Teamwork Phrases for Performance Appraisal

Published: Aug 01, 2023

By Paul Falcone

Edited by AMA Staff

In the pursuit of performance management excellence, it's essential to redefine your company’s expectations of its employees. This article, inspired by Paul Falcone and Winston Tan’s The Performance Appraisal Tool Kit: Redesigning Your Performance Review Template to Drive Individual and Organizational Change (AMACOM 2013), aims to help you elevate your organization’s performance standards. By raising the proverbial performance bar, we set our sights on a higher level of delivery, particularly in the realm of teamwork and cooperation.

The Importance of Teamwork and Cooperation

Teamwork, cooperation, and the ability to put others’ needs as well as the priorities of the organization above one’s own immediate needs make for harmony, camaraderie, and goodwill.

The Balance of Individuality and Teamwork

In comparison, solo performers and rebel producers typically put their own needs ahead of the group’s in an effort to stand out personally and garner individual accolades with a survival of the fittest mentality.

Articulating Teamwork in Your Organization

When it comes to articulating how teamwork is valued by your organization and what it should look like in the workplace, there’s no better place to start than with your company’s performance review template.

Core, Traditional Descriptors

Sample performance appraisal language seen in various industries define “Teamwork” or “Cooperation” along the lines of the following:

Communicates clearly and effectively at all levels. Produces easily understandable reports and presentations. Effectively deals with others, both internally and externally. Respects confidentiality. Provides timely feedback and follow up and manages others’ expectations appropriately.

If your company’s performance review sounds something like this when describing the critical element of teamwork, let’s just admit that the language could use some sprucing up and might benefit from a fresh injection of energy and insight . . .

Enhanced Descriptors Reflecting an Organization’s Heightened Expectations

  1. Cultivates a culture of openness in information sharing. Regularly solicits constructive feedback, builds consensus, and asks well thought out and well-prepared questions. Encourages open communication, cooperation, and the sharing of knowledge. Remains open-minded and willing to entertain others’ ideas.

  2. Builds trust through regular, open, and honest communication. Demonstrates candor and level-headedness in all business dealings. Listens actively and always responds in a respectful tone. Engages appropriately when in disagreement and pushes back respectfully and in a spirit of good faith cooperation. Speaks persuasively and convincingly but is not afraid to say, “I don’t know” and then research an answer. Manages others’ expectations appropriately and proactively communicates any potential problems or roadblocks. Effectively feeds information upward and rarely leaves others flying blind or unaware of important updates.

  3. Regularly looks for common ground and encourages collaboration among team members. Welcomes positive confrontation rather than sweeping things under the rug. Assumes good intentions until proven otherwise and always looks to bring out the best in others. Resolves interpersonal conflict without drama or angst.

  4. Builds consensus via shared decision making. Fosters a sense of shared accountability and group responsibility. Celebrates successes and recognizes and appreciates others’ contributions. Confronts problems head on but in a firm and constructive manner. Creates a work environment based on inclusiveness, welcoming others’ suggestions and points of view.

The Impact of Clear Expectations on Teamwork

By painting a clear picture of what teamwork should look like at the enterprise level, we set the stage for effective performance management. Remember, what gets measured gets managed. Articulating your expectations with such clarity enables managers and employees to fully understand the desired behaviors and their impact on the organization. This understanding is crucial for fostering a culture of teamwork and collaboration.

Stay tuned for more insightful articles that delve deeper into key performance review competencies such as Leadership, Communication, and Project Management. Along with Customer Service, these core areas will provide a comprehensive framework for your performance review process.