How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Team


Team effectiveness, also referred to as team performance, is a team’s capacity to achieve its goals and objectives.

This capacity to achieve goals and objectives leads to improved outcomes for team members (for example, team member satisfaction and willingness to remain together) as well as outcomes produced or influenced by the team.

In a commercial environment, the outcomes would include client satisfaction, meeting sales targets and financial budgets, or production budgets, depending on the reason or objectives determined when the team was established.

In a sporting environment the objective is to win, but the same principles apply with performance targets and the delivery of outcomes, with perhaps even more focus on camaraderie as most join sports teams for recreation.

Quality teamwork relies heavily on good leadership. Teams will not accomplish much if you don’t evaluate them. The old axiom, “what you can measure you can manage” certainly applies as far as team performance is concerned. Leaders who regularly address teamwork-based challenges, build on their team’s strengths, and coach them to overcome their weaknesses.

The Deloitte 2023 Global Human Trends survey found that leadership is more important than ever, and increasingly difficult to find. 94% of respondents to the survey believe that leadership capabilities and effectiveness are important or very important to their organisation’s success, representing the highest importance score across all trends, and yet only 23% believe their organisation’s leaders currently have the capabilities necessary to manage in the new disruptive boundaryless world.

The five characteristics of a successful team

As Kozlowski and Ilgen (Enhancing the Effectiveness of Work Groups and Teams. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, (Kozlowski and Ilgen, 2006) point out in their research, “there is over 50 years of psychological research–literally thousands of studies–focused on understanding and influencing the processes that underlie team effectiveness”. In the concluding section of their report, they summarised their primary findings to highlight specific research, application and policy recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of work groups and teams.

The study was conducted 17 years ago, and it is interesting to note the significant developments and the countless studies on team effectiveness that have taken place since their research.

However, most human resource professionals seem to agree that the five criteria for successful team performance can be summarised under the following headings:

  1. They have strong leadership.
  2. They have clear goals, plans, clarity, and structure.
  3. They have open and honest communication, resolving any conflict constructively and understanding and accepting the difference in behavioural styles and diversity.
  4. They accept mutual accountability but have clearly defined roles accomplishing their own tasks and supporting each other.
  5. They appreciate each other and have fun!

So, how do you monitor and measure the effectiveness of your team?

Many managers would simply point to the financial results, sales targets, and other key performance indicators as a measure of team effectiveness, but statistics, and of course  meeting targets, while fundamentally very important, do not guarantee staff retention or the satisfaction of all team members. To succeed in this now boundaryless world where everything is connected, leaders must put humans at the centre of every decision made, or risk losing key team members.

There is a large choice of systems available to constantly evaluate and monitor your team, but we have had excellent feedback from clients who are users of Extended DISC® products. The Extended DISC® system is available in 80 languages and used in over 60 countries spread around the globe. By following the process outlined below, each one of the five characteristics detailed above can be addressed.

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Extended DISC® Team Analysis is one of the most advanced tools available in identifying any people issues. It is a powerful tool that has many applications and yet, is so easy to use and understand.

The Team Assessment provides a clear, easy-to-use framework to understand complex issues quickly, to solve problems and to improve performance. It also presents a safe environment to discuss challenging topics productively. The Team Analysis provides the big picture that enables decisions to be made with confidence.  

The Extended DISC® Team Analysis combines all the individual assessment results into one report. It shows the team dynamics, the strengths and development areas of the team, and illustrates how the team members are adjusting their behaviours in the existing work environment.

While team applications are the most popular uses of the tool, Team Analysis is capable of assessing a large number of individuals. As a result, it enables our clients to perform various, more complicated analyses very cost effectively. Some of these applications include identification of the effective behaviours and competencies (leadership, management, sales and customer service), succession planning and strategic decision making.

As the Team Analysis Report is created from the individual Extended DISC® Behavioural Reports of each team member, pressure, stress, frustration, insecurity, uncertainty of role and other emotional issues can be identified. And perhaps even more importantly, the degree of change in their behaviour to meet the requirements of their role and their place in the team. Specialised and focused reports such as

Extended DISC®  Lead and Manage reports (which are available at no additional cost) simply add to the depth of the reporting.

Another powerful tool that is used in conjunction with the Team Report, is the Open 360, which is described in more detail below. As a survey product, it provides further information on your team and the team members’ well-being.

How does the process work?

Extended DISC® Team Analysis is extremely easy to use. Once the participating individuals have completed the Extended DISC® Behavioural Assessment Questionnaire, you simply select the members from the database and generate the report. That’s it! No additional questionnaires to complete. The process takes just seconds.

Online features of the FinxS System, which is an advanced online platform, enable an organisation to gain additional insights about their teams, all at no additional cost!

There are four options available to gain invaluable insights and learn so much more about your team:

  1. Behavioural Competencies – where you can view snapshots of how your team compares against individual competencies from the system resource of approximately 1900 competencies divided into 42 categories!  
  2. Job Templates – where you can measure the team against an existing template in your FinxS account or alternatively, create a new one specific to the team’s expected outcomes for the organisation.
  3. Graphics – which allow you to view your team’s profiles so you can identify any patterns emerging, view their 4 Quadrant Team member styles (actually constructed from 160 different behavioural styles), Leadership styles or even their “overused” styles!
  4. It is simple to set-up and save a team in the FinxS platform for future use. You can view and print the teams’ results against the Open Preview feature outlined above using Behavioural Competencies, Job Templates and Graphics. The versatility of the system allows you to add and delete Team Members as you wish.

An Open 360 questionnaire is a feedback tool for measuring the skills, behaviours, and competencies of an individual concerning their job role and general workplace conduct. Multiple sources, such as supervisors, peers, and direct reports, provide feedback on the individual. The resulting 360-degree feedback report delivers highly focused and relevant information about an individual’s job role competencies and their working relationships. Organisations then use the insights from the 360 feedback to inform employee development strategies.

A 360 assessment requires respondents to provide anonymous feedback in an online questionnaire that covers a large variety of job and workplace related competencies. A questionnaire commonly combines qualitative and quantitative questions that ask respondents ‘how often’ or ‘how well’ the individual exhibits a specific competency. The person receiving the feedback also fills out a self-rating questionnaire and scores themselves against the same set of questions. 

The feedback is compiled into an easy-to-read report to help a respondent understand their strengths, development areas and blind spots. HR Managers can quickly spot where perceptions align and where they differ.

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In summary…..

Team dynamics are at the very heart of any organisation. People enjoy working in, and with, a happy team, and just one discontented team member can cause enormous stress and dissatisfaction in a team environment. The resulting cost can be significant.

An action plan for improving team effectiveness is a fundamental requirement in the current difficult environment and the Deloitte 2023 Global Human Trends survey provides some great insights into the growing importance of challenging traditional models and assumptions about the work environment.

HR Profiling Solutions Ltd have an experienced team and together with their master trainers, spread throughout Australia and New Zealand, are well qualified to explain more about Extended DISC® reports and the advanced FinxS online platform. They can help and advise you to navigate the challenges facing team managers and personnel in this changing human resource environment.

About the author: Clyde Colson is a director and one of the founders of HR Profiling Solutions Limited (initially incorporated as Extended DISC® Australasia Limited in 1999) and has been actively involved in training throughout Australasia and consulting in the Extended DISC® system for over 25 years