You’ve heard of team health checks and want to start leveraging them to create more synergy with your team but don’t know where to start?

Look no further as this is the last guide you’ll need to read.

This guide will give you the frameworks you need to set up successful team health checks in record time.

It includes:

  • 15 key dimensions to assess your team
  • 6 formats if you want to start quickly without picking the dimensions yourself
  • The requirements to set up before starting team health checks
  • Meeting agenda with each step to run them effectively

Reminder: What is a Team Health Check?

A team health check is a systematic approach used to assess the overall effectiveness, well-being, and productivity of a team.

Think of it as a regular check-up for your project team, similar to how one might visit a doctor for a physical examination.

The process involves evaluating various aspects of team functioning, such as communication, morale, workload, and alignment with organizational goals.

The primary objectives of a team health check include:

  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses: It helps pinpoint areas where the team excels and aspects that require improvement.
  • Enhancing team dynamics: By understanding the health of the team, leaders can foster better collaboration, communication, and team cohesion.
  • Facilitating continuous improvement: Regular checks encourage a culture of ongoing development and adaptation.
  • Aligning with organizational goals: Ensures that the team’s efforts are in sync with the broader objectives of the organization.

Team health checks are typically conducted through a combination of self-assessment, team discussions, and sometimes, external facilitation.

The results are used to create action plans, set goals, and implement strategies for improvement.

15 Key Dimensions to Evaluate in Team Health Checks: Enhancing Team Performance

Generally, a team health check assesses multiple areas to spot the specific strengths and weaknesses of the team.

There are many possible areas, let’s take a look at the most important ones.

  1. Team morale: Evaluates the general mood and emotional well-being of the team.
  2. Communication: Assesses how effectively team members share information and collaborate.
  3. Goal alignment: Measures how well the team’s objectives align with organizational goals.
  4. Role clarity: Determines if team members understand their responsibilities and roles.
  5. Workload balance: Looks at how work is distributed among team members and if it’s manageable.
  6. Process efficiency: Examines the effectiveness of current workflows and processes.
  7. Quality of work: Assesses the standard and accuracy of the work produced.
  8. Innovation and creativity: Evaluates the team’s ability to generate new ideas and solutions.
  9. Leadership support: Considers the level of guidance and support provided by leaders or managers.
  10. Personal growth: Reviews opportunities for professional development and skill enhancement.
  11. Conflict resolution: Looks at how conflicts are managed and resolved within the team.
  12. Trust and safety: Measures the level of trust among team members and their sense of psychological safety.
  13. Customer satisfaction: Evaluates the team’s effectiveness in meeting customer needs and expectations.
  14. Autonomy: Assesses the degree of independence and decision-making power the team has.
  15. Adaptability: Looks at how well the team adapts to change and handles challenges.

In a nutshell, keeping an eye on these areas can transform how your team functions.

Regular health checks are not just a box-ticking exercise though. They’re your way of tuning into your team’s needs, celebrating their strengths, and tackling challenges head-on.

6 Team Health Check Formats To Find The Perfect Fit

This above list can be pretty overwhelming at first.

You can’t incorporate all these areas in your team health checks. It would be too much. So which dimension to pick?

The simplest way is to start by using a format already used by many teams.

Let’s explore these formats and discover which one is the best fit for your team’s unique situation.

Niko-Niko Calendar

This Japanese invention offers a simple, visual way of tracking the team’s mood. Each team member updates their mood daily on a shared calendar using different colored stickers or symbols.

Key dimensions: Team Morale, Emotional Well-Being.

Ideal for: Teams looking for a quick, non-intrusive way to monitor daily emotional trends. Especially useful in environments where team members may be less inclined to share feelings openly.

Situations: Remote teams, large teams, or when monitoring mood over a longer period.

Squad Health Check Model (Spotify)

Developed by Spotify, this model uses a traffic-light system (red, yellow, green) for team members to rate different aspects of their work. It encourages open discussion and aims to build a culture of continuous improvement.

