Blog Post

This Review Season It's Go Team or Go Home

Chad Savoy

VP of Sales, Datadog

Businesses ultimately depend on the success of teams, but performance reviews focus on the strengths and weaknesses of individuals.

How do you bridge the gap?

Look at the whole team

It’s easy to draw comparisons when considering a team: he’s better at sticking to his budget, she comes up with the most creative ideas, he lands the biggest clients. Reviews that allow you to look at people as a group - to see them in their teams and evaluate how their individual contributions drive success for the entire team - can provide better insight into their true performance and impact on the organization.

Get the full picture

Looking at individual contribution without team context paints an incomplete picture: a person who doesn’t hit sales targets or have extensive product knowledge might actually be the facilitator who makes her whole team run smoothly. Ultimately it’s the team’s output, not the individual’s, that benefits the organization most.

Peer feedback is important

Which hurts more? Your manager telling you you’re a 2, or your team telling you you’ve let them down? Peer feedback should be included in reviews because it comes from the people you work closely with every day, not from a manager who might only see you once or twice outside of your annual performance review.

Review team dynamics, get dynamic teams

Teamwork is dynamic: brainstorming, creativity, innovation and collaboration, all of which can be greatly affected by the combination of people and personality types. Team-based reviews can help you better understand individual contribution to positive group dynamics: it’s easy to see which teams are working like a well-oiled machine, and which need a little extra support.

Reviewing teams isn’t hard

  • Use a review system to measure interpersonal and cooperative competencies as well as objectives, and compare performance within teams.

  • Create an environment where frequent feedback is encouraged, and collect peer feedback in reviews.

  • Manage teams as teams and enjoy the benefits: more open communication, closer working relationships, higher trust levels, and increased productivity

To see how our learning and performance tools enable managers to review teams for what they really are (teams!) check out

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In today's job market, one roadblock organizations often deal with when trying to hold on to employees is a concept called “talent hoarding.” Talent hoarding occurs when a manager holds tightly to an employee because they view that person as an essential asset to their team. Losing this person would likely create a hole in the department that the manager may consider challenging or inconvenient to fill.

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