How Roland uses TeamMood to foster team feedback and lead meetings.

Systems Engineering UK, Germany, Spain, USA 60 team members

About Roland

Roland is a supervisor of feature systems engineering team for a global automotive company.

He has technical responsibilities but is also a people leader and manages a team of 10 people.

The context

Teammates work in a hybrid mode. The team is split in 2 countries, the UK and Germany, and they work 1-2 days per week in the office while the other days are remote.

TeamMood is used by the team, but also in their department, of approximately 60 people, and in other departments as well.

Challenge: Waiting Months For Feedback

Roland has been a leader in many teams in varied roles and he’s always looking to improve the way he works together with his teammates.

In his company, biannual employee satisfaction surveys are sent out. The issue with such a solution is that there is a lag until the results are available and it doesn’t really provide him with sufficient detail.

“It's a very high level tool because you don't really see verbatim comments from people. You don't see what their actual issues are. Respondents may answer a particular question negatively, but it's very hard to find out why. Also as it’s only twice a year, you have to wait several months for the results to come in. Then you interpret the results and try to identify what we could do to make improvements in those areas. So the whole process takes a long time and is open to interpretation.”

Roland is also part of the mental health first aid group in the company. At one of the meetings, someone suggested testing TeamMood. Roland liked the idea and decided to volunteer his team to be part of the pilot test for TeamMood.

“I started using it and everybody was quite enthusiastic about trying it out. Instead of information every six months, I was getting information every day to see how people were feeling.”

Solution: Helping Teammates Share More feedback With TeamMood

Everyone on the team receives an email or WebEx Teams message every day at 3PM and Roland encourages everyone to put in a comment. He, himself, does it every day.

“I encourage them to always put in a comment. Not everybody does it every day, but I always try to put a comment in. It could be that something at work has not gone well, or somebody didn't turn up for a meeting, or they felt not supported by somebody else, or a test vehicle was delayed and they couldn't conduct the testing they wanted to do. It could equally be “an issue at home” which helps me to recognise that someone may have things going on that I can not help with directly, but can always offer a cup of tea and a chat if they are willing to speak up.”

To foster communication, Roland also replies to moods regularly.

“The other thing I do is if someone's not had such a good day, I sometimes put in a note to say: “I'm sorry to hear. You've had a difficult day. You know, if there's anything I can do to help please contact me.”

They have daily meetings where they talk about work priorities and discuss feedback & trends from TeamMood weekly to understand the mood of the past week.

“Every week within our team of ten, we look at the last week’s data on TeamMood. We look at some of the comments to see how we're doing, how the trend is, whether we've had a good week or a not-so-good week.”

One important aspect of these weekly meetings is to highlight successes, and not focus solely on problems.

“The other thing we do in our team meetings is we look at the successes from the last week. So, you know, everybody encourages everybody to come up with what success they’ve had in the last week. And it doesn't have to be a work success. It could be a personal success. It’s important because in an engineering and product development environment, we're often working on resolving issues and fixing problems. We maybe had five new problems come up this week, but we were successful in delivering another ten.”

Results: Teammates Feel Listened To, And It’s Fostering Retrospection

The way Roland helps his teammates feel comfortable giving feedback with TeamMood helps them feel listened to.

“So I think that just helps to make people realize that they are being listened to. They're not just typing in and it goes into TeamMood. We are actually looking at it daily.”

It’s been 2 years since the initial pilot. Of course the excitement is gone, but they’re still using it every day.

“Initially I was quite excited about using TeamMood because we didn’t have anything available for such quick feedback. Obviously now we've been using it for a couple of years and that kind of excitement has gone, but it's still a really valuable tool. I do look at it every day and I do also probably more so than 2 years ago, it makes you pause every day to think how your day has been overall and recognise the positives as well as the opportunities.”

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