Should You Measure Individual or Team Performance?
With the advancement of technology and an ever changing marketplace, a person’s ability to work well in a high performance team environment is becoming increasingly important. Your company is responsible for aligning itself with customer needs while remaining agile enough to adapt as those needs change. In today’s business environment that usually means developing an efficient and effective team model to compete for the future.
This raises an intriguing concern. Individual employees naturally desire and require acknowledgement for a job well done. How would you provide feedback and mentor people if your organisation restructures its appraisal process to focus on team performance?
Can the two performance metrics coexist – or does one take precedence over the other?
Individual vs Team Performance
Individual performers are immediately identifiable as those who go above and beyond to ensure that they excel at what they do. They usually specialise in one, or very few areas of expertise. They rapidly become responsible for critical tasks that the business values and that they effectively execute as a result of their dedication and contribution to essential activities.
Conversely team performance isn’t really helpful in terms of separating oneself from the pack. When the team succeeds, everyone is successful. Equally when the team underperforms, everyone faces the consequences. It’s both a benefit and a challenge to building high performance teams.
Create a Team of High Performers
Every team has a unique dynamic and just putting people together will not make them a team. You need to find out what motivates them everyday. One of the most valuable components of assessing for high performance is identifying those factors that your team connects to and engages with the most. Additional leadership development training can be a useful tool in discovering how to leverage those insights and drive performance.
Express Genuine Gratitude
Many of us have experienced disappointment of having our contributions go unacknowledged. While recognition is rarely the driving motivator for our efforts, there is no denying that impact that a simple ‘thank-you’ can have. Not every outstanding individual contribution requires wide scale celebration, but demonstrating a personal appreciation for their efforts can empower them to strive for higher performance. Reserve any deserving fanfare for exceptional team performance and encourage them to recognise one another’s accomplishments. The best high performance team programs can help to highlight ways the team succeeds as one while fostering a deeper sense of unity. Building a sense of belonging and pride requires appreciating people and the team as a whole.
Leaders must be able to leverage top performers and help them to recognise and understand their strategic role in the organisation. In doing so, you strike a balance between encouraging the continued excellence of individuals while uplifting the performance of the team. The best leadership assessment tools for teams should aim to incorporate analysis of both individual and team performance. It is important at the individual level to understand the direct impact of their work and how it contributes to the performance of the team.
Do you think it is more important to measure individual or team performance?
About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and high trust organisation.