The fifth and final conversation center of our team performance model is Measure. When I ask leaders how they judge the performance of their team, they typically talk about business results. They are important, but in my opinion, an incomplete measure of team performance.
Defining Team Performance
Business measures are critical. If we are not creating value for our customers then I question the purpose of the team. Teams exist to generate value. We are talking about value in the eyes of the customer, what about value for the team members? If team members don’t receive value beyond monetary reward, work becomes meaningless and can lead to boredom and burn out.
Value for Team Members
Two other generic measures define the value of a team. The first is team member satisfaction. Is this is a fun team to be a member of? Do I feel positively challenged and supported? Are we making a difference and creating impact? These questions are key if we want to have a team of committed people, key for a high performing team.
The last generic team performance measure is growth. Are we learning and growing; becoming a group of people more capable of taking effective action together? This includes learning how to ‘team’, the interpersonal skills of working together on this team and ones in the future.
By defining goals for your team in each of these three categories you will maximize the value generated by your team now and into the future. I am sure you’ve been on a team that worked really hard, got results but did so by driving the team into the ground. Team members come away exhausted, disillusioned, fearful, etc. Participating on these types of teams is not sustainable, and without a balance of measures, it is an easy trap to fall into.
By measuring progress to goals regularly and generously we create a learning environment. Regularity is important to keep the goals and your purpose top of mind. We face so many distractions every day, it can be hard to stay focused. Measuring generously describes entering into the conversation with the intent to use it to generate learning and growth. This includes being willing to offer help, focusing on the issue not the person and holding an after action review to capture learning. If done well, it turns issues into learning events the team embraces rather than tries to avoid.
How are you measuring the performance of your team? What are you learning?