How is the team’s work assessed and measured? This may seem like a trivial question, but it’s not actually trivial at all.
Evaluating your team’s work correctly can be far easier than it might seem. Also, there is often talk of improving teamwork in an organization. A correct evaluation of the work done is definitely the first step towards this improvement.
- When to evaluate the team’s work
- 8 steps to take to correctly evaluate your team
- Knowing expectations and needs
- Talking to team members
- Listening carefully
- Identifying the challenges team members are facing
- Ensure that existing procedures and systems are in place and actually work
- Requesting external feedback
- Making the necessary changes and monitoring
- Creating a team evaluation process
It is quite obvious that evaluations can take place in many ways. An example of an approach consists, for instance, in measuring the team’s output: the hours invoiced, the units sold, the number of clients acquired or whether the team completes a project on time and within budget.
Keeping track of these actions is easy because they are concrete and you can see at a glance how the team is improving against basic performance.
Although sound, this approach can be a bit disappointing because it does not show who is doing what in the team and how members have worked together to achieve their goals.
When to evaluate the team’s work
Team assessments provide more value to the team on some occasions than others.
Unfortunately, these assessments often tend to be carried out in search of a scapegoat after things went wrong.
Even though this is a perfectly legitimate reason for an evaluation, organizations can gain more benefit when they do not consider group evaluations as a response to difficulties.
Conducting evaluations before problems arise can avoid or mitigate them, potentially saving time and money.
Here are some great times and motivations to conduct an assessment of the team’s work:
- Strengthening a team that’s struggling
- To launch a new project in the best way
- Helping a team to grow
- When some team members are changed
- Bonding teams and start-ups in remote team settings
- Before a great strategic change
- As part of team development to compare performance on a regular basis
Team assessments also offer value to established teams, especially when there is a change in the organizational context or when the team is preparing for a new project different from those carried out in the past.
8 steps to take to correctly evaluate your team
Knowing expectations and needs
First of all, you need to know what the expectations and needs of the organization in general are. These can be a variety of valuable objectives, such as streamlining internal processes, increasing sales, reducing staff turnover or improving employee morale.
Talking to team members
The project manager should spend some time talking to team members, first in groups and then individually, to learn about their feelings, concerns, goals and ambitions about their progress and obstacles in activities and roles as well as in the work environment in general.
When the project manager talks to team members, they must also listen carefully. Sometimes you can read between the lines when an employee is trying to act diplomatic because they fear recrimination or even losing their job.
Identifying the challenges team members are facing
These challenges may be obvious and predictable factors, but project managers should also be aware that while some problems are internal to the organization, others occur in the employee’s private life and can also have consequences in the workplace, causing the person to become tired, irritable and stressed.
It is obvious that these factors must be taken into account when assessing the work of the team.
Ensure that existing procedures and systems are in place and actually work
Requesting external feedback
Ask for feedback from customers – where possible – or even suppliers about how they view the team’s work. This can be done either by anonymous survey or in other ways. Getting feedback from all stakeholders is an important measure that can help to assess the work of the team and to understand if the direction the organization is going in is the right one or not. However, it is worth remembering that it is impossible to win everyone’s approval.
Making the necessary changes and monitoring
It is no surprise to learn that a negative assessment of the team’s work is also caused by a lack of feedback, follow-up, leadership and monitoring from the manager. Therefore, the project manager must make sure that they are present before assessing – especially if negatively – the members of their team.
Creating a team evaluation process
In general, creating a process for the evaluation of the team’s work can make things clearer for both the project manager and the team members. Here are some examples of questions that might be included:
- Does the person show up on time at work?
- Is the person well prepared for the meetings?
- Does they take responsibility or do they always find an excuse when things go wrong?
- Do they focus on the needs of the team and not on their individual successes, failures or wants?
Clearly, it is crucial that team members receive feedback after the evaluation. Feedback is even more valuable when it is conducted with solid data.
Team evaluations help an organization to visualize and achieve broader results and objectives, making them an integral part of the evaluation process.
It is essential that the project manager avoid public criticism from team members at all times.
If negative feedback is needed, the person should be called separately to discuss the performance evaluation calmly and without pressure.
Moreover, the project manager should give feedback on how to improve and achieve the objectives by outlining, if necessary, a training or mentoring program.
Generally speaking, each team works differently, so it is important to choose evaluation methods that help prioritize results and areas for improvement that fit the overall business strategy.