Team Effectiveness Assessment

How Good is Your Team?

People and cogs

Teams that work together well are more productive.

© iStockphoto/alexsl

Teamwork has a dramatic affect on organizational performance.

An effective team can help an organization achieve incredible results.

A team that is not working can cause unnecessary disruption, failed delivery and strategic failure.  

Nowadays it is almost impossible to avoid being a member of team. If you're not on an official team at work, chances are you function within one in one way or another. So it's important for your personal and career development to know your teamworking strengths and weaknesses.

This assessment helps you uncover common teamworking problems that you might be experiencing. Once you've completed the assessment, we direct you towards team tools that will help you to improve and develop these important skills.

How good are you and your team at teamwork and team building?

Instructions:

For each statement, click the button in the column that best describes you. Please answer questions as you actually are (rather than how you think you should be), and don't worry if some questions seem to score in the 'wrong direction'. When you are finished, please click the 'Calculate My Total' button at the bottom of the test.

   15 Statements to Answer

Not
at All
Rarely Some
times
Often Very
Often
1 My team is knowledgeable about the stages of development teams can be expected to go through.
2 Team members are provided with a great deal of feedback regarding their performance.
3 Team members are encouraged to work for the common good of the organization.
4 There are many complaints, and morale is low on my team.
5 Team members don't understand the decisions that are made, or don't agree with them.
6 People are encouraged to be good team members, and build good relationships.
7 Team members are provided with development opportunities.
8 Meetings are inefficient and there is a lot of role overlap.
9 Team members are encouraged to commit to the team vision, and leaders help them understand how their role fits into the big picture.
10 Team members are often given a chance to work on interesting tasks and stretch their knowledge and capabilities.
11 The team understands what it needs to accomplish and has the resources needed to be successful.
12 Conflict and hostility between members is a pervasive issue that doesn't seem to get better.
13 People feel that good work is not rewarded and they are not sure what is expected of them.
14 Team members balance their individual needs for autonomy with the benefits of mutual interdependence.
15 Working relationships across units or functions is poor, and there is a lack of coordination.
Calculate My Total
Total = 0

Score Interpretation

Score Comment
46-75 You're a solid team member working well as part of an effective team. Lower scores in this range show that there is room for improvement, though. Read the following summaries of key teamwork functions and determine which of the tools will help you become a better team player and build a stronger team. (Read below to start.)
31-45 Your effectiveness as a team player and your team's effectiveness are patchy. You're good at some things, but there's room for improvement elsewhere. Focus on the serious issues below, and you'll most likely find that you and your team are soon achieving more. (Read below to start.)
15-30 This is worrying. The good news is that you've got a great opportunity to improve your effectiveness as a team member, and the effectiveness of your team. (Read below to start.)

Team Development

(Questions 1, 11)

Teams do not become effective overnight. Team building is a process that requires due attention and care. If you try to skip over important development stages, you risk not forming the solid foundation needed when trouble or setbacks occur.

To build, lead, or participate in a team requires an understanding of the stages of team development. Through extensive research, it has been found that successful teams have certain aspects of their development paths in common. The one that most people are aware of is Tuckman's Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing   model.

Two other factors that significantly increase a team's chances of being effective are having a well thought out team orientation process, and developing a clear team charter. Both of these help you establish clear guidelines and set clear expectations. When the individuals on a team all know what they are supposed to be doing and how they are to go about doing it, you give the team a good start on maximizing performance. To read more about these processes see the Mind Tools articles on Successful Induction   and Team Charters  .

Feedback

(Questions 2, 13)

One of the best ways of improving people's performance is by providing information to team members about their individual performance, as well as the overall team performance. After all, how do you know what is working and what isn't if no one gives you an objective summary?

There are usually plenty of people around who are ready and willing to give you their opinions on this. Unfortunately, this information is often conveyed in a manner that causes resentment and animosity.

For feedback to be positive and growth-inspiring, it has to be delivered properly, with enough attention being paid to how the receiver is going to perceive and process it. To learn more on giving feedback, see our articles on Giving and Receiving Feedback  , The GROW Model  , and 360° Feedback  .

