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Team Performance And Strategic Objectives

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Commerce
Wordcount: 5382 words Published: 11th May 2017

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Team performance working involves the development of a number of interrelated processes that together make an impact on the performance of the firm through its people in such areas as productivity, quality, and levels of customer service, growth, profits, and ultimately the delivery of increased shareholder value. This is achieved by enhancing the skills and engaging the enthusiasm of employees. The starting point is leadership, vision and benchmarking to create a sense of momentum and direction.

Team Performance Management is focused directly on the achievement of the team’s key business objectives. It bridges the gap between the team building ‘enablers’ and business performance results. It removes the reliance on ‘faith’ – the need to believe that team building works before investing in it – and establishes a direct connection between collective behaviors and team performance.

Team Performance Management is predicated on the following three principles:

Team Behaviors are different to Individual Behaviors.

Most competency frameworks include “teamwork”, but these usually refer to what an individual does within a team, not what a team does collectively together. E.g. whilst all the individuals in a team can behave in trustworthy ways, this does not guarantee that the team will build trust together – this is also dependent on other factors such as the environment they work in, or the team processes they use for communicating, deciding, rewarding, etc..

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The behaviors that make a team successful vary

from team to team and from time to time. E.g. the profile of behaviors that makes a design team successful is different from the profile that makes a financial audit team successful. And if the design team is using a top-down approach, for optimal performance, it needs to change its behaviors once it gets beyond the outline design and starts work on the detailed implementation of the ideas.

Team behaviors can be changed using a team performance management process. In essence, performance management involves establishing behavioral goals, measuring current behaviors to identify the gap between the current and desired behavior profile, and then planning, implementing and monitoring changes in order to close that gap. There are both similarities and significant differences between performance management processes for individuals and teams.

The key difference between traditional team building and team performance management is that the former engages in activities in the belief that they will indirectly lead to improvements in team performance (sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t). Team Performance Management, however, identifies the team behaviors that will lead directly to business success, and then uses a process to change the behaviors accordingly.

Evaluate tools and techniques available to set team performance targets

Most performance measures can be grouped into one of the following six general categories. However, certain organizations may develop their own categories as appropriate depending on the organization’s mission:

Effectiveness: A process characteristic indicating the degree to which the process output (work product) conforms to requirements.(Are we doing the right things?)

Efficiency: A process characteristic indicating the degree to which the process produces the required output at minimum resource cost. (Are we doing things right?)

Quality: The degree to which a product or service meets customer requirements and expectations.

Timeliness: Measures whether a unit of work was done correctly and on time. Criteria must be established to define what constitutes timeliness for a given unit of work. The criterion is usually based on customer requirements.

Productivity: The value added by the process divided by the value of the labor and capital consumed.

Safety: Measures the overall health of the organization and the working environment of its employees.

The following reflect the attributes of an ideal unit of measure:

·€ € Reflects the customer’s needs as well as our own

·€ € Provides an agreed upon basis for decision making

·€ € Is understandable

·€ € Applies broadly

·€ € May be interpreted uniformly

·€ € Is compatible with existing sensors (a way to measure it exists)

·€ € Is precise in interpreting the results

·€ € Is economical to apply

Performance data must support the mission assignment(s) from the highest organizational level downward to the performance level. Therefore, the measurements that are used must reflect the assigned work at that level. Within a system, units of measure should interconnect to form a pyramid. Technological units start at the base. These are measures of individual units of products and of individual elements of service.

1.2.1. Performance Evaluations:

Performance evaluation is a very important activity which will be initiated to evaluate and appraise the performance of every employee in the organization. This process can be done twice a year and few companies do the same process for every quarter. Majorly, employee performance can be evaluated based on 5 categories; those are Productivity, quality, communication skills, interpersonal skills, professional behavior & initiative. Promotions and performance rewards for an employee is decided based on this criteria only.

Productivity is nothing but the quantity of work items or assigned work performed by an employee. On a daily base employee should be given a target or set of work and that should be completed by the end of the day. If employee couldn’t achieve the target in a particular day, can compensate the balance work in subsequent working days.

Quality means the accuracy levels of work which an employee has performed. This processed data will be randomly reviewed or audited by senior associates in the company. If all the work items which were reviewed are perfect and accurate then, the employee quality of work is 100 %, in case any error found, quality decreases. Hence need to maintain consistency in quality.

