Focusing on Team versus Individual Performance

August 22, 2009
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One common roadblock to change is that organizations reward individuals, often at the expense of team accomplishments?or team burnout. To overcome this situation, try to set the example from within your own group and let others follow your lead. There are many different approaches to recognition that stress the work of the team over the contributions of the individual, and these can have a significant impact on group performance.

A former colleague of mine developed a novel approach to applying the organization?s employee evaluation process in his group. Instead of using it to set individual goals and measure individual performance, he used it to establish team goals and measure team performance.

He still followed the guidelines and timetables established for the process, but he simply shifted the focus from the individual to the team. While somewhat frightening at first?for both his managers and his staff?there were some tangible benefits. Most notably, the team members started supporting each other. When one person was having problems completing his assignment, other members of the team would rally to help, instead of complaining to the manager.

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And, by the way, the team met its objectives for the year.

If you preach the importance of teamwork, try to reflect this philosophy in your reward and recognition programs as well. You will soon see the positive results this kind of approach can bring.

Ron Rosenberg helps organizations get more customers than they know what to do with and keep them for life. For a Free Special Report with 44 Proven Customer Service tips, visit www.qualitytalk.com/tips.

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