How Individual and Team Performance Tracking Have Changed: Here’s What You Need to Know

Tracking and measuring positively affect business practices, but it’s about measuring and monitoring the right things in the right way.

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How Individual and Team Performance Tracking Have Changed: Here's What You Need to Know

Here's what you need to know about how individual and team performance tracking have changed: here's what you need to know:

  • Adapt your individual tracking methods to your employees' positions and, if you need to, combine different tracking methods.
  • Tracking and measuring performance are ideas that have been embraced by almost every business across the globe.
  • Create a team that will sometimes sacrifice their personal success for the team's success.

The old adage goes, “You get what you track. You do what you measure.” Tracking and measuring performance are ideas that have been embraced by almost every business across the globe. Yet, the problem persists in how we do those things.

Tracking and measuring positively affect business practices, but it’s about measuring and monitoring the right things in the right way. That’s why this article will help you understand how to track employees’ workloads and measure their efforts. With that in mind, we’re starting with individual tracking.

Individual tracking

The first element of tracking performance is tracking individual performance. When it comes to personal effectiveness, there are three distinct ways you can gauge performance.

Time invested

Time invested is one of the first metrics established when it comes to individual performance tracking. This concept basically asks the following question: “How much time did you spend doing the task?”

This was how things were done throughout the first and second industrial ages. You had factories, and everyone employed in the factory had their station. The people were at the station for 8 hours, which was their time invested. There wasn’t much you could do to increase your output except increase the time invested. You would be a part of the larger process and do your part, which lasted X minutes.

There wasn’t a way to hack that process to improve your productivity. To increase productivity, you needed to increase the hours invested in the process.

Most of the tracking moved from the time invested to the task done.

Task done

The task done was the evolution of tracking performance. How we operated changed with how our industries functioned and as new fields and technologies emerged.

Many companies’ employees are no longer required to work 8 hours a day. They have to accomplish their tasks, and they can do so in as many hours as they wish.

Suddenly, technology sped up the processes. It was no longer about the time invested in work but about doing the complete task.

We can see this in the modern workplace. Many companies’ employees are no longer required to work 8 hours a day. All they have to do is accomplish their tasks, and they can do so in as many hours as they wish. It’s about accurately completing the job by a deadline, not spending a certain amount of hours on it.

However, this form of tracking also had its problems, and that’s how we came to, “Did I do my best to….”

Did I do my best to…

The “did I do my best to…” way of tracking was formed because people couldn’t measure specific tasks either with “time invested” or “task done.” A good example of this issue is one’s ability to be a good manager or a good leader.

It’s pretty difficult (or almost impossible) to measure a leader’s effectiveness by tracking their time invested or tasks completed.

  • “I spent 5 hours talking with my team and, therefore, I’m a good manager” doesn’t work.
  • “I held a team meeting and a 1-on-1 session and, therefore, I’m a good manager” doesn’t work either.

Those two ways of tracking performance track quantifiable performance. But the “Did I do my best to…” approach to monitoring performance tracks qualitative performance. This makes it excellent for tracking performance in areas where you need to measure the quality of the task instead of working to quantify it.

Using all three to track performance

A combination of all three of these should be used in your organization. You should analyze the positions in your company and use the tracking methods that suit the job the best. If you’re having someone work at the factory floor assembly line, it won’t make that much sense to use “Did I do my best to…” to track performance.

So adapt your individual tracking methods to your employees’ positions and, if you need to, combine different tracking methods.

Team tracking

Once you have a way to track individual performance, you now need to figure out how to ensure that all of the individuals work together as a team to achieve more—to develop synergy.

Pat Riley, back at LA Lakers, had the same problem.

The case of the LA Lakers

Back in 1986, Pat Riley was the head coach of the LA Lakers basketball team. He had some of the most talented players in the history of basketball, but somehow, he just couldn’t get them to play as the best team. After a couple of losses with the “most talented players ever seen in basketball,” Riley knew he had to change something.

Riley created the Career Best Effort program and started to track players’ performance using it. The system took note not only of the individual performance of players, such as rebounds or the number of points scored, but also of team effort plays, such as:

  • Helping a team player when the opponent went past them
  • Putting themselves in the way of a foul
  • Jumping for a loose ball

The system worked for the LA Lakers, and they won the NBA championship back to back, in 1986 and 1987.

Combining the best people with the best system

Achieving great success with your team means having great team members and tracking their performance. Still, you also know how to create metrics to track the teams’ performance.

You will need great team members and track their performance the right way individually, but you also need to create team metrics that will help the entire team thrive.

It’s about creating a team that will sometimes sacrifice their personal success for the team’s success. Pat Riley knew he had A-list players, but he needed to figure out how to make them work together as a single team with one purpose—winning an NBA championship.

Your company has the same goals in front of you and your team—achieving our objectives and hitting our goals. To do so, you will need great team members and track their performance the right way individually, but you also need to create team metrics that will help the entire team thrive.

If you have individuals who thrive in their performance but a team that’s failing, is that really beneficial for your business? The true goal is to combine the team’s success with the individual’s success and then find a way to converge those two things like they’re the same thing. That way, your team members will engage with the goals in front of them and have ownership over the process and the results that come out of it.

That’s how you unite team members around a common goal.

Track both individual and team performance

Tracking and measuring are among the things that seem so easy on the surface. Still, once you get to the nitty-gritty details of it, you find out just how complicated it is. In this article, we presented the three ways how you can track individual performance:

  • “Time invested”
  • “Task done”
  • “Did I do my best to…”

We also used the example of the LA Lakers as a way to track the team’s performance.

If you need to find more information about tracking and measuring, we suggest you read How to Automate Time and Attendance guide in our blog section.

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