Much like doctors check your pulse, temperature, and blood pressure to understand your health, you can look at specific metrics to determine how your team is doing. These measurements help you spot problems and what’s working well and decide how to improve.
Consider this section your handbook for the vital signs of your team’s health, sorted into various categories like emotional well-being, interpersonal dynamics, and work-life balance.
Here’s what we cover in this article:
What are some indicators of a healthy team?
The simplest measure of team health may well be happiness. Are your team members happy at work? That’s why many team health tools focus on mood as an indicator of other deeper issues we outline below. If you need to focus on only one indicator, focus on happiness.
Underlying feelings of happiness you may find the following positive aspects of a team or company culture:
- Open Communication: Team members freely share ideas and concerns, promoting transparency and effective collaboration. People do not hide or hoard information for personal gain or stature.
- Trust: Team-mates and managers trust peers to get the work done. A foundation of trust enables open dialogue, risk-taking, feelings of autonomy, and strong working relationships.
- Clear Goals and Roles: Well-defined goals and roles ensure everyone understands their contributions to the team’s success and what they are accountable for.
- Safety to Fail: Things don’t always go as planned. Strong teams feel psychologically safe admitting to failure and searching for a better way to do things, without blame.
- Accountability: Team members take ownership of tasks and responsibilities, meeting commitments and proactively addressing challenges.
- Innovation and Creativity: A culture that values new ideas and innovative thinking, and in which people feel safe to air their wildest ideas without judgment drives continuous improvement.
- Recognition and Appreciation: Acknowledging efforts and accomplishments boosts morale and reinforces a sense of value. Do people regularly recognize each other in your team and share when someone else has done a great job?
Team health metrics and indicators to keep an eye on
Which team health metrics actually matter? That depends on your team and your definition of success. In the sections below, we’ve put together some key metrics and grouped them by theme, so you can pick and choose which ones you want to track.
Emotional well-being team health metrics
The mental and emotional health of your team members is crucial. It affects how happy they are, how well they can work together, and their problem-solving abilities.
Here are some specific metrics you can use to gauge the emotional health of your team:
- Happiness score: This metric gives you an idea of how happy your team members are at work. You can measure this by asking them to rate their happiness on a scale (say one to 10) at regular intervals, for example, at the end of every sprint.
- Team morale score: This metric estimates how well your team works together. It’s different from happiness because it focuses more on your team’s ability to finish tasks and work well as a group. You can measure morale by conducting surveys that ask about things like how excited the team is about their work, how proud they are of what they’ve done, and how energetic they feel.
- Conflict resolution rate: This metric is all about how good your team is at dealing with disagreements. You can track this by counting how many conflicts are resolved and how long that takes.
- Stress level score: This metric tells you how stressed your team members are. Stress can have a significant effect on their emotional health and their performance at work. You can measure stress by asking questions about how much work they have, how tight their deadlines are, and how much pressure they feel.
Interpersonal dynamics team health metrics
Interpersonal dynamics assess how your team members interact and get along with each other.
Here are some ways to measure these dynamics:
- Communication score: You can track how often team members communicate with each other and use surveys to find out if they think the communication is clear.
- Trust index: Trust is essential for teamwork and success. You can measure trust with surveys, asking team members to rate how much they trust each other.
- Psychological safety score: This metric shows if team members feel safe speaking up and taking risks. Measure it by using standardized psychological safety surveys and checking how often and openly team members give feedback to each other.
- Teamwork score: A measurement of how well your team works together. You can find out by asking team members to rate their collaboration, support, and shared goals.
Looking for ways to improve or diagnose team psychological safety levels? Check out this guide to improving psychological safety on remote teams.
Work-life balance team health metrics
A good balance between work and life outside work is essential for performance and happiness.
You can use the following metrics to keep an eye on work-life balance:
- Overtime hours: This metric shows if team members are working too much. Measure it by tracking how many hours they work beyond their regular schedule.
- Vacation day usage: Track how many vacation days people take and monitor whether people take enough time off.
