"How are we doing?" is a question that should be on the permanent agenda of teams of all types. This question underlies the content of this chapter, which covers evaluating teams. The ensuing chapters in this section (Chapters 14, 15, 16, and 17) present an array of ways to improve and develop teams. Improvement efforts are better planned and evolve more effectively if team members, leaders, and sponsors have an accurate and up-to-date grasp on how the team is performing. This applies to individual members in their teamwork, as well as to the team as a whole. In Chapter 13 we first present ways that individual team members can be evaluated; we then turn to several options for assessing teams as a whole.
Team leaders, sponsors, and members have a wide variety of options for evaluating individuals as team contributors, as well as evaluating overall team effectiveness. Such teamwork evaluation efforts often occur within the context of broader job performance evaluations of individuals and teams in organizations. These evaluations are summarized (in a simplified manner) in Table 13–1. Individuals typically are evaluated, first, on the basis of goal achievement—the extent to which they meet objectives set in their workplace. For example, individuals may have goals to deliver services to 20 patients per day on average or increase patient satisfaction ratings by 10% or decrease inventory wastage by 10%. In some work settings, individual evaluation also includes competency assessment, listed in Table 13–1 as a second barometer of individual performance. For individuals who contribute to teams, an important part of competency assessment is the degree to which they exhibit teamwork competencies. A third common evaluative measure of individuals is the degree to which they have the education, training, and credentials to perform competently in their role. Such assessments might lead to a recommendation of training for a team member (see Chapter 14).
Table 13–1. Types of Evaluation of Whole Teams and Individuals |Favorite Table|Download (.pdf)
Table 13–1. Types of Evaluation of Whole Teams and Individuals
Evaluation of Individuals
- Goal achievement
- Teamwork competencies, other competencies
- Education, training, credentials
Evaluation of whole teams
- Goal achievement
- Characteristics of effective teams
As discussed in Chapter 12 on team sponsors, whole teams generally are evaluated on the basis of: (1) goal achievement, and (2) whether the teams have the characteristics of effective teams. In Chapter 12, an example of a whole-team evaluation process was presented in the case of an Orthopedic Surgery Department, whose leader and sponsor reviewed the team based on the goals of the orthopedic surgery team and the 32 characteristics of effective teams. Goals of clinical teams generally include all of the Institute of Medicine aims (safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity), while other goals are specific to the task at hand. Goals of management teams vary depending on the assigned task.