Evaluating Your Team’s Skills
Some think that to create an effective team you should not find the right person for the job, but should find the right job for the person. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and capitalizing on those is critical.
People do perform better when given a task they enjoy, and while you cannot have tasks you enjoy all the time, planning the workload to best suit abilities and preferences is very important. To be able to capitalize on strengths and weaknesses you need to be sure that everyone agrees what they are.
A simple check list is a quick and effective way of measuring this. Write out all the tasks your team is expected to perform. You can use job descriptions or your team’s mission statement to help produce this list, but the important factor is to understand the following.
- Whether each person is good or bad at a particular task or responsibility.
- Whether they enjoy each task.
First, ask each team member to complete the same questionnaire. Keep each set of results private. Then compare the results together to discuss any differences and better understand what development is needed and how to adjust your planning to suit their skills.
It should be clear that each person should be tasked with those jobs they enjoy, and for which they have a strong aptitude, wherever possible. In cases where they enjoy a task but are not especially able, a training plan should be devised to improve their skills in this area.
Remember that all tasks need to be covered, or they should not be included in the list to begin with. There is always a balance of less enjoyable tasks and you must not let this turn into an excuse for the team to refuse to do jobs. You must remember that you are there to manage their time in order to deliver company goals. While a certain degree of familiarity and relaxed interaction should be encouraged, do not forget you are their manager at the workplace. You must make decisions, and will be held accountable for the team’s performance.