Four Questions to Use to Assess the Effectiveness of Your Team

Assessing the performance of your team is difficult. The reason is that often their effectiveness is more than just about their actual work.

Ask the four essential questions

1. If you could do it all over again, would you rehire them?

Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time to when you made your initial hiring decision, would you rehire, and be excited to do so? In this thought experiment, you get to do a complete ‘do-over.’ There are no consequences to deal with. You don’t have to review the history of why you made the decision that you did at the time that you did it. You don’t have to think through questions of replacing the person or face the prospect of potentially painful conversations in the future. Just cut through the clutter and answer the question. Would you enthusiastically rehire? The mark of a star is that you answer with a resounding YES! to this question every time.

2. Do they take your stress away?

With that person in the role, does your stress evaporate? Do you go home relaxed in the knowledge that everything’s covered now that they’re on the job, or do you worry about what they’re doing? Do you double-check their work before it goes out? Do you create systems for them so that mistakes will be caught by you or someone else? You know that you’re carrying someone else’s stress when you go home and think about issues that they should be thinking about. The reason you hired them in the first place and continue to pay them now is so that they will do their job and you won’t have to think about it anymore. Why should you pay someone to do a job and still carry part of the load and stress of that job? It just doesn’t make sense.

The real reason you’re a poor delegator

Have you been accused of being a poor delegator? Maybe the issue isn’t your delegation skill, but the people you are choosing to delegate to. I find that even people who are natural micro-managers find it much easier to let go when they feel they’re relinquishing an important task to someone who has shown a history of caring about the job as much as they do, and of getting results. A reluctance to delegate often reflects more on the person being delegated to than it does to the delegator.

When a star is in charge, you relax, confident that they’ll take care of it.

3. How would you feel if they quit?

Would you feel delighted, relieved, ambivalent, or devastated?

When non-stars leave a company, they often fantasize about how no one will be able to get along without them. They picture the faces of their crestfallen customers who hear the news of their departure. They smirk with satisfaction as they picture former colleagues awash with work they didn’t even know existed and have no idea how to complete. They know that soon, people throughout the organization will realize with dismay how wrong they were not to appreciate their indispensable contribution to the company.

What they don’t know is that usually these people are dancing with delight at their departure. Rather than dismay, they feel a tremendous sense of relief and even of joy. Customers and co-workers are only too happy not to have to deal with the behaviours that made them underperformers in the first place. Whether their departure is received with delight or relief, there’s certainly no sorrow on display.

On the other hand, when stars leave, their leaders and co-workers feel devastated and maybe even sick. They may go into a funk wondering how they’ll go on without them. They regain equilibrium in time, but there are no feelings of ambivalence about it, and certainly no relief or delight.

Many times I’ve received calls at odd hours from CEOs who have just found out that a key, star player is leaving. Often they’re stunned. There may be long silences on the phone as they slowly absorb the multi-faceted consequences they will have to face due to losing their star.

One of the hallmarks of a star is that no one wants them to leave.

4. What if everyone in your business was just like them?

Do they bring the average up or down?

Former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch has been variously described as the ‘manager of the century’ (Fortune), and ‘one of the greatest innovators of the past 75 years (Businessweek)’. In his book “Winning,” he says that the number one job of the leader is to relentlessly upgrade their team using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach, and build self-confidence.” (p. 63)

If everyone on the team played at this person’s level, would the team be upgraded or downgraded? If the answer is the latter, what effect does this have on the team over-all? Do they lift the performance of the team, or do they make everyone play at a lower level?

If everyone on your team was a star, your business would rock and your life would be bliss. So why aren’t you bending all of your focus and effort to attract them?

Ironically, stars often earn nearly the same as non-stars. This is true in any profession. When you choose a family physician, consider that fifty percent of all physicians graduated in the bottom half of their class. They all charge the same amount of money for their services, but they’re not all created equal. This is also true of lawyers, purchasers, CEOs, electricians, mechanics, operations managers, barbers, sales managers, and retail clerks. Some are amazing at what they do, and some aren’t. And they often earn roughly the same amount of money. Why not make a commitment to attract the best?

