Do Team Goals Really Drag Your Performance Review Down?

Julie Shenkman
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For professionals, the annual performance review often determines bonuses and raises. But what happens when your company integrates team goals into your review? Since these goals can drag down your individual review score, it's a good idea to be prepared to prove your contributions.

Individual Goals vs. Team Goals

As an employee, you probably spend most of the year focusing on your individual goals. These might include boosting productivity, learning new skills or increasing your sales numbers. In most cases, these goals are almost completely within your control. If you perform well, your review score stays high. Team goals, on the other hand, are the shared goals for everyone in your department. You can control your contributions, but your colleagues' efforts are out of your hands. The problem? If you have a low-performing colleague, it can lower the team's overall performance rating.

Team Performance and Individual Reviews

At some companies, team performance is rated separately from individual performance. That means that even if your team falls short, it shouldn't affect your personal raise or bonus. If your company integrates the two ratings, however, problems can arise. After all, team goals are an average of every member's performance, which means that team ratings are usually lower. If you're a high-performing employee, this means that your team's rating automatically drags down your overall performance review rating — no matter how much you contributed to the group.

Overcoming Team Ratings

If you find that team ratings are negatively affecting your review score, it's time to take action. To start, it's important to keep your individual rating as high as possible by exceeding your individual goals. Then, keep careful records of everything you contribute to team goals. Whenever possible, try to quantify the impact your work has on the end goal. That way, you may be able to justify a higher individual rating even if your team members aren't performing up to par.

Work as a Team

When your manager rates your team, he must consider the results and progress for every team member. If one team member isn't adequately showing his results, it can result in an inaccurate rating. Since this affects everyone in the group, you may be able to work together to prevent it. Try coming up with a way to document your work and results in relation to each goal. Touch base frequently to ensure that everyone's on track. When review season rolls around, you can rest assured that every employee is able to make a solid case for a high team rating. As a bonus, the collaboration can make your team stronger and more productive.

While you may not have control over the review process, you can learn to work within it. By understanding how team goals affect your individual rating and taking control, you can take action and keep your scores high.

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