What is a Team Health Check and How Can You Run One?
Almost eight in 10 people who quit their jobs state “lack of appreciation” as their reason for leaving.
When people don’t feel valued, seen or appreciated in teams, there’s a high chance they won’t stick around. That means increased employee turnover and reduced productivity for your organization.
Team health checks can be a really useful tool to avoid this scenario, helping to boost productivity and employee engagement. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a team health check?
A team health check is an assessment tool that teams can use to monitor their health and happiness. Team health checks target key areas that are important to team success, like wellbeing, engagement, collaboration and connectedness.
A team health check is a chance for managers to check in with their teams and for employees to raise any issues or challenges they’re facing. It’s a way of making regular feedback a core part of how you work together as a team, and working towards the best possible working environment for everyone.
Why are team health checks important?
Research from Microsoft shows that many workers feel neglected in their current roles:
- More than half of frontline workers in non-management positions report that they don’t feel valued as employees.
- 58% of employees expect their workplace stress to stay the same or get worse in the next year.
- Over 60% of workers believe their organization could do more to prioritize culture and communication.
When employees don’t feel valued or appreciated, it can have serious consequences for your business. As well as damaging the wellbeing and mental health of employees, it can also impact productivity and employee retention.
These statistics show how important it is for managers and employers to do more to connect with their workers regularly, and a team health check is a really effective way to do just that.
How to perform a team health check
Team health checks take a focused approach to gathering feedback from your team so you can gauge how they’re feeling across multiple parameters.
It doesn’t have to be a formal process. Introducing a team health check to your daily or weekly meeting is a simple and effective way to give team members the space to express any concerns or challenges they’re facing and take steps towards addressing them together.
Here are five steps to help you perform a team health check:
Choose your dimensions
Your team health check should be specific to your team, including your current project, roles and requirements. Choose your dimensions carefully, depending on your needs. If in doubt, ask your team for their input!
Some metric ideas include:
- Goal alignment
There’s no limit to how many dimensions you can choose, but 5-10 is a good place to start. You can also adjust them over time if your team’s needs and priorities shift.
Set a regular date
Team health checks only work if they are a regular event. It’s not enough to do one team health check and think that all your problems will be solved. To help you commit to regular check-ins with your team, set a date and time to do your team health checks. For example, you could do a team health check every Monday in your team meeting or even every morning.
Perform your team health check
To do your team health check, add each of your chosen dimensions to a grid. Invite your team to add their opinions to each dimension, using green, yellow and red to show how they’re feeling.
Green = Great!
Yellow = Could be better
Red = Need to address
You can do your team health check either in person or virtually, depending on how and where you’re working. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, add your health check dimensions to a physical board and ask team members to add their opinions to it. You can use colored sticky notes, buttons, names and even photos of your team!
Discuss the results
Now it’s time to address the results. A key part of the team health check is to discuss what’s going well and what needs to be improved, building on the results your team has provided. It’s important to note any red areas on the grid and discuss how you can work to turn them to green. Yellow areas should also not be ignored.
It’s up to you as a team to find solutions and set out key actions to help improve the health of the team.
Monitor and measure changes
Record the results from every team health check so that you can refer back to them in future meetings. Are the same problems coming up in every session? This is a sign you need to make some serious changes.
Monitoring the health of your team over time also gives you a chance to celebrate your achievements when you successfully resolve a problem your team is facing.
How to use personality assessments to enhance your team health check
If you want to make your team health check even more individualized, try incorporating personality assessments into the process. Personality tests help to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of each of your team members. Armed with the results, you can have a more productive conversation about each individual person’s needs and preferences when it comes to working as a team.
Personality assessments also give you the opportunity to identify any potential problems before they escalate. For example, if a member of your team prefers working alone, give them more autonomy to get on with their tasks. The healthiest teams are the ones who appreciate every person as an individual.
Ready to use team health checks to connect with your team?
It’s easy to get started with team health checks in your next meeting. In fact, you can implement them immediately! Give your team members the chance to have their concerns heard and get on the right track to a healthier, happier and more motivated team.