Basketball team playing a game, performance evaluation is useful for all parts of the team

May 16, 2016

Assessments are for everyone

When discussing performance evaluation, it is often believed that the objective is to measure the degree to which an employee develops certain competencies. However, from our perspective and experience, what we truly evaluate is our organization's level of performance.
Certainly, new performance appraisal practices do support the continuous professional development of individual employees, but primarily as a means to improve as a group.
If we want a feedback process to encourage participation, open communication, and constructive feedback, it is not advisable to employ individualistic dynamics that foster internal competition, as this can become unhealthy. It is far more effective if the goal of improvement is shared.
Many companies view competitiveness as something enjoyable and conducive to a high-performance culture. However, while competition in the professional environment can be useful in specific scenarios, it can demoralize the team in the long run.
When analyzing the motivations that drive human beings to excel, it is evident that one of them is competition. Nevertheless, not all of our employees may feel comfortable in an environment that continually promotes a struggle to determine who is the best. The same applies to certain gamification dynamics being incorporated into human resources management; we must exercise caution and apply them judiciously to genuinely enhance our work environment and productivity.
Returning to the era in which our ancestors had to strive to be the best to survive in the wild, competition was activated as a natural defense mechanism. Their brains generated adrenaline to confront obstacles urgently. However, this heightened state was not sustained for extended periods. In a modern context where the Law of the Jungle no longer prevails (at least in well-managed companies), it is more conducive to survival if members work collaboratively. This approach ensures that their collective results surpass the sum of their individual skills.

Dean Oliver's study on NBA teams achieving optimal results illustrates this notion effectively. The research found that teams with the highest number of assists when passing the ball won 72% more games. In other words, it was far more beneficial to pass the ball to a teammate than to take a shot at the basket at all costs because this improved the quality of shots, rendering the game more effective. The teamwork aspect exceeded the combined performance of individual team members.

Moreover, by presenting this initiative as a shared challenge, potential individual reluctance among employees who may feel insecure dissipates. This approach eliminates the concept of an exam and encourages collaboration, thereby reducing stress levels, increasing participation, and enhancing engagement.

For this reason, we consistently recommend processes of 360º feedback. They offer a more comprehensive and well-rounded perspective on our professional development and enable us to regard the evaluation process as a genuine teamwork initiative