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Teamwork and Collaboration Survey Tips, Questions, and Where to Start

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We know that teamwork matters, but sometimes it can be hard to gauge what teamwork looks like within our organizations. No matter their size, companies want to know: Are their employees collaborating and leaning on the principles of teamwork across departments, functions, and roles? Or have their efforts to bring employees together been unproductive?

Each year, employers across the United States spend millions of dollars on team building initiatives, activities, and programming. What is the ROI of these efforts? While it’s common for employers to rely on the marketing materials of the outside vendors they hire to help design these team building activities, unless an organization has a way to gather real data from their organization, return on investment can be next to impossible to measure.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can boost teamwork and collaboration (critical aspects of the culture of a successful organization) through survey data. By administering a well-thought-out teamwork and collaboration survey at certain intervals, you can create an accurate picture of what’s working within your organization and its teams. From there, you can determine where to invest your efforts, where to pivot, and what to celebrate.

Employees engaging in teamwork discussion


Does Teamwork Matter? The ROI of Teamwork

Though it doesn’t always get the best rap amongst employees who are less than engaged, the potential ROI of team building is something many leaders trust, and for good reason. Perhaps it’s because they’ve seen the way effective team building efforts can play out in a positive way first-hand, or maybe because they know the employees they’ve hired are capable of connecting and synergizing. Either way, despite the lack of enthusiasm that team building activities may be met with at first, it really does seem to work—if done well.

In fact, Forbes has called team building effort “the most important investment you can make for your people.”  Instilling a culture of teamwork can help your employees and managers build trust with each other, avoid conflict, communicate well, and collaborate naturally. It can turn an unengaged employee into an engaged and motivated employee, which has far reaching effects on productivity, customer satisfaction, and eventually, your organization’s bottom line.

Where to Start

Let’s face it: team building is expensive and time consuming. Whether your organization is small, mid-sized, or a Fortune 500 company, making the most of your budget is critical. You also need to make a big impact with the time you have with your employees, especially if team building activities are intended to take place outside of traditional working days or hours.

To make the most out of your team building resources (especially time and money), a teamwork and collaboration survey is the best—and only—place to start. A teamwork and collaboration survey gives you invaluable data that’s specific to your organization and its employees. Instead of (perhaps blindly) trusting the opinions or promises of the vendors vying for your resources, you can build out your own roadmap, and select a vendor or strategy that makes the most sense for your unique needs.

How to Use a Teamwork and Collaboration Survey to Design Your Unique Team Building Strategy:

To be its most successful, team building activities should be well-researched and tailored to fit the needs of your business and its employees. A teamwork and collaboration survey will help you gather the data and form the insights you need to do just that.

When you’re designing your team building strategy, a teamwork and collaboration survey allows you to use data, not guesses, as a jumping off point. Here’s what you can do when you start your efforts off with a survey:

1. Spot trends within your unique employee groups.

Survey data allows you to analyze employee responses, opinions, experiences, and responses by the demographics that matter to you. Companies often see patterns across demographics like department, role, manager, function, manager, work site, tenure, age, gender, and ethnicity. Within a single organization, different employee groups can have extremely varied experiences with teamwork and collaboration. If you find variance within your organization, data can help you tailor your strategy to help each employee group most effectively.

2. Determine what your organization is already getting right.

If your company is doing well already, chances are, there is a baseline level of success in your culture of teamwork and collaboration already. Just because you could improve doesn’t mean you don’t already have valuable lessons to learn from the employee groups and teams within your business that are nailing it in the teamwork and collaboration department. Measuring what already can and does work within your organization is crucial to making the most of your team building spend.

3. Find out where the pain points are (and what’s causing them).

We’ve discussed how survey data can provide valuable insights about what your teams are already doing right. On the flip side, data can also help you uncover where opportunities for improvement are. If you lean on powerful software to administer your teamwork and collaboration survey, you can also produce automatic insights that give clues into what’s causing the roadblocks to a culture of cooperation, and how you can fix them.

4. Gauge what your employees would actually be open to and up for.

The success of your team building activities depends heavily on how likely employees are to actually participate in them. Aspects of your teamwork and collaboration survey can measure your employees’ willingness to actively engage in different types of activities, at different times, and in different settings. If you can create and design team building initiatives that spark genuine enthusiasm in your employees, you’re already well on your way to making a big impact within your organization.

