Improving Team Performance

A performance management approach to teamwork can be used to improve team performance in the following areas −

Setting Objectives    

Team objectives can be concerned either with the achievement of work targets and standards or with the way in which the team operates.

Work Objectives

Work objectives for teams are formulated in the same way as individual objectives. They may be related to the mission and overall objectives of the organization and the function, unit or department in which the team operates.

The objectives may also be concerned with a specific project or area of activity that is not catered for separately in the objectives of any one department but will be supporting the attainment of an overarching objective of the organization, the unit or the function.

The team should agree on its overall mission or purpose and then on the specific objectives that will support the accomplishment of that mission. In some cases, team objectives will be completely integrated with organizational or functional/departmental objectives, depending on the nature of the team. In these circumstances, the team could make a major contribution to the formulation of overall objectives and would thus play a positive and active part in an upwardly directed objective-setting process.

Team working objectives

Team working objectives could be agreed on such matters as working together, contribution of team members, decision making and getting into action.

Work plans

It is important for teams to get together to create plans for achieving their agreed objectives. Work plans will specify programs (staged as necessary), priorities, responsibilities, timetables, budgets and arrangements for monitoring performance, feedback and holding progress meetings.

Work plans can also be useful for the team to discuss the critical success factors — what must be done and how it must be done if its mission and objectives are to be attained.

Team performance reviews

Team performance review meetings analyzes and assesses feedback and control information on their joint achievements against objectives and work plans.

The agenda for such a meeting could be as follows −

●      General review − of the progress of the team as a whole.

●      Work review − the results obtained by the team and how well it has worked together.

●      Group problem-solving − an analysis of reasons for any major problems and agreement of steps to be taken to solve them or to avoid their reoccurrence in the future.

●      Updating of objectives and work plans − review of new requirements, and amendment and updating of objectives and work plans.

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