“Plays well with others” must be one of the most sought after qualities in candidates of all experience levels, across every industry. All work, no matter what you do, is in some way collaborative, and the ability to function as part of a team is a must for all members of a company, from intern to CEO.
Improving team effectiveness within any given business should be an ongoing point of action -- companies with synergistic employee bases see increased efficiency, higher productivity, and even a boosted bottomline. So tracking, evaluating, and assessing team member performance on a continuous basis is important.
But how do you measure teamwork and collaboration? Some companies rely on quantitative metrics, including number of repeat customers, profit margins, hours billed, units sold, etc… If your business is meeting deadlines and making money, that means everything’s working, right?
But if you’re tracking the wrong information, numbers don’t always tell the full story. Quantitative data alone won’t tell you which team members are doing what: who’s dropping the ball, who’s picking up the slack, who isn’t communicating, and who isn’t listening. Qualitative measures implemented via employee assessments can assist in identifying some of these intricacies of employee interaction, and present you with your best opportunities for improvement.
Metrics for Measuring Employee Teamwork and Collaboration
Here are 4 criteria of which organizations can base the qualitative aspects of their team performance assessments.
Are your employees completing projects on time? Are they showing up to meetings well prepared? Are they taking responsibility for mistakes made? Are they putting the needs of the team and business before their individual successes or failures? Members of a successful team create and maintain high standards of performance for themselves and their colleagues, and prioritize the wellness of the group.
Do your employees “show up” for the task at hand? Do they go above and beyond to make sure a project is done, and done well? Do they make themselves available to other members of their team when they need help? A personal sense of service -- to the team and organization, as well as the customer -- can facilitate a culture of mutual aid among colleagues, and in employees demonstrates a true prioritization of group performance over individual success.
- Growth and learning.
Do your employees show continuous improvement? Desire to improve? Are they open to opportunities to receive feedback, guidance, or instruction? Do they take criticism seriously, and use it as an opportunity to review and develop? Demonstration of sincere efforts to boost individual effectiveness, and therefore the effectiveness of the team at large, indicate a propensity toward quality work, and a greater chance of delivering excellence.
- Sharing and listening.
Do your employees speak up in meetings, while also allowing space for their team members to share ideas? Do they demonstrate flexibility when an idea they have is rejected, improved upon, or modified? Do they have honest, but respectful, conversations with their colleagues and supervisors? The strongest teams avoid “group-think”, and understand that the best ideas and courses of action are the result of collective intelligence, and collaboration.
Employee Assessments for Teamwork and Collaboration
The effectiveness of a team hinges upon the performance of the individual players. Employee assessments for teamwork and collaboration can provide valuable insights into team performance by analyzing the working behavior of its members.
Checkster’s talent solutions offer comprehensive assessment tools designed to evaluate candidates, new hires, and employees.
Reference Insights is an automated reference-checking tool that can help your recruiters and hiring managers to identify team players early on. During the interview process, references are invited to fill out a custom survey, evaluating the candidate on a number of qualities which you can specify. A report is then generated from all reference feedback submitted, giving you insights into your potential’s propensity for collaborative behavior.
New Hire Insights is designed for onboarding and retention, and a valuable tool for identifying potential problems in a team which could cost you your newly hired talent. This tool surveys new hires as well as their established colleagues for feedback on the employee’s performance, providing insights that feed directly into the hiring and onboarding processes, existing team culture, the hiring manager’s management style and the new hire themself.
Talent Insights functions similarly to the New Hire Insights solution, giving both employees and hiring managers the power to administer ad-hoc employee evaluations as they are necessitated, and not just on an annual basis. These check-ins can be designed to evaluate specifically team performance and collaboration, allowing individual employee improvement, or providing insight into greater collective function.
Teamwork and Collaboration in a Changed Reality
Much of how we think about employee and team interaction is based on a majority in-office workforce. As we all know all too well, the COVID-19 pandemic is necessitating that many or most employees work from home.
This new model is taking some getting used to from a logistics standpoint, however globally we are seeing indisputable benefits of remote work including the extreme reduction in air pollutants as a direct result of reduced travel. Other benefits include greater employee happiness (for some -- no commute!) not to mention significant cost savings (no travel, no upkeep of physical offices, etc), and, surprisingly enough, increased productivity. In light of these somewhat unexpected gains, working from home and virtual teamwork may just become the new normal for many office-based industries even as we begin to re-integrate into society.
While we’re not sharing physical space with one another anymore at this time, collaboration remains a critical aspect of being successful. In the absence of accountability created by physical interaction, a team-player attitude is more important than ever. But how do you keep track of whether employees are working as a cohesive team?
HR leaders are finding that digital employee assessment tools are becoming the gold standard in ensuring remote teams remain synergistic. Whether workforces continue to work remotely, and for how long, remains to be seen. That said, implementing solutions that will help you track and promote team collaboration will not only stand the test of time (and any other unexpected changes on the horizon) but will most certainly help you navigate the current storm and keep employees “playing well together” while they remain physically apart.
Click here to schedule a demo to see how Checkster’s tool could help you.