Communication skills also play an important role in performance appraisals. It includes written and oral communication skills. If employee cannot communicate in a proper way, he or she cannot elevate themselves in work and share their views, suggestions in terms of development and growth of the process. Hence always concentrate on improving communication skills.

Interpersonal skills & professional behavior are nothing but your way of approach and behavior with fellow team members and superiors. Always need to maintain a cool environment within the team, should not be any ego feelings in learning and always solve any personal issues in a professional way in the presence of supervisor.

Growth of project or process, always try to share the ideas with supervisor to implement and if employee has any thought due to which manual working hours may reduce and helpful for the process then such things must share with the supervisor so that in performance evaluation employee can gain a very good rating.

1.2.2 . Feedback:

Feedback is such an important communication skill. Openness, honesty, candor, trust — all of these are hallmarks of high performance teams and organizations. Good feedback skills are essential to any team relationship.

Feedback is important because:

It prevents small issues from festering into unmanageable problems.

It builds trust in relationships.

It promotes personal and professional growth.

It acknowledges individual and team accomplishments.

It clears up misunderstandings.

It is a way to acknowledge and recognize team members’ skills and contributions.

As a result, effective team feedback makes life at work a great deal easier and more rewarding.

There are two types of feedback — Positive feedback and feedback for improvement (sometimes called negative feedback).

Positive Feedback –

Positive feedback is information about what someone did well. There’s a very simple approach you can use when giving positive feedback.

Describe what the team member actually did or said, and Why this statement or action was effective.

Feedback for Improvement

Feedback for improvement is given about situations which did not go well, or which could have been better. In this case, it’s important to tell the team member specifically what could have been said or done differently, and why that would have been more effective.

1.2.3. Development Planning:

Development Planning is broadly defined as the planning of any organized endeavor that aims at promoting development. It encompasses a wide range of thrusts in economic, social and institutional fields at various societal levels, from the local to the international and usually emphasis the relation between societal spheres and units. It addresses the values, objectives, resources, organizational ability and a range of variables of environment of the development organizational its pursuit.

The main concerns of development planning may be expressed by the concept of ‘strategy’ and derivatives of that concept. The term ‘strategy’ has wide application and is used with numerous shades of meaning.

Assess the value of team performance tools to measure future team performance

A team needs to know how its results will help the organization. Individuals on the team need to know what the team requires of them to reach the team’s goal. The seven-step processes for measuring team performance are


Seven-Step Process

Measurement Points


the terms “performance standards,” “goals,” and “objectives” interchangeably and sees them as descriptions of some future, desirable state that the team is trying to achieve. As depicted below, performance below the standard is considered unacceptable, and performance exceeding the standard is considered exceptional.

Seven-Step Process.

Review existing organizational measures. Ensure that the measures above and around the team are known and linked to the team’s measures.

Define what’s going to be measured. Selecting the best alternatives and using them to identify the team’s key accomplishments provide the basis for all further measurement.

Identify individual team member accomplishments that support the team. Identify the results each team member must produce to support the team’s results or work processes.

Weight the accomplishments. Discuss and agree upon the relative importance of each accomplishment.

Develop team and individual performance measures. Identify the measurement (either numeric or descriptive) that will be used to gauge how well the results have been achieved.

Develop team and individual performance standards. Define how well the team and individuals have to perform to meet expectations.

Decide how to track performance. Identify how the data for each performance standard will be collected and fed back to team members

Measurement Points.

Elaborating on step two of his seven-step process, Zigong describes four ways to identify what should be measured. These methods can be used singly or in combination:

If the team exists to satisfy the requirements of its customers, the measurement point(s) should be the product or service the team provides to the customer.

If the team exists to help the organization make an improvement in a specific measurable goal, the measurement points should be determined by asking, “What value-added results does the team produce that can help the organization achieve its goal?”

If the team exists to support the organization’s function, the measurement point(s) are determined by identifying the hierarchy of results that the organization must produce and selecting those that link the team to the organization’s results.

If the team is used to support a work process, the measurement points are found by mapping the process and using the map to identify what’s worth measuring.

2.1 Analyse how to determine required performance targets within teams against current performance

Performance measurement is primarily managing outcome, and one of its main purposes is to reduce or eliminate overall variation in the work product or process. The goal is to arrive at sound decisions about actions affecting the product or process and its output.

