Monitoring Your Team

Part 7 of my “New to Management” mini-series is on monitoring your team. Much of what you have to do as a manager is to insure that the goals set are being met. My post on monitoring work (for individuals) is a very good starting point. If you have set up some solid methods of monitoring your people’s performance, then you just have to work to up-level that to the team level. When I worked in the factory, I was handed more than enough data on the overall performance of my team. I was given both quantitative and qualitative reports at the touch of a finger. This was an idea situation for anyone that is working in a factory setting. Your data handy for you and your team to monitor, throughout the day. We are not all that lucky in most of our roles… We have to develop different approaches to monitoring our team.

What maybe available or what you may have to work on:

  • If you remember from the individual side of monitoring – we used a template for capturing our SMART goals and monitored performance by reviewing monthly. Well, the same can be applied to the team. Up-leveling or writing SMART goals for the team are easy (if you have done the same for each individual). Use the same process and review in staff meetings monthly. Good discussions can form from reviewing goals.
  • Most companies have mandatory training or refresher training that each employee needs to do. If so, then you as the manager need to make sure that the team is on track. Set up (if reports are not available) a monitoring system to insure that training is happening on time.
  • Another great way to have team discussions on how work is going is by having weekly status update meetings. One of my teams perfected a quick 15 minute session to update each other (and me). We had eight folks on the team. We used to stand up. Why? No need to get comfortable – quick status update. Since we were a virtual team – we used to use our video cameras to see each other. Each person would go through their update consisting of what got accomplished last week, what is on schedule for this week and any help needed – all had to be said within 90 seconds. We would capture this in our team site – for reference later on. People would note – if they were expecting stuff from someone else – when it was going to get done or not. Maybe follow-on discussions were necessary. Good, quick and effective update for the whole team to participate in.
  • For teams that are physically in the same location. Do you just sit and listen to the team members talk in the hallway, cafe or around the water cooler? You should. That is valuable information that you can use to see how well the team is doing. People love to talk. Use it! If you are like me and have a virtual team. Your work is truly cut out for you. How do you have a virtual water cooler for you team to discuss around? With some of the new enterprise 2.0 tools that are around; we have set up a virtual water cooler. The team uses this for everything and anything that normally goes on in the hallway. Discussions are captured and shared for the all. There have been some interesting threads on many items (some work, some not). We all want to feel like we belong…
  • Lastly, I have used surveys and 360 feedback to help me keep track of team performance. Asking the team how they think they are doing – is a good way to see things with their eyes. You, as the manager, have your thoughts, what are the folks thoughts? If your team provides services or products to other teams, it is always good to get the quality level data from those teams directly. Sharing all of the feedback with your team can help with continuous improvement. Maybe future SMART goals…

Whatever you use, make sure that that report, update or information is readily available to all team members. If they can even update that information, all the better. Simply keeps all of the team informed. Sets up another communication channel for all to use. Want to insure that you team is really performing? Make everything available anytime (goals, performance to those goals and communication channels) and what the results roll in.

Are there any monitoring tools or tricks you use to keep the team goals and performance front and center? Please share.

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  • Brian Higgins

    Mr Bell (aka Baby Bell)

    GREAT Stuff… Amazing how after ~30 years we have process that we all used to manage teams, thanks for writing it down!


  • @Brian – thanks. Spending plenty of time training new managers at work. Has helped me to clarify and document some stuff that I have am doing. It also has helped me use some examples of trying stuff that just did not work well. The classes have had some very good discussion.