Team Analysis: How To Measure the Effectiveness of the People Working for You
Grouping a bunch of new people together and expecting them to work effectively won’t always work without an action plan. Even if it does, there’s always room to improve. No matter how long you’ve known or worked with your team, there will always be things you don’t know about them.
Each of your team members will have different skills. Sometimes, they’ll be complementary. Other times, they could clash. So, how do you conduct successful team analysis to get an overview of your people and their processes?
This article will explain how to establish these differences to create synergy and a positive work environment where everyone feels engaged and supported.
What Is Team Analysis?
Team analysis means making your organization, specific teams, or subgroups case studies. The goal is to identify and weigh up the strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, and skills of specific groups of people.
It means analyzing each person separately but then understanding how they coexist and collaborate. If an employee is not pulling their weight, it can affect the entire team’s performance. However, if that team works together to regularly communicate, they may be able to prevent miscommunication and find a solution.
Why Should You Analyze Your Team?
You likely analyze your business processes and workplace analytics regularly to optimize efficiency—the same should go for your employees. However, this type of data analysis is more complex as you’re dealing with people, behaviors, and emotions instead of metrics.
Analyzing your team means you’re better equipped to answer questions like:
- Why are some team members performing better than others?
- Would this prospective hire be a good fit for this team?
- Are there any skills gaps within or between teams?
- How can we best apply each team member’s strengths to certain tasks?
- How can we close performance gaps between these team members?
Knowing these answers means you can make data-informed decisions that lead to meaningful change and results. It can also help you to create processes to optimize the way your team or teams work going forward.
3 Models of Team Effectiveness
Each organization measures team effectiveness and employee engagement differently. So, the model that will be most applicable will vary depending on the size and working environment of your organization. Smaller, office-based teams will work differently than remote enterprise-sized companies.
There are plenty of team effectiveness models out there to evaluate how yours works, but here are three well-known versions.
Rubin, Plovnick, and Fry’s GRPI Model
Rubin, Plovnick, and Fry created one of the oldest versions in 1977—the GRPI (Goals, Roles, Processes, and Interpersonal Relationships) Model. They believe teams need these four factors to be effective:
- Goals: Clearly-communicated initiatives and expectations.
- Roles: Acceptance of a leader and individual responsibilities.
- Processes: Effective procedures regarding decision-making, problem-solving, conflict resolution
- Interpersonal relationships: A healthy culture, good communication, respect, and trust.
The Katzenbach and Smith Model
In 1993, authors Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith unveiled this triangular methodology in their book, “The Wisdom of Teams”. The three points represent the following:
- Performance results
- Personal growth
- Collective work products
To reach these deliverables, teams must have three competencies with certain subfactors:
- Commitment: Team members share meaningful purpose and a common approach towards specific goals.
- Skills: Individual team members should be adept at problem-solving, possess technical skills to do their job, and have the interpersonal skills for team building.
- Accountability: Teams must be small enough to communicate frequently and efficiently with personal and mutual accountability.
The T7 Model
Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger developed the 1995 T7 Model when they landed on five internal and two external factors that all begin with ‘T’. The internal team factors are:
- Thrust: A common purpose that motivates you all.
- Trust: Knowing your team has your back and you’ve got theirs.
- Talent: Collective skills to get the job done.
- Teaming: The ability to operate effectively.
- Task: The ability to execute tasks successfully.
The external factors are:
- Team leader fit: Whether the leader is accepted and works well as part of the team.
- Team support from the organization: How the rest of the organization enables the team.
For high team performance, all five internal factors must be present. However, the external factors can both assist or inhibit the efforts of the internal factors.
3 Ways to Analyze Your Team Members
Creating team reports will give you a comprehensive overview and unearth the developmental needs of each member to create a plan to transform your team.
You may be a large enough enterprise to have a dedicated analysis team, or you may undertake these tasks yourself. Either way, here are three ways to analyze your team to optimize their performance levels.
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You start with a template that has four blank boxes and fill them in like so:
Tasks you do well and qualities you possess.
Skills you need to work on.
Any areas you have a chance to upskill in.
Anything holding your advancement back.
A SWOT analysis gives each team member the opportunity to look at their own strengths and weaknesses subjectively. You can also collate the answers of smaller project teams and see where there’s overlap or gaps.
While it’s helpful to self-assess, the results are likely to be biased for those who overestimate their capabilities or judge themselves too harshly.
Interview or Survey Each Team Member
Interviewing team members can allow you to dig more deeply into the nuances. It’s easier to gauge if someone is being truthful about certain topics when you ask them directly. However, make sure it’s more of an informal chat than an interrogation.
Stick to the same questions and structure for each person you interview. Record all answers to be able to evaluate them together. Here are some examples:
- “Can you describe an experience you had of working in a team to accomplish a task?
- “How do you handle conflict when it arises in the workplace?”
- “Can you tell us about a mistake you made and how you managed to resolve it?”
- “How do you delegate responsibilities when in a position of authority?”
Surveys can work in the same way, but they have the advantage of being anonymous (if you choose). You’re likely to get more honest feedback when someone’s name isn’t attached to their answers.
Team Assessment Tools
If you’d like to try a questionnaire or survey but haven’t got the time to collate all the data, try an automated tool. These will help you collect and organize insights on dashboards to keep track of your team’s effectiveness.
Here are a few you may wish to consider:
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A 42-question survey based on Patrick Lencioni’s book that comes as a color-coded report.
- Team Essentials Assessment: An assessment that provides a full measure of the Team Essentials model (based on output, structure, leadership, and more).
- 360 Degree Feedback Software: Rich insights into omnidirectional employee assessments based on performance and review reports.
- Most Loved Workplace®: Figure out how your team views your company (sentiment analysis) and how that could be affecting performance.
Setting Group Norms
Every team has its own customs, habits, partnerships, and expectations for completing tasks—sometimes called “group norms”. Once you have the data to work out yours, you may wish to bring everyone together to establish a new set of guidelines that everyone can endorse.
Setting norms doesn’t mean you regulate and micromanage every aspect of group interaction. Instead, it’s an opportunity for the team to figure out and express its values. It means determining what these will be in a group setting and allowing each person to provide ideas they’d like the unit to adopt.
This could include initiatives like:
- We will listen to each other and not interrupt
- We will make sure everyone gets a chance to speak that wants to
- We will support our leader’s decisions even when we disagree
- We will speak respectfully to each other
- We will talk through any concerns that may affect cohesion
It’s important to get everyone on board with each of these. There can’t be any reservations. Otherwise, it won’t work.
Team analysis isn’t just about measuring the effectiveness of specific groups. More importantly, it’s about the measures you put in place based on what you find out. It’s important to align your team’s goals as individuals with your organization’s and make sure everyone works as a cohesive unit.
Without a positive vision for the future as part of your company culture, it’s easy for any member of your team to become demotivated and disillusioned. Problems will always arise, but putting group norms in place based on analysis can help mitigate these.
Louis Carter is the founder and CEO of Best Practice Institute, Most Loved Workplace, and Results-Based Culture. Author of In Great Company, Change Champions Field Guide, and Best Practices in Talent Management, as well as a series of Leadership Development books. He is a trusted strategic advisor and coach to CEOs, CHROs, and leaders of mid-sized to F500 companies – enabling change and steering employer brand development together with highly effective teams, leaders, and organizations as a whole.