Performance measures quantitatively tell us something important about our products, services, and the processes that produce them. They are a tool to help us understand, manage, and improve what our organizations do. Performance measures let us know:

how well we are doing

€ if we are meeting our goals

€ if our customers are satisfied

€ if our processes are in statistical control

€ if and where improvements are necessary.

They provide us with the information necessary to make intelligent decisions about what we do.

A performance measure is composed of a number and a unit of measure. The number gives us a magnitude (how much) and the unit gives the number a meaning (what). Performance measures are always tied to a goal or an objective (the target). Performance measures can be represented by single dimensional units like hours, meters, nanoseconds, dollars, number of reports, number of errors, number of CPR-certified employees, length of time to design hardware, etc. They can show the variation in a process or deviation from design specifications. Single-dimensional units of measure usually represent very basic and fundamental measures of some process or product.

2.1.1 Know what it looks like

It will be impossible to know when you’re achieving high performance if you don’t know what it looks like. From an organisational perspective, high performance means not only running a financially sound business, adhering to essential policies and ensuring regulatory demands are observed, but also understanding the capability of your workforce to deliver high performance.

All too often, concerns about what they might find and the time it may take prompt organisations to adopt the “three wise monkeys” strategy — don’t see, don’t hear, don’t speak — with the result that low performance goes unchecked for years until it is too late and competitors have overtaken you. Too often, individual high performance is defined as simply getting the job done in the short term rather than looking to the long term and focusing on behaviors.

2.1.2 Make a commitment

Strong and active commitment from leaders and managers, and the pursuit of continuous learning throughout the organisation, are crucial to building a well-defined high-performance culture. Commitment means not leaving it to fate, but truly understanding what high performance looks like, trusting different approaches and working with all stakeholders, including the human resource

2.1.3 Define your starting point

Knowing where your organisation currently stands will make it much easier to create a vision for the future and to secure buy-in. One of the most effective strategies is to define explicitly what creates high performance in your organisation. Ensure that these behaviors are distinct, while being comprehensive enough to cover different levels of the organisation. Include areas such as how people collect and make sense of information and how they influence and build confidence in stakeholders.

2.1.4 Put a stake in the ground

Once you have agreed what the behavioral high performance indicators look like, it is essential to observe and measure them. The best way to capture current performance is through objective observation, such as work shadowing, behavioural event interviews and subjective feedback via online and facilitated 360-degree analysis. This should clearly distinguish between behavior that:

• impedes performance

• helps to do the task in hand

• makes a sustainable and long-term positive contribution

• promotes beneficial and long-term behavioral change in teams and divisions.

2.2 Discuss the need to encourage individual commitment to team performance in achievement of organisational goals

The definition of the group dynamics is “the social process by which people interact face-to-face in small groups”. The group controlled through leadership rather than force, ensured discipline through internal pressure, pooled thinking, respected the individual, and allowed all its members to participate in deciding on things that directly affected them in their work.

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“Teamwork is much more important than the sum of the individual” part since a nominal engineering team can succeed under a well-managed project. “The success of a software project relies very much on a good management and control system which allows the development to satisfy the project objectives” Team process skills are- (a) communication, (b) leadership, (c) goal setting, (d) cross training, (e) problem solving/decision making, (f) conflict resolution are the essential elements for successful teamwork.

Team members and leaders must play their roles if they are to be high-performing.

The roles of a team leader as follows:

Coordinate the activities of the team (tracking progress, scheduling work).

Motivate the team.

Ensure the team communicates effectively.

Interface with supervisor; arrange meetings with client when necessary.

Set agendas for meetings

Help to set the team goals (project goals, task allocations).

Help the team move towards these goals.

Accomplish tasks given to them.

Meet deadlines.

Attend team meetings.

Contribute to developing a productive atmosphere within the team

2.3 Relate the application of delegation, mentoring and coaching to the achievement of the organisational objectives

A mentoring relationship is usually where one wiser and more experienced person assists another person to grow and learn. It is not a new management technique. Since humans have lived in social groups we have learnt our norms, values and behaviours by the example and coaching of others.

The business world has adopted the tradition of an older and wiser person fostering the growth and development of the younger generation. This has sometimes resulted in perpetuation of old ways at the expense of diversity and development. However, new adaptations of mentoring allowing individuals to interact as colleagues in a helping relationship, on a more equal basis, can cultivate growth and learning to mutual benefit.

