One of Dan Cook’s objectives as the new portfolio director was to have a healthy and happy team. One way he does this was with a team health survey which we carried out for the first time towards the end of last year. Now that we've reviewed the results, what are we doing with them?
Having useful data
Once we collated all the data, I exported it into a spreadsheet but it wasn’t that visually pleasing or easy to understand so I spent some time creating reports that could be easily understood instead.
Maths isn’t my strong point but I thought it would be beneficial to create a team health percentage that we could track. I used a multiplier to give a weighting to each answer, strongly agree had a multiplier of 4, slightly agree 3, and so on. This was then converted into a team health percentage.
I then sent each manager an email with their results and how that compared with the average of the team overall. I also sent an email to everyone with the average results and any themes that showed positive or negative results.
Sending managers the reports meant that they could share and discuss the results with their teams to create conversations about things which are going well and things that need to change.
Our response rate was 77% which was a fantastic result for our first survey. It showed how most of our team wanted to have their say on how they feel.
Our portfolio had an average health score of 79% which again was a real positive. There are some areas that we need to improve on for next time, both within our portfolio communities and in our project and programme teams.
Some of the things we scored well on overall were:
- we know exactly what our objective is and why we're delivering it
- my teammates listen to me and take on board my suggestions
Some of the things that our teams are working to improve on are:
- our sponsor/board keep themselves informed about our progress and achievements, and support our delivery
- we deliver in iterations, quickly and we meet dependencies
- the team has the right skill set and we're not missing any key skills
- stakeholders are happy with how and what we deliver
It was brilliant to get those points of view from everyone within a project or programme team and as part of this we asked if anyone had any great ideas for improvements.
One of our portfolio managers said that within the first day of results, other managers were contacting her to think of ways to increase their team health. Some examples of some changes that have already been made within our teams are:
- adding fun activities/elements to our team days and stand-up calls.
- a lack of training and this is something that we're speaking to HR about
- we now share (and discuss if required) board papers with all the team to improve visibility
- we invite board members to our weekly team meetings
The aim of the team health initiative is to help us understand where there are challenges across our directorate and how we can support teams through these. We’ve decided that this should be a quarterly activity because of the high response rate so the next set of results will follow in early March. We’ll then compare results to the last round so we can start to see any common themes, positive feedback, and any areas where we need to be providing more support.
It’s been really encouraging that other teams both within PDS and Parliament have showed interest or are piloting their own version of team health. If you’d like to do the same, please get in touch. I’d be happy to help.
Read more posts about our cultural values in PDS.