Key dimensions: Team Morale, Goal Alignment, Process Efficiency, Leadership Support, Workload Balance, Quality of Work.

Ideal for: Teams that value deep reflection and discussion. Best for teams committed to continuous improvement and transparent communication.

Situations: After project milestones, during regular sprint retrospectives, or when assessing multi-dimensional aspects of team health.

Happiness Metric

A straightforward approach where team members rate their happiness on a scale (often 1-5) at regular intervals, like during daily stand-ups. This metric quickly gauges the team’s emotional health.

Key Dimensions: Team Morale, Personal Well-Being.

Ideal for: Teams needing a straightforward, quick pulse-check on morale. Great for daily stand-ups or teams with tight schedules.

Situations: Fast-paced environments, daily scrums, or when immediate feedback on team mood is needed.

Team Radar

Teams assess themselves against various axes on a radar chart, such as skills, processes, and work environment. This creates a visual representation of areas of strength and those needing improvement.

Key dimensions: Skill Development, Process Efficiency, Work Environment, Role Clarity, Communication.

Ideal for: Teams that benefit from visual representation and holistic overview. Effective in identifying specific areas of strength and weakness.

Situations: Quarterly reviews, strategic planning sessions, or when addressing specific skill and process development areas.

Four Quadrants

This method involves discussion around four key actions: Start, Stop, Continue, and Keep (doing). It helps teams reflect on their practices and decide what to change moving forward.

Key dimensions: Process Improvement, Team Efficiency, Innovation, Communication.

Ideal for: Teams looking for a structured yet simple framework for feedback and action-oriented discussion.

Situations: Sprint retrospectives, project post-mortems, or when the team needs to clarify and adjust their working methods.

Lean Coffee

An agenda-less, democratic meeting format where participants brainstorm topics and vote on which to discuss. This format ensures that discussions are relevant and engaging for the team.

Key dimensions: Communication, Team Engagement, Priority Setting, Problem Solving.

Ideal for: Teams that value democratic, open-forum discussions. Suitable for teams that prefer to address current and immediate concerns.

Situations: Ad-hoc meetings, problem-solving sessions, or when team engagement and participation are priorities.

Each of these formats not only targets different aspects of team health but also suits different team dynamics and organizational cultures.

By selecting the appropriate format and focusing on relevant dimensions, it will be a lot easier for you to run successful team health checks right from the start.

Preparing for Successful Team Health Checks: Essential Requirements

Before diving into the world of team health checks, it’s crucial to lay the groundwork for success.

Just like any important project, the effectiveness of a team health check depends on thorough preparation.

From determining how often to conduct these checks to choosing the right tools for collaboration, each aspect plays a vital role in ensuring that your health checks are not only insightful but also smoothly executed.

Let’s explore these requirements to set your team up for a productive and effective health check process.

Frequency of Checks

Importance: Deciding how often to conduct team health checks ensures regular monitoring and timely intervention.

Considerations: Balance the need for frequent feedback with the team’s workload. Monthly or quarterly checks are common, but adjust as needed based on project phases and team dynamics.

Meeting Time

Importance: Scheduling a consistent and suitable time for all team members is crucial for maximum participation.

Considerations: Choose a time that accommodates different time zones for remote teams. Avoid scheduling during peak workload hours to ensure focused participation.

Voting Tool

Importance: A digital tool for voting helps in gathering anonymous, honest feedback from team members.

Considerations: Select a user-friendly tool that allows easy access and data compilation. Tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms can be effective.

Video Conferencing App

Importance: For remote or hybrid teams, a reliable video conferencing app is essential for face-to-face interaction.

Considerations: Choose an app that supports your team size, offers stable connectivity, and includes features like screen sharing and breakout rooms. Zoom or Microsoft Teams are popular choices.

Note-Taking App

Importance: Documenting discussions and action items is key for tracking progress and accountability.

