As a manager, ensuring your team is working as effectively as possible should always be a — if not the — main priority for you. That's why you need to find ways to maintain a pulse on your employees' ongoing performance.
One way to get there is by conducting a team effectiveness assessment — a questionnaire-guided audit that can give you some perspective on what you're doing right, what you're doing wrong, and how pressing your team's issues are.
Here, we'll go over what a team effectiveness assessment is, review how to run one effectively, take a look at how to respond to one, and see a template you can use to run one of your own. Let's dive in.
What is a Team Effectiveness Assessment
A team effective assessment is a type of audit — generally supported by a quiz or questionnaire — that helps management gauge a team's strengths, cohesion, and overall performance. The objective of this kind of assessment is to help managers understand where their teams are thriving and identify areas for improvement.
A team effectiveness assessment represents a solid starting point for pinning down both general concerns and specific problems your team might be facing. It gives you perspective on whether you need to take swift, decisive action to improve how your team functions.
Still, you shouldn't consider this kind of questionnaire as some ironclad, be-all, end-all record of everything that's wrong with your team. You can't gauge all of your problems by answering 20-or-so questions.
Don't think of this kind of assessment as some kind of workplace scripture. It's meant to set you in the right direction, not plot the whole course for you.
How to Run a Team Effectiveness Assessment
Running a constructive team effectiveness assessment rests on your ability to understand the qualities that have the most bearing on your team's immediate success. Those typically include — but aren't necessarily limited to — the following:
- Team chemistry
- Willingness and ability to learn
- Team processes
With your ideal attributes in mind, you can either create an assessment of your own or refer to an established one like the questionnaire laid out below. Once you've landed on an assessment, conduct it based on your personal perception of your team's performance.
Be frank. Don't pull punches when it comes to your team's effectiveness or the quality of your leadership. Once you've answered the questions, calculate your overall score and refer to the assessment's grading scale to see where your team stands.
What to Do After a Positive Team Effectiveness Assessment
Even if your team effective assessment is positive, look back at the individual answers and see where you underperformed, relative to the others. Play to the strengths you've identified, and reinforce those qualities and behaviors with your team — but also understand there is always room for improvement.
Focus on where you might be coming up short. If you answer most questions as fours or fives, look at the ones you answered as ones, twos, or threes. Start planning how you can address those particular points — whether that be through additional training, constructively calling those issues out in meetings, or any other ways you can productively communicate those concerns to your team.
How to Respond to a Poor Team Effectiveness Assessment
If your team effectiveness assessment comes back less than ideal, don't panic. Take a breath, and take a close look at which areas were particularly bad. Find the ones and twos, and prioritize addressing those first.
If your score is really concerning, be quick and decisive in acting on the results. Call the most pressing issues out in meetings. Start figuring out how you're going to train your team to iron your problems out — and if worst comes to worst, consider bringing in a third party like a consultant or external training organization to help facilitate the improvement process.
A poor team effectiveness assessment doesn't necessarily mean the sky is falling — but it does mean you can't afford to keep letting these issues slide.
Now that you know the fundamentals of how to conduct and respond to a team effectiveness assessment, let's look at an actual questionnaire you can reference when conducting yours. Team Effectiveness Assessment Questionnaire
Answer each question by scoring the degree to which you relate to its premise on a scale of one to five.
- How well do you know the true or real total value of your pipeline?
- How assured are you that you know what percentage of the pipeline in the current category is required to exceed the sales budget?
- How comfortable are you that you have enough pipeline potential in the 30-, 60-, and 90-day categories to exceed future monthly quotas?
- How comfortable are you with your knowledge of the projected revenue you need in each sales stage category to ensure you have enough opportunities to exceed the future quota?
- How well can you strategize on your top 10 potential forecasted accounts
- How well are all key accounts targeted?
- How would you rate your ongoing recruiting plan that ensures you have qualified candidates available?
- Rate the quality of your interviewing process. Does it ensure the best candidate is selected — not just the best available candidate?
- How complete is each salesperson's personal business plan? Is it reviewed each month?
- Rate the quality of your sales training program.
- Rate the quality of your CRM/sales force automation system. Is it being used effectively? Is it up to date?
- Rate the quality of your salespeople's six-month named account re-forecast/strategic/tactical plan process.
- Rate the quality of your six-month sales/marketing/management plan. Is it defined for each month?
- How well are your company’s goals aligned with the compensation/quota programs?
- Rate the effectiveness of your sales management leading indicators.
- Do you have regular scheduled and unscheduled coaching sessions with each of your salespeople?
- How would you rate the effectiveness of your sales contests and business games? Are they planned to promote revenue and build teamwork?
Now total up your score, and discover how well your sales team is functioning after the jump.
60-85 — You're in good shape, but minor tuning may be required to make your team as effective as possible.
47-59 — Several projects are required to achieve maximum effectiveness.
34-46 — You will need to take multiple actions quickly to turn your team around.
17-33 — Major assistance is required now!
As I mentioned toward the beginning of this article, a team effectiveness assessment should be used as a starting point for identifying and ironing out your team's issues. It provides an opportunity for you to exercise self-awareness and piece together where your overall underperformance stems from.
You can only derive so much insight from a 20-or-so-question quiz, but running one can still be valuable. Team effectiveness assessments won't necessarily tell you where to go, but they can still set you on the right course.