability of Step 6. When people feel involved in decision making and part of the execution process, they are more likely to be engaged and complete their assigned action steps.
By completing a teamwork performance evaluation, you will ensure that the team is being held to a standard and also has a path to improvement. Even if the team seemed like it was working well before, there are always opportunities for improvement.
The payoffs and benefits of an evaluation with supported action steps will drive increased engagement, productivity and stakeholder satisfaction.
The Importance of Teamwork Performance Evaluations
Teamwork performance evaluations are important because they:
- Improve turnaround time on key projects: The key component of teamwork is unifying strengths to pull projects and initiatives forward. An evaluation not only checks the status of a project, but it also identifies ways to improve project efficiency. This allows the team to remain on track with milestones and deadlines.
- Minimize rework: Evaluations help teams minimize rework, because they highlight areas individuals may need further training in. With more expertise gained through this learning and development process, team members better understand how to navigate specific roadblocks, prioritize effectively, and establish a robust quality process.
- Elevate communication: 86% percent of teams and leaders believe ineffective communication leads to most of the setbacks in an organization. In addition, 33% of team members assert that a lack of open, honest communication contributes to low morale. Teamwork evaluations can drive the right conversations and open more avenues for communication and growth.
- Enrich relationships: At the end of the day, teamwork involves a group of human beings interacting with one another. While the term teamwork performance evaluation may hold technical implications, it’s also rooted in humanity. Evaluations are an integral part of forming authentic connections and a more emotionally intelligent team. These areas set the foundation for successful collaboration.
How to Foster Better Teamwork as a Leader
In addition to evaluations, there are three strategies leaders can leverage to foster better teamwork.
1. Clarify Goals
Communicate the goal of the team and projects. This unifies the team under one common, clearly articulated objective.
You can take this a step further by:
- Explaining how the objective impacts the team and organization.
- Showing an example of what the desired outcome looks like. This will provide a clearer picture of the goal.
2. Clarify Roles and Responsibilities
When defining goals, be sure to define roles and responsibilities to ensure everyone knows what is expected of them. You might consider building a team roles and responsibilities matrix. This provides general direction of who is taking ownership of what and who to approach when there is a question or need for collaboration.
When setting role roles and responsibilities, you might consider:
- Where overlaps in the work might occur and call out where collaboration is required.
- Consider pairing individuals with less experience, knowledge, or limitations with those that offer deeper experience who can provide oversight and assist in development.
- Near-term versus longer-term focused tasks, and assign responsibilities based on project timelines.
3. Leverage Strengths
Help team members identify, learn from, and leverage the strengths their peers possess to help maximize team effectiveness. Team members will recognize ways to use the strengths to their advantage as they navigate the project.
Identifying and leveraging strengths can also be an opportunity to drive coaching within the team. For example, if one individual excels in a skill where another team member is less skilled, they can work together to help elevate one another’s abilities.
4. Foster Purpose and Community
Gartner reports that people seek purpose at work. As a team leader, discuss the type of purpose team members seek during their 1:1 meetings with you. Purpose and fulfillment vary from one person to the next, but it’s critical to engage people in the work and why their contribution is important to the business.
Consider sharing these purposes with the team. Is there a common thread that weaves through them? This can serve as a catalyst to amplify inclusivity and community.
Drive Your Team Forward with CMOE
By unifying teams under a common purpose and using the right collaboration techniques, you can enable your teams to reach break though results and exceed their full potential.
Talk with us and learn about CMOE’s Team Product and Services. Our solutions are proven to help your team improve metrics and create true value for the team and organization.
Contact CMOE with any questions.