Considerations: Opt for an app that allows collaborative editing and easy access for all team members. Consider tools like Notion or Evernote for effective note-taking.

Addressing these five requirements sets a strong foundation for your team health checks.

By carefully planning the frequency, scheduling meetings thoughtfully, and selecting the right tools, you’ll create an environment where team health checks can thrive.

Remember, the goal is to ensure a seamless, engaging, and productive process that benefits the entire team.

Running Effective Team Health Check Meetings: A Step-by-Step Guide

Running a successful team health check meeting is much like conducting a symphony - it requires coordination, clear communication, and a structured approach.

The process has 3 steps: setting the stage, voting and discussion, and debriefing.

Set the Stage (5 minutes):

Purpose: To create a welcoming and focused atmosphere.

Actions: Start by thanking everyone for their participation. Briefly reiterate the purpose and structure of the health check program. Encourage teammates to share their expectations or any specific points they hope to address in the meeting.

Vote & Discuss (30 minutes):

Purpose: To assess and reflect on various health indicators.

Voting Process:

  • State the indicator and its description: Clearly explain each indicator, ensuring everyone understands what it encompasses.
  • Reflective thinking: Give the team a moment to think individually about how they will vote based on their experiences and perspectives.
  • Vote: Conduct the voting. Ensure anonymity if possible to encourage honest feedback.
  • Feedback solicitation: Ask team members to share their thoughts or reasons behind their votes. This step is crucial for understanding different viewpoints.
  • Group discussion: Facilitate a discussion on each indicator, allowing the team to delve deeper into the reasons behind their collective feedback.
  • Repeat: Follow this process for each health indicator, maintaining a pace that allows thorough discussion but keeps the meeting on track.

Debriefing (10 minutes)

Purpose: To summarize insights and plan for improvements.

Actions: Highlight the health indicators that received the most positive feedback, celebrating these strengths. Then, focus on the lowest-scoring indicators, discussing potential strategies for improvement. Conclude the meeting by formulating an action plan or setting goals to enhance these areas.

By following these steps, your team health check meetings can become a powerful tool for continuous improvement and team engagement.

The key is to maintain a structured yet flexible approach, allowing for open communication and collaborative problem-solving.

Remember, the ultimate goal is not just to identify areas for improvement but to empower your team to work together towards positive change.

Embarking on Your Team Health Check Journey: Next Steps and Continuous Growth

As we wrap up this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped with the knowledge and tools to implement successful team health checks.

But remember, this is just the beginning of an ongoing journey toward building a more synergistic and effective team.

What’s Next?

Choose your starting point: Whether you begin with selecting key dimensions that resonate with your team’s needs or opting for a pre-defined format, the first step is to decide where to start. Tailor your approach to fit your team’s unique dynamics and objectives.

Prepare thoroughly: Ensure you have all the necessary tools and requirements in place. From selecting the right voting tool to scheduling the meetings at a time that suits everyone, preparation is key to smooth execution.

Launch your first health check: With preparation complete, it’s time to dive in. Run your first team health check meeting following the agenda outlined in this guide. Remember, the first few sessions are as much about learning and adjusting as they are about assessing.

Evaluate and adapt: After your initial health check, take time to evaluate the process. What worked well? What could be improved? Use these insights to refine your approach for the next session.

Foster a culture of continuous improvement: Team health checks are not a one-off event but a regular practice. Encourage open communication and continuous feedback within your team to nurture a culture of ongoing development and growth.

Set actionable goals: Based on the outcomes of your health checks, set clear, achievable goals for your team. Regularly revisit these goals to track progress and make adjustments as needed.

Celebrate successes: Don’t forget to recognize and celebrate the improvements and successes along the way. This not only boosts morale but also reinforces the value of the health check process.

Check Out TeamMood

TeamMood allows you to have simple team health checks daily and gather previous team feedback anonymously to prepare meetings with data and be able to run these meetings more efficiently.

Read more about how to use TeamMood for team health checks.

Header photo by Dawid Zawiła


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