This is Leadership with Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah: Measure the team


‘Life is boring without targets’

When you allow the team to work, measure them. It is always assumed that employees that make up a team might have gone through a team selection process. Team goals must be shared and team targets must be clear, as always hinted. Never let teams get away with team targets. Each individual must be measured. Give each employee a SMART target.

Hear this from me, life is boring without targets. Set targets for yourself and the teams you manage. To the point, enforce targets. When you live in this life without targets, you die early because nothing challenges you to live to see another day. I prefer to use the SMARTER- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound, Evaluated, Readjusted  model.

Everyone must be measured in a team and everything must be measured to get the team going. Honestly, there’s no point keeping a team together without measuring their performance. For starters, leaders must select and keep employees with a cultural fit, as well as persons who fit job roles. These are soft areas in selecting good employees, but are very crucial to team development and individual employee performance.

Each employee is measured in a team because employees sign contracts to agree to deliver on job roles. Welch (2005) advises that if you don’t intend to put together a high performing team, why develop a team in the first place. So I’m always inspired and subsequently inclined to measure teams with standards that will push team limits, and more importantly, sustain institutional growth.

My point is that, if you don’t set standards, expect pig fights in the office, if not loud dog barks. Inasmuch as a team’s mission is crucial for team’s success, it has become extremely fundamental for leaders to develop performance management systems to ensure that every deliverable within the team structure is measured at the workplace. As advised, performance management systems must be broken into perspectives so that leaders can measure everything, including the movements in the air at the office.

In line with measuring a company’s performance, Kaplan and Norton (2004) hinted four key perspectives for institutional leaders to note as they proposed the balanced scorecard, as far as measuring performance is concerned. They hinted that leaders should focus on financial, process, customer and employee perspectives. You can always replace employee perspective with employee learning and development, or employee growth.

When you measure the team, reward achievers and sanction underperformers. I personally like to raise employees who exceed targets significantly. I do so because I just don’t measure the team, I seek to develop top (high) performing teams. I use the Rocket model (Hughes et al 2015) to develop top performing teams. The model sets a good tone to measuring ambitious teams.

First, leaders must get the right talent. I mean followers who are ready to serve with apprenticeship mind-sets. Leaders must share team’s mission in the morning, afternoon, evening and late at night (if they have to), so to get team buy-in. To ensure that teams stick to the corporate knitting, leaders must develop norms to shape teams. Beyond norms, leaders must whip up morale in order to power teams at all times. To conclude, it’s always good to measure everyone. A good employee is the one that earns the leader’s respect. Leaders must commit to ensuring that every member within the team has a target. Beyond the targets, leaders must introduce tried and tested performance management reviews and systems to manage team performance.

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