When evaluating the performance of employees in teams, there needs to be a clear understanding of what is being evaluated. This process includes clarifying the elements of evaluating, choosing a ranking system, and determining specific aspects of an individual's or a team's performance that are being appraised. Creation Process
Various opinions exist about how to measure, rank, and evaluate performance. A seven step process for creating performance standards for teams, that gives some direction when first deciding on the areas that are to be evaluated, includes the following: (1) reviewing existing organizational measure; (2) defining what is going to measured; (3) identifying individual team member accomplishments that support the team; (4) weighing the accomplishments; (5) developing team and individual performance measures; (6) developing team and individual performance standards; and (7) deciding how to track performance (Zigon, 1998).
To work well, the team must agree on its standards of excellence. Team members and the leader must define and agree upon what the team's standards of excellence are. The standards of excellence should take several aspects of the team into account. The clarity and appropriateness of team goals and charter are very important. It is also important that the team's goals link to the organizational goals. The team needs to discuss whether or not and how well the team's work is being done, and finally analyze how well the members work together as a team (Rees, 1999).
Several factors need to be considered in developing team standards. The goals and the direction the team will take must be clear to all associates. Team members need to participate in setting performance standards, periodic team performance reviews should be scheduled, and reviews should be conducted by the team leader and then discussed at team meetings (1999). As discussed later, however, other sources recommend that the entire team participate in the review process rather than just the team leader appraising each member. Performance Elements
Performance appraisals include different elements: looking at work assignments, responsibilities, or dimensions of work completed by individuals, teams, and/or the whole organization. "A critical element is a work assignment or responsibility of such importance that unacceptable performance on the element would result in a determination that an employee's overall performance is unacceptable" (OPM, 1997). Individual performance for which the employee can be held accountable must be addressed by critical elements such as the employee completing his/her fair share of the work in a way that affects the team's performance positively, that he/she follows the rules set by the team, he/she learns and shares new skills and knowledge with the team, and that he/she has ideas for improving the teams performance (1997). "A non-critical element can be a dimension or aspect of individual, team, or organizational performance, that is used in assigning a summary level." Non-critical elements can be assigned more weight than critical elements, depending on previous arrangements made and the importance of a certain aspect for a specific job. The National Achieves and Records Administration (NARA) describe some examples for the elements. On the non-critical element, everyone needs to be familiar with the standards set, desired levels for customer satisfaction, and required work performance; the standards that measure the teams ability to build consensus, resolve conflicts, solve problems, cooperate, lead itself, and make recommendations for its developmental needs; and the standards that require the team to develop a plan for how well it will improve/maintain its accuracy rate (OPM, 1999). An additional performance element "addresses a dimension or aspect of individual, team or organizational performance not used in determining summary levels, but used various other purposes, such as...
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