- Employee satisfaction score: This number reflects how happy team members are with their work. You can measure it with surveys by asking people to rate their overall satisfaction with their work environment, tasks, and management.
Productivity and effectiveness team health metrics
Understanding the productivity and effectiveness of your team is vital to assessing team health.
Here are some metrics to help track these aspects:
- Task completion rate: Track the percentage of tasks completed within established deadlines against the total number of tasks assigned. This metric gauges your team’s productivity.
- Employee utilization rate: Calculate the proportion of time employees spend on productive or billable tasks against their total available work time. This rate is a critical indicator of efficiency.
- Individual goal achievement rate: Determine the percentage of personal or team goals achieved within a set period. You can track these goals using project management tools or other goal-tracking software.
- Quality of work: Track this metric through customer satisfaction scores, defect rates, or other project-specific quality indicators. It shows the level of excellence in the work delivered by the team.
- Learning score: Monitor the number of attended training sessions and evaluate the new skills acquired via assessments or certifications. Consider conducting regular feedback sessions to gain insights into the team’s learning experience and the applicability of the new skills in their work.
- Strategic alignment score: You get this number through surveys, asking team members to rate their understanding of the organizational goals and the perceived impact of their work on these objectives.
Inclusion and diversity team health metrics
Inclusion and diversity metrics ensure equal representation and a harmonious workspace that respects individuality and nurtures innovation.
- Demographic diversity score: This number reveals the demographic makeup of your team, giving insight into diversity. It considers age, gender, ethnicity, and other significant diversity factors.
- Inclusion score: You can gauge inclusion within a team with surveys asking team members about their sense of belonging, perceived fair treatment, and thoughts on the inclusivity of decision-making processes.
Retention and turnover team health metrics
These numbers provide insights into job satisfaction, team cohesion, and the overall appeal of the work environment.
- Retention rate: The percentage of team members who have stayed on the team for a specified period. High retention rates often signal a satisfying work environment.
- Turnover rate: By determining the percentage of team members who leave within a given period, you can identify potential underlying issues that may need addressing.
- Reasons for departure: Collect and analyze information on why team members leave. During exit interviews, ask departing employees about their job satisfaction, the effectiveness of management, their perceptions of the workplace culture, and their reasons for leaving. This feedback can provide valuable insights for enhancing the work environment and team unity.
How to measure team health
Now you’ve read through all these indicators, how should you be using them? There are a few ways you can put these indicators to good use and measure your team health.
Observe first before measuring
The indicators we’ve outlined in this article are meant to give a general sense of what positive and negative team dynamics look like. Measuring is sometimes tricky, because people may submit false reports to avoid tricky conversations. The first step should always be to observe team dynamics based on the metrics and indicators above before planning to measure.
Focus on team mood with Parabol’s simple team health check
Perhaps the simplest way of measuring team health is checking in on your team’s overall mood. If you want a quick and easy way to do this at the start of your meetings, try Parabol’s team health tool. You can learn more about Parabol’s team health tool here.
Create a short questionnaire
If you want a more detailed analysis, try picking and choosing from this list and creating an anonymous survey or questionnaire. You could do this with a tool like SurveyMonkey or even Typeform. This approach allows you to deeply customize your team health questionnaire.
Team health check surveys and questionnaires
Some agile coaches and meeting facilitators swear by in-person – or, at least, live – sessions to measure team health. Others like to complement such meetings with data from surveys.
The advantage of running questionnaires is that people can fill them out in their own time, and they take less effort than organizing a dedicated team health check workshop. These advantages mean you can collect data more often, and team members can provide thoughtful answers.
The disadvantage of surveys is that it’s much easier to pretend everything is fine when it’s not. There’s no looking each other in the eye nor targeted or compassionate follow-up questions from a trained coach or facilitator.
You can use this article’s methods, questions, and metrics to build your surveys. Make sure they’re easy to understand, quick to complete, and, most importantly, designed to encourage honest and constructive feedback.
Inspiration for your team health checks
There are countless ways you can run a periodic or one-off health check for your team. Take a look at this article if you want more inspiration for different team health check methods: 9 Team Health Check Methods To Unlock Team Potential.