Experience, skills and a genuine desire to help are more valuable assets in a mentoring relationship than age or position. Open and assertive communication and the trust of both parties are essential. Both partners in the mentoring relationship benefit. Learning must be a lifelong process and one of the most effective ways to learn is to assist in the development of others. The best teachers learn much from their students, counselors constantly learn from clients and partners in any successful relationship grow and develop along the way.

Coaching is suitable for the successful achievement of many different objectives in working life. What is essential is the importance of the objectives for both the person being coached and the organisation. Motivation from the person to be coached is required for the coaching process to be successful, and without organisational objectives coaching will not result in real success at work. The main focus of coaching is on the development of managerial work and leadership competence, and on the coaching of key persons. Persons on different organisational levels have different objectives, but some challenges are shared by all.

2.4 Evaluate a team performance plan to meet organisational objectives

Although there is no guaranteed how-to recipe for building team performance, we observed a number of approaches shared by many successful teams.

Establish urgency, demanding performance standards, and direction. All team members need to believe the team has urgent and worthwhile purposes, and they want to know what the expectations are. Indeed, the more urgent and meaningful the rationale, the more likely it is that the team will live up to its performance potential, as was the case for a customer-service team that was told that further growth for the entire company would be impossible without major improvements in that area. Teams work best in a compelling context. That is why companies with strong performance ethics usually form teams readily.

Select members for skill and skill potential, not personality.

No team succeeds without all the skills needed to meet its purpose and performance goals. Yet most teams figure out the skills they will need after they are formed. The wise manager will choose people for their existing skills and their potential to improve existing skills and learn new ones.

Pay particular attention to first meetings and actions. Initial impressions always mean a great deal.

When potential teams first gather, everyone monitors the signals given by others to confirm, suspend, or dispel assumptions and concerns. They pay particular attention to those in authority: the team leader and any executives who set up, oversee, or otherwise influence the team. And, as always, what such leaders do is more Important than what they say. If a senior executive leaves the team kickoff to take a phone call ten minutes after the Session has begun and he never returns, people get the message.

Set some clear rules of behavior.

All effective teams develop rules of conduct at the outset to help them achieve their purpose and performance goals. The most critical initial rules pertain to attendance (for example, “no interruptions to take phone calls”), discussion (“no sacred cows”), confidentiality (“the only things to leave this room are what we agree on”), analytic approach (“facts are friendly”), end-product orientation (“everyone gets assignments and does them”), constructive confrontation (“no finger pointing”), and, often the most important, contributions (“everyone does real work”).

Set and seize upon a few immediate performance oriented tasks and goals.

Most effective teams trace their advancement to key performance-oriented events. Such events can be set in motion by immediately establishing a few challenging goals that can be reached early on. There is no such thing as a real team without performance results, so the sooner such results occur, the sooner the team congeals.

Challenge the group regularly with fresh facts and information.

New information causes a team to redefine and enrich its understanding of the performance challenge, thereby helping the team shape a common purpose, set clearer goals, and improve its common approach. A plant quality improvement team knew the cost of poor quality was high, but it wasn’t until they researched the different types of defects and put a price tag on each one that they knew where to go next. Conversely, teams err when they assume that all the information needed exists in the collective experience and knowledge of their members.

Spend lots of time together.

Common sense tells us that team members must spend a lot of time together, scheduled and unscheduled, especially in the beginning. Indeed, creative insights as well as personal bonding require impromptu and casual interactions just as much as analyzing spreadsheets and interviewing customers. Busy executives and managers too often intentionally minimize the time they spend together. The successful teams we’ve observed all gave themselves the time to learn to be a team. This time need not always be spent together physically; electronic, fax, and phone time can also count as time spent together.

Exploit the power of positive feedback, recognition, and reward.

Positive reinforcement works as well in a team context as elsewhere. Citing out”go!d stars” helps shape new behaviors critical to team performance. If people in the group, for example, are alert to a shy person’s initial efforts to speak up and contribute, they can give the honest positive reinforcement that encourages continued contributions. There are many ways to recognize and reward team performance beyond direct compensation, from having a senior executive speak directly to the team about the urgency of its mission to using awards to recognize contributions. Ultimately, however, the satisfaction shared by a team in its own performance becomes the most cherished reward.

