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Team Member Performance Evaluation Techniques

by Billie Nordmeyer

Each employee can have a significant effect on the success of an organization. It's the relationship between individuals, the interplay of employee actions and the aggregation of organizational activities, however, that sustains a company’s performance. The evaluation of teamwork outcomes should be a key element of a company’s performance-evaluation system. A company can use a number of different evaluation methods to consider not only an individual's contributions, but the relationship between an employee's work and the work of others on his team.

Peer Evaluation

Co-workers are accountable to teammates for their contributions to team activities, so it's appropriate to have team members and managers evaluate each other. Peer evaluations require that team members gauge certain characteristics of a team member’s work as well as the employee’s contribution to the project. For example, team members might evaluate the quality of the person’s suggestions and the employee’s willingness to assume responsibility for his share of the work. Team members may also evaluate a team member in terms of the percentage of the team’s goals that the particular team member accomplishes. The team then ranks each team member’s contributions and characteristics relative to those of other team members.

Graphic Rating Scales

The graphic-rating scale is a subjective performance-appraisal method that provides raters with a checklist to evaluate different aspects of a team member’s performance using a continuum such as "poor," "fair," "average," "good" and "excellent." A manager and fellow team members evaluate each employee based on characteristics, such as quality of work, cooperation and dependability. For example, team members may select a fair rating to describe another team member’s quality of work. The selected values for all characteristics are totaled and the grand total represents a team member’s overall rating.

Narrative Essay

A manager or team member could create a narrative describing another team member's performance in terms of strengths, weaknesses, achievements and development needs as another technique to evaluate team members. The team member who performs the appraisal can choose the topics to discuss in the narrative, but he also reviews personnel records before creating the essay. Because the essay is free form, the evaluation is simple, informative and unrestrained by already selected topics. However, because the essays are free form, the variation between one essay and the next makes it difficult to compare one team member’s appraisal with that of another team member.

Management by Objectives

The focus of a management by objectives performance review is the results produced by a team member rather than the employee’s personal traits. The team member’s rating is determined by the degree to which he accomplishes the personal objectives that he and his manager define and design to support the goals of the manager and the organization. The team member and his manager also define action plans and time schedules that support the defined objectives. The manager then coaches the employee, monitors his performance and helps the employee overcome any barriers to success. The management-by-objectives method encourages team members and management to work closely together, which creates a mentoring environment in which team members learn problem-solving and decision-making.

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