5. Determine your baseline and set your own distinctive goals.

The data you gather from your first teamwork and collaboration survey is more than just a jumping off point from which to measure the success of your initiatives. It’s also a tool to help you determine what your own unique, achievable, and quantifiable goals will be. Having clear objectives is the best way to keep you on track as you’re working towards building a culture of collaboration.

6. Monitor and adjust your initiatives as they develop.

A teamwork and collaboration survey shouldn’t be a “one and done” event. As in any research project, employee surveys are best utilized when they’re distributed at certain intervals, and responses compared across timelines. The feedback you’ll gain from follow-up surveys will allow you to effectively gather feedback and measure success toward your objectives. If you administer your survey via state of the art survey software, you can even garner analysis of where you might improve in order to achieve your goals.

Get our free guide to running better employee engagement surveys

Best practices, tips for success, and what to do with all that data!

Teamwork and Collaboration Survey Questions

Ready to take the first step toward building a culture of collaboration and design your teamwork and collaboration survey? Each organization’s employee surveys should be different and reflect the realities of their workplace. But as you’re considering what you’d like to know, here are some strong sample questions to consider integrating into your survey:

Questions about the dynamics of the employee’s current team:
  • How well do you believe your current team collaborates with each other?
  • To what extent is collaboration a natural, unforced occurrence within your team?
  • How often does your team work together toward a common goal on a particular project?
  • How often do you engage in teamwork with employees outside of your function or department?
  • Do you feel comfortable sharing ideas with your team?
  • Do you believe your team is on the same page when you work together on a shared project?
  • Do you feel that responsibilities are distributed evenly and fairly within your team?
  • Does your team maintain established channels for communication?
  • How well do you trust your team members to fulfill their duties on a shared project/
  • Do you feel that your team addresses and handles conflict well?
  • Are collaborative efforts and teamwork recognized and rewarded by your manager or supervisor?
Questions about the employee’s preferred collaboration styles:
  • How often do you feel your team should check in with each other about the status of shared projects?
  • Between email, slack, and virtual calls, what is your preferred method of checking in with your team members about the status of shared projects?
  • How often do you prefer to attend scheduled check-in meetings with your team members?
  • Do you prefer to have a defined role on shared projects, or do you like to tackle to-do items ad-hoc?
  • How do you typically resolve conflicts within your team?

Questions about the employee’s preferred team building activities:
  • Do you prefer indoor or outdoor team building activities?
  • Would you attend a team building activity that was hosted after working hours on weekdays?
  • Would you attend a team building activity that hosted on a weekend?
  • Would you be enthusiastic about attending a sports or physical challenge-based team building activity?
  • Do you prefer organized or informal team building activities?
  • If your expenses were reimbursed or paid for by the company, would you attend a team building activity that required travel to another city or state?
Questions about the employee’s current teamwork and collaboration skillset:
  • How would you rate your current inclination to engage in collaboration efforts/
  • How well do you think you work as part of a team?
  • Do you prefer to complete a task individually or as part of a team?
  • How well do you receive constructive feedback provided by members of your team?
  • How often do you take the lead in a team setting?
  • How open are you to hearing ideas from members of your team that conflict with or are different from your own?
  • How often do you initiate teamwork and collaboration?
  • How effective are you at using the communication tools used on your team?
  • How likely are you to volunteer for “extra” work to help accomplish your team’s goals on a shared project?
Questions about the employee’s attitudes and perceptions:
  • Do you believe the company fosters a culture of effective teamwork and collaboration?
  • Do you think the work you complete within your team is meaningful to the organization’s goals?
  • Do you enjoy working with the members of your team on shared projects?
  • Do you think that the work you complete on shared projects is appreciated and recognized?
  • Do you feel welcomed and appreciated within your team?
  • Do you find teamwork and collaboration to be an effective way to accomplish your goals at work?
  • Do you think that teamwork and collaboration have a positive effect on your work-life balance?
  • Does your team have the resources and support it needs to be successful in accomplishing its shared goals?

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