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The law intends critical elements to be used to establish individual accountability. This restriction is clearest for non-supervisory employees who may be serving as team members. Consequently, critical elements generally are not appropriate for identifying and measuring team performance, which by its definition involves shared accountability.
A supervisor or manager can and should be held accountable for seeing that results measured at the group or team level are achieved. Critical elements assessing group performance may be appropriate to include in the performance plan of a supervisor, manager or team leader who can reasonably be expected to command the resources and authority necessary to achieve the results (i.e., be held individually accountable).
However, agencies can use other ways to factor team performance into ratings of record or other performance-related decisions, such as granting awards. One approach to bringing team performance into the process of deriving a rating of record, and certainly to the process of distributing recognition and rewards, is to establish team performance goals within the team members' performance plans as either non-critical or additional performance elements.
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