Participation and Articulating Vision

(Questions 3, 9, 10)

Articulating the team's vision is fundamental to developing a high performing team. It's the vision that motivates and directs a team to reach its goal.

The best teams invest a great deal of time and energy into exploring and understanding the overall purpose and vision of the team. From this vision, a set of goals and objectives emerges that helps the team stay focused and on track.

The key to using vision successfully is making the process of discovering it a participative one. You can tell a team what the vision is and team members may or may not agree that the cause is worth working hard for. If, however, you allow the team to explore the vision, to see how their specific roles fit into the big picture, and provide meaningful opportunities for team members to assist in the team's success, then you have the basis for a high performing team.

To learn more about tying vision to goals see Performance Management and KPIs  , The Balanced Scorecard  , and Management By Objectives  . To learn where you sit on the participative management scale, see the article on the The Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid  . The articles on Avoiding Micromanagement   and Successful Delegation   discuss why it is important to provide challenges to your team members and allow them to use their skills and abilities to the fullest.

Managing Conflict

(Questions 4, 12, 14)

Conflict can be an inevitable consequence of working with other people. Opinions, values, styles, and a whole host of other differences provide more than enough grounds for disagreement. This disagreement is actually part of the reason why teams can be so effective – the more perspectives that go into a process, the better the end result. Usually!

Allowing the differences to get out of hand, though, causes unnecessary disruption and leads to breakdowns in working relationships. Team members and leaders should take it upon themselves to understand the basics of conflict management and also learn more about different styles and ways of thinking and working.

For more information on effectively managing conflict, see Managing Conflict  , Theory X. Theory Y   and Role Playing  .

Group Roles and Structure

(Questions 6, 8, 14, 15)

The differences between how people work and view the world make for interesting conversations and dynamic teams. An effective team capitalizes on these natural differences and maximizes performance by putting the right people in the right roles.

The articles on RACI   and Task Allocation   discuss this exact issue and provide practical methods for getting the most out of your team.

Some research has also been done on the different types of roles people play within teams. While the jury is still out on the detail of this research, having insight into the types of roles that are taken on in teams can help you see which roles and behaviors are constructive and which ones aren't. Mind Tools has featured two such models of team roles: Belbin's Team Roles   and Benne and Sheats' Team Roles  .

Team Member Development

(Questions 7, 12)

No matter what role a person plays in a team, or what tasks he or she has been assigned to, there is almost always room for personal improvement. When the individuals on a team are functioning at high capacity, the team can flourish as well.

This is a critical understanding in team performance. Although there is no "I" in "Team" you have to remember there is no team without individuals. You have to build and foster the skills in the individuals that are congruent with the needs of the team.

To do this, requires a solid understanding of training methods and ways of identifying the needs of the team members. The article on Successful Induction   talks about setting out a training needs analysis from day one. The articles on Understanding Developmental Needs   and Training Needs Assessment   provide practical tips for identifying areas that need improvement.

Understanding and Collaboration

(Questions 5, 14)

The last area of team functioning explored by this quiz covers how well you and your team are able to collaborate and understand the key issues facing the team. Again, this goes back to the idea of cohesion. Members of successful teams all head in the same direction, and work for the same purpose.

When priorities and goals diverge, tensions appear within the team, and the whole is often no longer greater than the sum of its parts. This is a fundamental issue for high performing teams. Consensus, consistency and agreement are vital for effective teamwork.

Even if your test score didn't point to this aspect of teamwork, the articles on Concept Attainment   and the Delphi Technique   are highly recommended.

Key Points

An effective team is much more than a bunch of people thrown together to accomplish a goal. Because teams are such an inherent part of how we work, it is easy to believe we know what makes a team perform well, however this is often not the case.

Using this test, you can uncover areas of improvement that will help you become a better overall team member and team builder.

This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you'll find here at Mind Tools. Click here for more, subscribe to our free newsletter, or become a member for just $1.