Initial performance plan

Understanding and subsequently discussing a team’s performance is central to managing team performance. To work effectively, teams must regularly and objectively review their ‘teamwork’. In addition to concentrating on their short-term outputs, team members must examine work processes to ensure that the team is working creatively, that the team is effectively promoting itself to others, and so on. Too often in managing team performance the team review focuses on subjective individual evaluation, as opposed to an objective team assessment.

Performance improvement plan

A Team Performance Plan is a detailed plan used to:

Identify the desired performance levels of the team

Identify how these performance levels will be achieved

Provide guidance and direction to the team

Measure progress towards the desired performance levels

Although there are no strict rules as to the format of a Team Performance Plan they normally contain the following information:

Specific goals for team development

Performance measures

Actions required to achieve goals

An indication of how long goals will take to achieve

The Team Performance Plan should align with the organisation’s overall objectives. This can be achieved by:

1. Aligning the Team Performance Plan with the Team Purpose

2. Aligning the Team Purpose with the organisation’s objectives

Team Performance Plans might include the following types of goals:

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Goals to improve team competency

Team building goals

Collate the information regarding poor performance

Performance = Ability x Motivation


Ability is the person’s aptitude, as well as the training and resources supplied by the organization

Motivation is the product of desire and commitment

Someone with 100% motivation and 75% ability can often achieve above-average performance. But a worker with only 25% ability won’t be able to achieve the type of performance you expect, regardless of his or her level of motivation.

Incorrect diagnoses can lead to lots of problems later on. If you believe an employee is not making enough of an effort, you’ll likely put increased pressure on him or her to perform. But if the real issue is ability, then increased pressure may only make the problem worse.

Low ability may be associated with the following:

Over-difficult tasks.

Low individual aptitude, skill, and knowledge.

Evidence of strong effort, despite poor performance.

Lack of improvement over time.

People with low ability may have been poorly matched with jobs in the first place. They may have been promoted to a position that’s too demanding for them. Or maybe they no longer have the support that previously helped them to perform well.

Meet with the relevant team member(s) and discuss the issues

Creating a Performance Improvement Plan

So how do you do this in practice? This is where you need to develop a Performance Improvement Plan. Armed with the strategies we’ve looked at, you first need to evaluate the performance issue that you’re facing:

Have you discussed with the person what he or she feels the problem is?

Have you evaluated your organization’s motivation system? Are you doing everything you can to recognize and reward people’s contributions?

Are you rewarding the things that you actually want done?

Do you have regular goal setting and development meetings with members of your team?

Do you help your people keep their skills current?

From there, it’s important that you and the employee discuss and agree upon a plan for improving performance. Write down what you’ve agreed, along with dates by which goals should be achieved. Then monitor progress with the team member, and use the techniques we’ve discussed above for increasing motivation and dealing with ability-related issues.

Recognize that the actions needed to close ability gaps need high motivation on the employee’s part to be successful. The two causes of poor performance – lack of ability and low motivation – are inextricably intertwined, and goal setting, feedback, and a supportive work environment are necessary conditions for improving both.

Develop a Performance Improvement Plan

Successfully managing team performance starts by identifying where the team is performing well and where it needs further development. The Team Performance Profile Questionnaire and associated analysis gives team members an objective assessment of how the team is doing. It provides opportunities to compare the various viewpoints of team members and outsiders and relate them to the team vision and purpose. The common language ensures that everyone is focusing on the critical team performance factors and the measured gaps can then be translated into action plans for improved performance. It is the diagnosis of the problems that is essential. Once we know what is wrong, it is usually easy to fix it!

Tuckman (1965) presented the four stages of teamwork which are now widely used by work teams throughout the world to assess their progress. The model describes the stages as follows:

Tuckman’s Stages of Teamwork Model

Once teams are formed, they go through an unpleasant storming stage before ground rules and norms are established. Eventually the performing stage is reached. In the 1980s it was acceptable to take maybe six months or so to reach the performing stage. However, in the ’90s, such is the speed of change and the intensity of competition that some teams have to get to good performance levels in six weeks or even six days!

Follow up

Ensure that you monitor, follow up and evaluate the performance improvement as set out in the plan.

A Performance Improvement Plan should clearly convey:

The area of performance that requires improvement or development

The action(s) to be taken

Any parties required to assist in the achievement of the set actions

The timeframe for achieving each action

3.1 Assess the process for monitoring team performance and initiate changes where necessary

Sometimes poor performance has its roots in low motivation. When this is the case, you need to work closely with the employee to create a motivating environment in which to work. There are thre


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