This article is excerpted from “The Power of People Skills” Career Press, 2017, pp 27-32. Find it here.

In summary

  1. You can make a good assessment of your team with four simple questions
  2. If you could do it all over again, would you rehire them?
  3. Do they take your stress away?
  4. How would you feel if they quit?
  5. What if everyone was just like them?

Recommended Resources:

Uncover your strengths and weaknesses with our complimentary assessment. Boost your effectiveness at work and with your team.

Free Resource Library
Access our extensive collection of valuable resources for instant support in your personal and professional growth.

Explore Our Course Library
Enhance your leadership skills with our diverse selection of courses. Take your abilities to the next level and become a more effective leader and team player.


Our Clients Love the Professional Leadership Institute

Your team will, too! Check out some reviews from our students.
The PLI program was invaluable to our network.
The range of topics delivered, the open dialogue, experience, and examples that PLI brought to each session were outstanding and provided a path for our Franchisees and Managers to look at leadership, coaching, and connecting with their teams in a new light. Many have implemented these strategies in their bakeries and have seen immediate results.
Michelle C.
COBS Bread
Highly recommend to help your team move forward
We have locations around BC and Alberta, so getting people on the same page can be very difficult... Until now. Our entire management team and location managers take the same great courses and then meet monthly online with our coach to apply it to our situation. People are engaged, the courses are excellent, we love our coach, and we are all learning together!
Jason Fawcett
President, Kelson Group
The result has been a transformation of our culture. 
We decided to implement PLI's strategies across the country in over 150 locations and over 3500 employees.  The result has been a transformation of our culture.  People's lives have been positively impacted - professionally and personally.  Morale is high and sales and profits are up as a result.
Daryl Verbeek
Daryl Verbeek
We’ve learned how to fix ongoing personnel issues once and for all
The roadmap laid out set our business up to quintuple in sales.  We've learned how to fix ongoing personnel issues once and for all, attract top talent, and spend our time focused on results, not internal staffing problems.  I highly recommend PLI to you - it's worked for us!
John DeJong
Satisfied Client
I had no idea that running a business could be this fun!
In less than 18 months of working with Trevor, he has transformed my business from being average to exceptional, where mediocrity is not acceptable, where being great is standard.  Working with PLI has allowed me to realize my dream of not simply owning a job, but owning a business.
Justin Bontkes
Principal, Caliber Projects
Our culture has taken major steps forward this year
Our culture has taken major steps forward this year with Trevor’s help.  He is funny, relatable, and his tools are very very practical and have helped us focus and upgrade our teams throughout our retail network. Trevor recently spoke to an employee group, and one person remarked, “I could listen to Trevor all day.”   We would highly recommend Trevor.
Stan Pridham
Founder, KMS Tools
The results have been remarkable
At first, we resisted, “This just won’t work with a law firm.” But we persisted and the results have been remarkable: our client base and profits have steadily improved, and staff engagement and morale is the healthiest its ever been.
Doug Lester
Partner, RDM Lawyers
Helped our fast-growing business become what it is today
I've experienced PLI's approach first hand and it's been crucial to sustaining our growth.  I can't imagine a business that wouldn't benefit greatly from his help.
Brian Antenbring
Founder, TEEMA
Provided practical ways to make positive changes
Trevor was incredibly well-received by the entire organization. He was able to articulate people issues that many of our franchisees were experiencing and provided them with practical ways to make positive changes. We have implemented the Star Chart tool across the organization and see it as vital to building happy, effective teams.
Aaron Gillespie
President, COBS Bread
Scroll to Top

Start Learning Today

For Individuals

Unlock your potential and accelerate your career with sought-after management and leadership skills.


Transform Your Organization

For Teams

Book a consultation to discuss your challenges and discover how we can help you build a winning team.


Sign Up For Weekly Tips!

Get Weekly Coaching Tips Straight To Your Inbox Every Monday.