One of the most important factors affecting the team environment and consequently Team performance, is the appraisal and reward system. An inappropriate appraisal and reward system can create acute self-consciousness and make members within a Team compete with each other instead of collaborating. The good performance of one person causes insecurity in others. This severely and adversely affects the entire process of Communication, Creativity, Delegation, Collaboration, Time Management, and the ability to manage change. Moreover, this environment converts the smallest of pressures into Stress.
According to insights derived consistently from the “CorporateTheatre” experience, the base platform for measuring performance should be Team Performance. It is therefore important that the Team definition is clear.
To use a metaphor, Alpha Sporting Club is not a Team. Within Alpha Sporting Club there can be a cricket team, a football team, a basketball team. They are different teams simply because the parameters of performance are different and the performance of one team does not affect the performance of the other team. Whereas, in a cricket team, batting bowling, and wicket keeping are different functions within the same team. The performance of one affects the performance of the other. Batting cannot win when bowling loses or vice versa. It is surprising, that in many contemporary, high profile organizations, functions within a team consider themselves as teams and each member’s loyalty and accountability is primarily to the function, often at the cost of the actual team.
As defined by the “CorporateTheatre” experience, if the Team loses nobody gets rewarded - no matter how well they have individually 'bowled' or 'batted'. No performance is relevant in the long run unless the Team or the organization has achieved its primary objective, and its subsidiary objectives in the short term. (Obviously this requires that the subsidiary objectives are well aligned with the primary goals.) If the Team achieves this objective everybody gets highly rewarded irrespective of whether they have individually 'scored' or not in that particular 'match' or 'season'. Over a couple of cycles of appraisal, this will ensure that the Team weeds out the non-committed far more ruthlessly than a 'boss' can do it. This is instinct and happens all the time even in street/colony teams, even among insect teams, animal teams. Only those who can and want to contribute, are tolerated by a natural Team. Once a Team has achieved the objective and got highly rewarded, it is the Team who appraises each other, based on individual competence AS WELL AS COMMITMENT. From this Team rating (360 degrees) individual performance is measured and rated. When the Team does the rating, there is no perceived unfairness or injustice. It is not one person's appraisal. And unless a Team is 'suicidal' the rating will be ruthlessly fair. If not, they realize that ultimately everyone loses.
Once individual appraisal has been done based on what the Team perceives as each one's contribution, the 5 or 10 or 20 (whatever be the yardstick) top rated contributors are declared "stars" and they get hugely rewarded. It is therefore, the Team that decides the stars for each performance period - month, quarter, year, etc. The stars know that to remain stars the Team must be convinced of their continuing contribution and that it cannot be taken for granted. So also everyone in the Team knows that if they contribute more, they can also become stars. Naturally, everyone would like to become a star for the recognition as well as the rewards involved. Everyone would like the Team to note their performance, and not perform for just one particular appraiser or ‘boss’.