Team Performance Review: How to Evaluate Teams [Quick Guide]

team performance review your quick guide to evaluate your team

Performance appraisals are rampant in many companies. Unfortunately, many managers don’t use performance reviews to their full extent but treat them as another task on their to-do list.

Research by McKinsey shows that most employees, along with their employees, “don’t see positive returns on investment for the time spent on performance management.”

For teams, conducting regular team performance reviews can help the whole team grow.

“Good managers with strong team relationships can lead their teams to higher organizational performance, drive more effective organizational operations, and provide the link between organizational vision and execution,” McKinsey reports.

That said, when evaluations are “executed well, performance management has a positive impact on employees’ performance and the organization’s overall performance.”

So, how can you as a manager or team leader evaluate your team’s performance? Follow these expert tips.


What is a performance review?

A performance appraisal or review is an evaluation of an employee or team member over a specific period.

As the name suggests, the purpose is to evaluate performance. This could be in the form of numbers, milestones and achievements, specific targets, among others.

Many companies use performance appraisals to determine if employees are entitled to salary increases, annual bonuses, or promotions. Or all of those.

However, where many companies fail is that they treat the performance review as a task to be checked off a list. Managers have to do it and employees have to go through it.

Performance appraisals are effective when there’s a goal behind them and the employee leaves with a plan and next steps.

“Performance reviews aren’t just for reviewing performance. They’re to uncover gaps and to help develop employees so they can perform better,” notes Chadi Al Abbassy, marketing manager at Raqtan Group.


Performance reviews for evaluating teams

Sometimes, managers have to evaluate their team, whether it’s for a project or as part of the company’s quarterly review process.

In team performance reviews, the manager conducts one-to-one meetings with each team member.

The goal of a team performance review is to see where the team is and where they want to be. Much like with individual or employee performance reviews.

However, with team performance reviews, the manager needs to evaluate each person and see how they’re performing within the team.

When conducting performance reviews for team members, it’s good to have different types of performance appraisals.

For example, the marketing team at Raqtan Group conducts a self-assessment along with a regular performance appraisal.

For sales teams, however, sales performance reviews often rely on key performance indicators (KPIs) and sales or financial targets.

In his marketing, Al Abbassy notes that there are marketing targets and employee training and development targets.


Team performance review: Tips to evaluate your team

So, how can a manager review the performance of their team members. Here are a few tips:

1) Don’t postpone or overlook red flags 

Part of running a successful team and company is listening to your team members and their concerns.

“If a team member raises a red flag, whether from market research or a specific client, or something else, the manager needs to know,” comments Tarek Refaat, senior sales manager at Bahwan CyberTek.

Similarly, Al Abbassy notes that “When someone is underperforming, I address this issue immediately. I don’t postpone it till the performance review.


2) Determine what you’re evaluating

Regardless of the type of performance appraisal you’re conducting, you need to determine what it is you’re trying to evaluate.

Are you evaluating a team member’s performance? Or are you just evaluating their numbers?


3) Conduct more team performance reviews if needed 

Companies generally conduct performance reviews once or twice a year. Al Abbassy conducts performance evaluations for his team every three months. “It’s better to conduct them each month,” he says.

Although that could be for a fast-paced environment like marketing.


4) Support your team and their growth

Part of managing teams effectively and conducting equally-effective team performance reviews is managers supporting their teams.

Both Al Abbassy and Refaat stress the importance of managers supporting their teams. Be it through training and development opportunities for employees, identifying red flags, or simply being transparent with team members.


5) Conduct meetings that matter

In sales, the sales manager should be helping team members grow and become leaders themselves, notes Refaat. It’s part of the job of a sales manager.

A team performance review should indicate top achievers. But it should also highlight how these top achievers made those achievements.

Sales and marketing consultant Mostafa Aly advises sales managers to conduct sales meetings with the entire team. “The purpose of these meetings is to create a learning experience for team members,” he explains.

“On one hand, conducting these meetings helps the manager and team review sales performance, maturity of leads, the current pipeline. These meetings also help salespeople learn from one another. The manager can provide tips to different people, discuss certain issues,…etc.,” Aly explains.

Conducting these meetings helps the manager and the employee spot weaknesses and issues that can be addressed in the performance review.

Note: This tip applies to managers in any field.


6) Build your team, not bring them down

For many companies, comparisons are a way to make employees competitive. However, this could backfire because it puts a lot of stress on employees to perform.

“Sales can be a cut-throat field. Pressuring people to perform isn’t feasible and can cause salespeople and teams to lose sight of the bigger picture. It could even influence the company’s appearance before its clients,” comments Refaat.

“Even the highest achievers need to remember that they’re part of the team,” he adds.

According to McKinsey, “workplace relationships account of 39% of employees’ job satisfaction.” Meanwhile “relationships with management […] account of 86% of workers’ satisfaction.”


7) Understand your team members’ cultures

Your team members can come from the same city or a similar background. But that’s not always the case. If you’re a senior manager or regional manager, you may have to manage people from different countries and different backgrounds.

“Part of your role as a manager is to understand people’s different cultures and what motivates them,” notes Bahwan CyberTek’s senior sales manager.

While this shouldn’t affect your team’s performance review, it can help you understand what motivates different people and how it impacts their work.


8) Stress the importance of collaboration

It’s easy for employees to get lost in their own bubble. But at the end of the day, or even the year, work is a collaboration.

Conducting a team performance review is useless if everyone is doing what pleases them or trying to bring down others.

Similarly, if managers or team leaders don’t give importance to individual and team performance reviews, employees won’t feel driven. This will also create favoritism (because how else will you get a positive performance appraisal?) and an overall toxic work environment.

It’s the manager’s or team leader’s role to build a healthy work culture and to ensure that performance reviews are meaningful. Even if they’re mandatory by the company, a manager should ensure there’s a learning experience with each review.



Conducting meaningless performance reviews is stressful for employees and managers alike.

Employees feel that what they’re doing isn’t relevant. They feel they’re unlikely to be compensated if they overachieve, while underachievers get the same results as overachievers.

This applies to individuals and teams. If one or more members of a team feel undervalued, they’re unlikely to perform better. Similarly, constantly comparing employees to one another isn’t the best way to prompt people to achieve.

It may work for a month or two, but in time, the result will be high employee burnout, higher employee turnover, under-performing teams, missed targets, and loss of clients and revenues.

On the other hand, transforming individual and team performance reviews into learning and development experiences can increase employee engagement and retention.

Employees are more likely to achieve when they feel stable and secure in their jobs.

You can improve employee performance by being proactive, through learning opportunities, productivity tips, rewards and recognition programs, among others.


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