Team Building

5 Methods of Measuring Team Building Success At Work

Max 7 min read

5 Methods of Measuring Team Building Success At Work

5 Methods of Measuring Team Building Success At Work

Investment in team building should have a profound effect on your staff. There should be a deeper connection throughout the department and in return, it should boost productivity and your company’s balance sheet. Stakeholders, managers, and investors should all be happy with the gains and the team will benefit from a more positive work environment.

Measuring team building success at work can be hard if you don’t know what metrics you should be monitoring. This article will give you 5 great ways of doing that, you’ll come to understand what a successful team looks like, and what areas yours is underperforming in.

Not all metrics can be objectively measured but everything should be observable for a manager with a sharp eye. Let’s take a look at the 5 methods of how to measure team building success and how you can put these into practice.

Understand What Makes A Successful Team

Understand What Makes A Successful Team

You may already think you have a successful team on your hands and that may be true in a lot of ways. However, there are a lot of different principles behind a successful team and thankfully good behaviors can be developed and nurtured to increase your team’s competency. For example, good communication and understanding are some of the most important things a team needs.

Some people are naturally better communicators than others but this doesn’t mean effective communication can’t be taught amongst the whole team. Engaging your employees in team-building activities is the best way to help your people learn more about each other and build trust and respect between them.

As the leader of a group, you should be able to spot what your team’s strengths and weaknesses are. Take a mental note of who is extroverted or introverted and send them on activities that strengthen areas that need work.

A team that excels at communication should be able to do the following things:

  • Communication happens across the whole team. It’s not something that is saved for managers and employees.
  • Face-to-face communication flows well and everyone is displaying active listening.
  • People’s body language shows that they are engaged, such as eye contact between them.
  • Conflict is resolved constructively and handled with respect.
  • Collaboration is at the heart of team success, employees are happy to help each other complete their tasks.
  • Everyone in the team has the opportunity to speak and be heard.
  • Teams understand their common goals and work together to get results.
  • Good leadership at the head of the group, this is where you come in.

Obtain Feedback From the Team

Obtain Feedback From the Team

No one understands team dynamics better than the people actually in the team. Try as you might, there will also exist a small disconnect between managers and employees. Managers may not always be aware of inefficiencies within a team, but your staff are going to know exactly what’s not working and could be improved.

In order to find out what roadblocks the team is facing or any issues that need to be resolved, you should ask your team to fill out an anonymous survey. Ask for their input and allow them to speak candidly about things like work culture, management styles, and any problems they have at work.

Their feedback will help you understand where your immediate attention should be and build a list of longer-term goals. Once you’ve collected this information you’ll have a baseline to measure against the success of your team building. A great way to track progress is by sending out more surveys at regular intervals.

Including staff in this part of the conversation helps your people to feel like their opinions matter and that they have a direct influence on the business. Once the team-building activities have taken place, ask people for feedback about this as well. Ask them to document what skills they’ve gained and how they can use this at work.

Define the Goals

Define the Goals

In order to measure anything, you need to set some goals for the short and long term. Once you have a baseline of where your team is at you can decide what areas need improvement and plan activities that can focus on them. Some metrics you should track are:

  • Absences
  • Employee retention
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Productivity
  • KPIs
  • Individual and group contributions
  • Human error
  • Financial performance

Make sure that you create a list of metrics that are relevant to your team and decide on which areas you think could be improved. When deciding on team-building activities, look for ones that can address the specific issues facing your team.

As well as the metrics above you should also keep a watchful eye on behavioral patterns within the team. Look at how communication has changed and if group dynamics have been altered. Ideally, you should see fewer cliques within the team and more group discussions happening without your intervention.

Look at the Progress

Team building is not a one-and-done solution, it should be a continued investment. Obviously, you can’t send your team paintballing every week, but there should be opportunities to keep nurturing communication and team dynamics.

Typically managers see increased enthusiasm and a rise in productivity after the activities. However, this can quickly start to wane, so you need to be able to accurately assess the progress your team is making.

There are three phases you measure in order to evaluate the bigger picture. If you see a rise of 2x productivity and then a decline to 1.3x from the baseline, this can be startling but is evidence of an upwards trend. Here are the three phases you should measure:

The Boost – Week 1

Thanks to all the positive energy and comradery from the team-building activity, your team should be flying high. Moods at work are elevated and productivity levels are at an all-time high. The issue is, this likely can’t be maintained long term but this is totally natural and should be expected. An initial boost like this can be great for business but be wary of setting unrealistic expectations.

The Pull Back – Week 2

Once the team gets into the second week of work there will be a natural pullback of productivity levels. At this point, you’ll have a more accurate idea of how the team-building activities have affected your team. Your return on investment will start to become clear but there’s one more phase to consider.

The New Normal – Week 4

Take your final readings at the one-month mark, you should have all the data you need to accurately understand the return on investment. Although the pullback means your team is not as productive as they were in week one, they should have trended upwards and are sustaining an increase in productivity.

After 4 weeks you’ll be able to see how close to the goals you are. Start planning more activities if there is still work to do.

Check Financial Returns

Check Financial Returns

Team building is great for employee morale but it can also have an effect on the company balance sheet. Increased levels of productivity should lead to more revenue coming in for the company. The cost of team building can be compared to revenue to accurately show a profit.

Investing further in team building should keep increasing the profit your company brings in. You’ll need to keep engaging your team to sustain new profit levels and grow the business. It’s not just additional sales you should look at, employee retention can save the business a lot of money in hiring and training costs.

The benefits to the bottom line from investment in team building can help to boost any business. Team building is a win-win situation for everyone involved. Employees feel invigorated, managers can increase their team’s output, and the business retains its people and increases its bank balance.

Conclusion

Learning how to measure team-building success is the very first step in making it happen. You need to learn what metrics to monitor and what a successful team actually looks like. Be honest with yourself about where your team is underperforming and encourage staff to give their opinions.

Everyone in the team should be a stakeholder in its success. Add team building into your work calendar at regular intervals. After each event, make a note of what’s improved and what still needs to be worked on. It’s a long game but the ultimate goal should be to increase productivity and sustain the results.

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