TARGETING TEAMWORK

Teamwork. Every organization wants it. Millions (probably billions) of dollars are spent annually worldwide on research, literature, training, conferences, seminars, retreats, love-
ins -- why can't we all just get along?

Okay; teamwork is more than just getting along. At its best, it is a magical mix of talent, interpersonal chemistry, leadership and workplace environment resulting in excellence.
Teamwork rarely just happens. It requires aspiration and work. It can be very challenging for organizations with factors that tend to divide employees such as high-stress,
diverse employees, limited resources, competing  priorities, and highly subjective products or services (What's good? Bad? Why?). Teamwork can mean very different things to
different employees. It can save an organization or be used as a bludgeon: "You're not showing teamwork!" Meaning, "You're not helping me like I want."

You can't force employees to like or respect each other, to get along well or to willingly sacrifice for the team. You can create and support a work environment that defines,
selects for, models and reinforces productive relationships and teamwork. And, that quickly and surely corrects or removes individuals who do not show teamwork.

The
Target Performance Managementdrivers pinpoint and communicate teamwork target performance, select only employees able and willing to achieve teamwork, provide
resources to achieve teamwork (e.g., training), assess teamwork in individuals and teams, and respond to employee performance with feedback, coaching and motivation
(positive and negative) to maximize teamwork. A boss can hope teamwork happens, or can manage the workplace to stimulate and sustain teamwork. HOW the drivers are
implemented (respect, trust, caring) largely determines employee commitment and allegiance to their jobs, coworkers and the organization.

Teamwork Target Performance - The boss defines the target performance of teamwork depending upon his/her business needs, values, and standards. For example,
teamwork might be defined as "Create and support positive, productive relations among team members that result in effectively and efficiently achieving organizational goals
with high respect, trust and pride."  Depending upon your business environment and needs, behavioral examples might include:
  • People skillsControlling your thoughts, feelings and behavior and influencing others' thoughts, feelings and behavior to constructively achieve organizational goals.  
    Building rapport and mutual respect with and among others. Adapting your personal style for diverse individuals or audiences.
  • Communication – Clear, concise expression of facts and ideas on different, complex subjects to diverse, sometimes challenging individuals and audiences. Anticipating
    and effectively responding to others' preferences and requirements to gain their understanding.
  • Integrity/Creating Trust - Meaning what you say and saying what you mean. Supporting laws, rules, policies, procedures, and ethical standards. Admitting mistakes and
    bringing them to others' attention as appropriate. Providing all of the pertinent information (not withholding).
  • Problem-solving/negotiating - Helping to objectively identify the most pertinent goals, alternatives, risks and opportunities while considering conflicting team interests and
    maintaining constructive relationships. Gaining mutual support for action. Knowing when/how to stand firm and when/how to compromise within a team to achieve goals.
  • Keeping calm and calming others in stressful situations. Keeping yourself and others focused on the process and goals while maintaining positive team relations.

The definition and examples of teamwork target performance that you choose are not all that employees do in showing teamwork. They are the most important, or among the
most important, expectations regarding teamwork. They provide perspective, direction, and priorities. The performance drivers will achieve, maximize and sustain them.

A boss may want to target ALL of the above teamwork examples and more. Too much target performance is as bad as none. It can be cumbersome to manage and difficult to
remember. Keep target performance to a minimally effective number.

Coming: Achieving Teamwork With Target Performance Management™

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