Assessing Your Team for Successful Results

September 15, 2012 in , , ,

Begin with the individuals who make up your team. What are their responsibilities within your organization? What does each member bring to the team? What skills are necessary for each team member and what is the individual’s aptitude for those skills?

You must understand your team members because they may ultimately determine whether your team—and your business—succeed. You need to know what each member can do and how each individual can contribute to the team’s success to help you manage effectively.

Identifying and Addressing Individual Needs
Each team member may have a unique combination of attributes, skills, knowledge, and experience. Your role is to identify each member’s individual strengths and weaknesses, and manage them to achieve the best possible results for the team.

Always address the development needs of individuals separately from the team. Your approach depends on the need; if there is a behavior issue, you may need to address the concern through a disciplinary process. If the concern is related to performance, you may first need to address the employee’s development by providing additional training, coaching, or education.

Do You Have A Problem Employee?
Sometimes a team’s poor performance may be largely due to a single employee’s performance or behavior issues. Resolving individual issues by addressing an entire team is tempting because it allows you to spread the blame and not point a finger. However, this is not usually an effective way to address individual issues. As a leader, you should accept the responsibility to develop members of your team through proactive management and reactive discipline.

Managing the Team
Is your team meeting or exceeding performance expectations? If your team is performing well, focus on team-building activities to maintain enthusiasm and prepare for the future.

If your team needs improvement, look into team development activities and identify the underlying causes blocking good performance. Team development focuses on issues such as trust, respect, communication, and conflict resolution.

Summary
Identifying and evaluating your team is an important step in managing the overall effectiveness of your business. People grow and change, so your assessments may fluctuate over time. Be sure to:

  • Learn what each person can contribute based on skills and overall job responsibilities.
  • Take time to periodically evaluate each team member individually.

Managing teams requires you to consider external factors such as company policies, work culture, your own management style, and the individual attributes and combined synergy of the team. Take time to examine the type and degree of positive and negative influences each factor has on your team’s performance.

Once you know where you are, you are better able to take the appropriate action to help your team get to where you want them to go.

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