Fostering Team Health

KONUX People & Culture, 18.08.2022

Superstars win games, but teams win championships. This is true not only in sports but also in organizations. Team health helps the team to build self-awareness about what is working well and what is not, and find a way to better work together and deliver value to the business.

Unhealthy vs healthy teams

If the team is unhealthy, it prevents the team from moving forward in their team goals. Team members might not be open to share their unique perspectives or listen to different perspectives. Team members can end up making personal judgements about others instead of debating ideas and solutions. This can result in a lack of trust in the team which can impact delivering results. A healthy team is a functional and cohesive team. A healthy team is composed of individuals who trust one another, engage in unfiltered conflict around ideas, commit to decisions and plans of action, hold one another accountable for delivering and focus on achieving collective results.
At KONUX, team health is based on different criteria which are related to the KONUX values and the “five behaviors of a cohesive team” model (P. Lencioni). We have 11 attributes identified to get a better understanding of team strengths and challenging areas which a team can improve to be a high-performing team.

The purpose of team health is to understand how well the team is working together

Being honest and constructive as a team is the key here. It’s not all doom and gloom, though: we uncover good things too, and exchange some high-fives… The team drops their shield down, does a candid reflection, and becomes more specific by asking questions regarding “what” needs to be developed in the team. If the team health is weak, the problems which we can encounter are a sense of belonging, trust, collaboration, accountability, and ownership. At KONUX, team health sessions are done twice yearly and this has led to an improvement in team morale, engagement, having focused goals, and prioritizing the right ones. For example: In one of the team health sessions, we identified the blockers and role conflicts in the team. This helped to restructure the team, roles, and responsibilities and work on being more efficient and effective.

Developing a team health framework

At KONUX, we’ve always had great people. As we started growing with diversified people and being agile to meet the customer needs it was critical to reflect on our ways of working as a team. While the performance development framework helped to identify the individual performance, the team health framework helped the team to identify strengths to exploit and the challenging areas to grow. After our first set of team health sessions, we approached team health sessions by aligning them with KONUX values. Combining KONUX values and the “five behaviors of a cohesive team” model (P. Lencioni, "The five dysfunctions of a team", 2002), we identified 11 attributes that make up a high-performance team. Today, our team health sessions are based on the 11 attributes.

The KONUX team health framework & process

Every team scores these 11 attributes to see how we are working. This means that each employee is asked to score the 11 attributes anonymously before the team health workshop. Based on these individual ratings, the team health score is calculated and color-coded:

  1. Green: We are strong here;
  2. Yellow: We are ok but a little shaky;
  3. Red: We aren’t aligned. Improvements are urgently needed.

The team health session itself is facilitated by the HR Business Partner. During the session, the team chooses 2-3 attributes to focus on. It is important to make sure the session and discussions are inclusive. A diversity of viewpoints is applied, every opinion is valued, and open and constructive discussion is encouraged to ensure everyone can speak up and to identify the real challenges. The team owns the entire discussion, comes up with ideas to overcome the challenges and become more cohesive, and agrees on an action plan as well as owners to drive the individual items. The progress is then reviewed periodically by the team.

What impact does it have?

Having a healthy team has a direct impact on productivity, velocity, and ease of collaboration when it comes to achieving team goals. Reflecting and measuring the team health helps to provide insights regarding what might be impacting their systems and what drives continuous improvement. With regular team health checks, there has been a positive change in the team.

A few examples are: The team could identify the blockers, and restructure themselves which has resulted in being efficient, enabled, and empowered today Leads got insights about the team and it has helped them to move from being reactive to proactive as a team The team has realized to learn to say NO and be more focused to drive team goals Identify and develop qualitative-focused collaboration to create high-caliber solutions. With this approach, one of the teams was able to get a better understanding of the technical vision of the team and identify customer insights.

The cohesiveness of a team has a direct influence on what that team can do; this is particularly important for a growing organization like us as it helps the team to be resilient, innovative, and contribute to healthy workplace culture.

Positive and healthy teams are more likely to trust each other, be supportive of each other, embrace learning opportunities and have a fun working environment.

Want to experience this first hand? Apply now!