Individual vs. Group Rewards-LO10187

Smith-Lewis, Margaret (
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 14:18:39 -0400

Replying to LO10157 --

Replying to questions:

I have some general questions about your approach
1) How do individuals cope with being placed on a "bad" team?
2) How does a team cope with a "bad" individual?
3) Do all the individuals on a team get the same "team" performance

I have some past experience with these questions, so I offer the solutions
which were used by the teams facing them. First a brief context- the
Performance Appraisal was based on both individual and team performance
and each had technical and behavioral categories with Measures and goals
for all four categories balanced for quantity, quality and efficiency.

1. individuals on a "bad team": the weighting of the goals was negotiated
and altered with the Supervisor more toward individual contributions and
individual goals were added for both technical and behavior for that
individual (within the boundaries of the individual's control or ability
to influence) which if achieved would forward the team.

2. team with a "bad individual": The team decided in open process (it
could be done by a supervisor or leader) if all members would get
"standard" credit for the team accomplishments for "doing thier part".
In addition, some individuals were acknowledged by the team for key,
outstanding contributions which made it possible for the team to get out
of trouble, make goals, exceed goals. This is sort of like the Deming
concept of standard/average performance and people who "out perform" the
system average. To do this in open process requires quite a bit of
groundwork in communciation skills, team porcess, trust, etc. It is
entirely possible to do in a short time frame (months) if this is the
clarified consensus intent at the formation of the team or at some point
along the path.

3. each individual with same "team performance": Everyone gets credit for
the team's accomplishments (exception #2 above) and each person's specific
contributions based on thier roles, responsibilities, goals is also

The underlying expectation when using this process is that of openness and
dealing directly (not pretending, ignoring, third partying, etc.) with
issues. This openness is a highly held value and plays a part in the
vision of the group. There is a clear expectation that people will develop
the skills (behavior goals) necessary to "play on the field" with
openness. This is done individually or as a team depending on incoming
skill level. There is also an underlying belief that all team members do
the best they can in any current situation given "who they are" ("past"
interpretations and beliefs relative to experiences) and "what they are
capable of doing" ("present" skills and willingness). This helps to
decrease "judgment". The focus of the expectations and goals of the
individual and team focus on the future ("achievable" for accountability
and ownership, and "possibilities" for risk taking and creative/learning

-- (Smith-Lewis, Margaret)

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