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Measuring & Acknowledging Team Results at Work

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson we explore a few ways to measure and acknowledge team results in the workplace, including a few things to keep in mind when setting workplace goals.

Teams

Have you ever played a team sport? Whether you were a catcher in baseball, a linebacker in football, or a libero in volleyball, you likely gained a great understanding of how hard it is to coordinate many different elements and people toward the same goal. It takes long hours of practice and great communication for a team to come together and win a few games or, with a little luck, a championship.

Even for those who haven't played a team sport, teams and teamwork can be just as important in the workplace. After all, each person in your workplace likely has his or her own expertise; Dave is good with numbers, Jill is very detail-oriented, while Steve is really good at seeing the big picture. While they each have their own expertise, they can achieve something truly great when they come together to work on the same project .

In this lesson, we will explore the best ways to measure and acknowledge a team's goals in the workplace.

Setting Goals

Before you can measure a team's progress, it's important on any project to outline the goal so that each member of the team knows what he or she is working toward. When setting these goals, it is important to make sure they are tangible and measurable. This way, members of your team understand what they are working toward and the results they can expect to achieve. For example, if you are managing a team at a restaurant, a goal of 'better customer service' is probably too broad if you are seeking real results. Instead, the same goal can be framed as something that can be measured, such as 'less wait time for customers' or 'a higher percentage of positive reviews.'

Depending on your team's objectives, it's also important for each team member to understand and accept the roles and responsibilities. Just like in any team sport, each person on the team has a role to play. If the team members do not understand their roles from the outset, it can cause friction or work to fall through the cracks as the team works toward its goal.

Measuring Goals

As a team works toward its goal, it is important, both for accountability and for team morale, to measure and acknowledge the work the team has been doing. The mechanisms you should use to track your team's work depend greatly on the type of project your team is working on. Team meetings can be a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page. When an entire team gets together to discuss the project, all of the members can learn how their work is progressing relative to the work of their colleagues and if there are any emerging gaps that need to be filled.

Additionally, visual indicators of the team's progress in the workplace can have a two-pronged effect: they can remind and congratulate the team members of the work that they have done while serving as encouragement to keep working hard toward their ultimate goal. For example, if your company has set a goal of a 1,000 sales in a month, you can set up a board that tracks the team's progress on its way to 1,000 sales.

A final note on this type of measurement technique: remain positive. Visual measurements used while the team is working to achieve this goal should have a positive effect on team morale, as poor morale or a discouraged team can lead to bad results. Putting something on the board like '1,000 sales or no one gets a raise!' will probably have the opposite effect than what you are trying to achieve.

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