Understanding team effectiveness is becoming increasingly important. Organizations are rapidly dismantling traditional hierarchies in search of new and dynamic ways to respond to changing market conditions. In their place, teams are stepping up to underpin new business models and drive performance. Which raises the following question: how do you describe an effective team and the factors that support this?
Culture Amp sought out to answer this question by studying contemporary academic literature, mining leading models for insights on the characteristics and behaviors of high-performing teams, and piloted its findings with some of the world’s most successful, innovative, and feedback-oriented teams and organizations. The result is a diagnostic Survey that uses a reflective team-based methodology optimized for use across the full diversity of teams and settings in contemporary organizations.
“Teams have become the primary building block for modern organizations seeking greater agility and collaboration,” said Didier Elzinga, CEO at Culture Amp, in a press release of the findings. “This makes it more important than ever that we understand team dynamics. Now, innovative companies everywhere can collect, understand and act on the information they need to help teams develop and thrive.”
Before the team effectiveness survey, employee feedback and analytics solutions typically focused on understanding the needs of the organization, the manager, or the individual employee. While these lenses remain important, introducing a survey focused on what teams need to succeed means organizations can now base decisions on a complete picture of how the company is working.
“Our research and the design of this survey were based on insights we’ve gained from working with over 1,400 innovative companies seeking ways to improve their culture,” said Jason McPherson, Chief Scientist at Culture Amp. “We used data to confirm the importance of the team and to shape our thinking on what was needed,” he added.
The survey focused on a set of questions that would provide insights focused on the team as a whole, rather than the individuals who made up the team. The survey questions focused on 35 key areas, including:
- Psychological safety
- Interpersonal sensitivity
- Focus and accountability
- Team processes
- Role clarity
- Organizational alignment
Once employees completed the survey, the Culture Amp platform provided a detailed report that broke down the team’s strengths and provided practical recommendations on ways to improve the team’s weaknesses.
Overall the survey found that while the ways employees work continues to change, the core factors underpinning team effectiveness remain largely stable.
The survey showed that teams foster an openness and supportive climate which combine elements of psychological safety, interpersonal sensitivity, and dependability. Recent research has shown these elements to be some of the strongest predictors of team effectiveness. In fact, Google’s Project Aristotle identified psychological safety as the number one predictor of effective team performance.
The survey results also led Culture Amp to extend its leading employee feedback and analytics platform to include a new team effectiveness diagnostic. The new diagnostic provides actionable insights on how team members interact, enabling organizations to promote and foster teamwork and improve productivity. For more information on this survey, and the new diagnostic tool, click here.
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