Performance Planning and Review: Making Employee Appraisals Work

By Richard Rudman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
PERFORMANCE PLANNGING
AND REVIEW FOR TEAMS

Teams and teamwork have become popular tools of organisation and management in recent years, raising new issues and challenges for performance planning and review. Inevitably, some people claim that the trend towards team-based working sounds the death knell for performance planning and review. That would possibly be true if performance planning and review techniques could not be adapted to new ways of working. But they can be adapted and many organisations have successfully done so.

Most of us have some concept of teamwork. For many, it's an idea that has grown up over years of experience as players or spectators in the sports arena—a picture of a group of individuals who join together in combined effort for a common purpose. Generally, we don't need to think more deeply than that. In the workplace, however, things are different. This is not the place for a broad discussion of teams and teamwork, but we highlight some particular issues of significance to performance management in a team-based work environment.

Teamwork is not a new phenomenon in organisations and workplaces. In the 1960s and 1970s, for example, the Swedes sparked off worldwide interest with the use of autonomous and semi-autonomous work groups in manufacturing companies, and the Americans attracted similar attention with the emergence of the Quality of Working Life movement. More recently, amid the pressures of changing economies and increasing global competition, teams and teamwork have been embraced enthusiastically by managers seeking solutions to complex dilemmas. As with the wide range of management fads that preceded teamwork, some of the promise of teamwork might have been exaggerated. Kinnie and Purcell (1998) observe:

Teamworking, it is claimed, can transform organisational performance and attitudes by creating a virtuous circle in which increased employee involvement leads to improved motivation and productivity.

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