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Comments (11)
  • Vanessa wrote This week
    Hi All
    This test will help me develop and manage a successful nonprofit organization. This is very effective information.
  • Midgie wrote Over a month ago
    Hi iamrafaga,
    Thanks for the feedback and sharing your experience. It is really great to hear that you showed this to your colleague and manager and then you all compared results. I imagine that the insights gained can help you improve the way you work together.

    Have there be any shifts or changes you all have made as result of doing this assessment? It would be interesting to see how you have all benefited from it.

    Midgie
  • iamrafaga wrote Over a month ago
    This is certainly one of the best assessments I've taken so far. Lots of takeaways and realizations came up. I showed this briefly to a colleague and manager and we had different assessments. Turned out this is also a good way to discover how each member perceives team behavior. If the assessment showed great discrepancy, it tells me something as to why it happened. When you combine your team's responses, it gives you the big picture and even reveals the spot where you need to focus on. This is definitely one of my favorite. :)
  • Rachel wrote Over a month ago
    Hi All

    Could your team be even more effective?

    This week's Featured Favorite is our interactive Team Effectiveness Assessment quiz.

    Click below to take to quiz, and find out where you can improve!
    http://www.mindtools.com/community/pages/article/newTMM_84.php

    Best wishes

    Rachel
  • Dianna wrote Over a month ago
    Hi BigK - my suggestion is to keep building your knowledge base throughout this Team Building month. Analyze your team with each new tool presented and see if there are small areas you can improve. You probably don't need a radical change, however, with each day as you refamiliarize yourself with the tools and theory you'll gain a better understanding with which to develop.

    I think it's going to be a great month! Happy Team Building!

    Dianna
  • bigk wrote Over a month ago
    Hi Helena

    Trying to look at some good way to assess this yet.

    I tried the test and scored at the top of the range so there must still be an improvement that can be got. It is the small items that I want to assess how to vary these and to relate them to situations.

    I find I have good method of identifying what needs focus and what can be used as a current method for improvement.

    If I find a way currently to progress this further will let you know what result I get.

    Is there something I could look at moving this further on?

    Bigk
  • Helena wrote Over a month ago
    Hi All

    I've chosen this quick quiz as our Featured Favorite to kick off Team Building Month, because it's such an effective way of identifying how well your team works now, and where its areas for improvement are. Use your score as a baseline, and then come back to this assessment at the end of September, and let me know how things have changed!

    http://www.mindtools.com/community/page ... TMM_84.php

    Do share your findings by replying to this post. Was there an area you hadn't realised your team is weak in, fo instance?

    Best wishes

    Helena
  • Dianna wrote Over a month ago
    Yikes - have you gotten out of the fry pan and into the fryer??!!

    Dealing with people like that is so tough and so draining. Maybe you could start a very casual conversation with her about teamwork in general. What about this angle, "Hi ______ I'm preparing a speech for next toasmasters meeting and I thought some great insight into team dynamics might be both interesting and useful. I'm trying to get a whole bunch of perspectives before I dive into writing. I was wondering, since you're new to a team leader position what you think about team building and getting to a high performance team. Your perspective as someone who has been part of a team and now leads one is interesting..."

    I know it's contrived and not as "honorable" as an honest and open approach but I have a feeling she won't respond well to you seeing as it's not her nature and that you're new to organization.

    The idea, regardless of how you broach the subject, is to get her talking about her experience. This may lead her to opening up and then you can start the honest dialogue that is needed at some point.

    Something to consider.

    Dianna
  • lulu wrote Over a month ago
    Good idea Brynn!

    Just not sure she is even at that stage yet - she is too busy exerting her new power and thriving on checking what people are up to every second, or butting in on conversations, that she hasn't listened to feedback or taken the time to reflect on some of the changing behaviours of the team members.

    Unfortunately, unlike me , she is not very receptive to constructive feedback as she is always right.

    Lulu
  • ladyb wrote Over a month ago
    Maybe you should let it slip into conversation how great MindTools is and see if she takes the bait?!

    Brynn
Show all comments

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