A chain-“a series of flexible metal links used for securing objects or pulling loads”- is often used in management discourse to characterize a team. The individual links in a chain are likened to the individual members of a team. If all the links are equally strong, the chain is said to be as strong as any of the links; but if one or more of the links are weaker than the rest, the chain is said to be as strong as the weakest link. Corporate planners had given great consideration to the chain analogy in crafting flexible capability team building ideas and measures.
Strengthening the capabilities of the weak members of a team is a complicated personnel matter. You cannot simply terminate and replace a poorly performing team member if you have no record to back you up even if the desired action is within company guidelines. Thus, corporate planners had developed performance measuring methods that enable team managers to flexibly and effectively strengthen the capabilities of the team members in areas where they are demonstrably weak, team building often helps.
The team manager has a number of alternative “personnel actions” in responding to the weakness of any member: re-train and temporarily replace, transfer and replace, demote and replace or terminate and replace. All of the possible remedies entail movement of personnel and require data on the job performance of the employees concerned. The “Performance Rating System is a step in the work measurement where the Analysts (usually the team handlers) observe the employee’s performance and record a value representing that performance”. The record is used as basis by the team manager to determine education and training needs and to justify actions such as adjustment of pay, promotion, hiring or firing.
The performance record is a relatively accurate and verifiable basis in providing employees feedback on their performance level; responsible employees like to know how they are doing in the job. A timely and accurate performance rating procedure is an effective tool in motivating an employee to set realistic goals and, consequently, attain satisfactory performance.
Performance rating results are usually submitted twice a year. Some managers wisely hold quarterly check-point meetings, at corporate events, to make sure that the team members’ performances are within the satisfactory level and to implement remedial measures before the rating period, if necessary. The Performance Rating System has a number of variations such as:
1. Management by Objective (MBO)- The manager and the employee agree in the set of tasks the employee must attain within the rating period.
2. Three Hundred Sixty (360) Degree Appraisal- The manager collects the feedback about the employee from the supervisor, the other team members, and random clients and have the data be analyzed by the raters.
3. Behavioral Checklist- A list of criteria will be set for the employee to work up to be considered as a diligent worker.
4. Psychological Appraisal- The employee is evaluated in terms of his intelligence quotient, emotional quotient and other psychological parameters.
The focus of prevailing appraisal systems may vary. But their common purpose is to estimate the relative value of the performance of the employee in connection with “Team Building”. Therefore, The Performance Rating process is a regular activity where members of a team and team handlers work together to build the capability of a team and the organization as a whole. It is an efficient management tool that has become an integral part of the organization’s “Standard Operating Procedures.”