The best teams become great through a process of asking questions about the team, regularly reflecting and self-correcting. This simple practice improves team performance by 20%, on average. Engage’s teams usually start with a habit of retrospecting weekly or bi-weekly. We use this time to discuss what’s gone well so far (so we can do more of it), what we’d like to change (so we can do less of it), and ideas we might like to try. Finally, we choose one or two experiments to try until the next retrospective. These ideas and experiments ensure we continue pushing forward as a team, not letting issues fester or resting on our laurels, but striving to keep getting better, week after week.
For these retrospectives to be most effective, the team has to feel safe to share feedback and work through conflict. Google’s research found that, by a large margin, psychological safety was the most important dynamic of effective teams. Engage’s leaders strive to create a blame-free environment, where mistakes are viewed with curiosity (how could we avoid this?) instead of punishment (who’s responsible?). We welcome dissenting opinions and work through conflict, ensuring all viewpoints are considered, and we’re not sweeping issues under the rug, only to have them rear their heads again later down the road.
Growth happens when we have time to rest, reflect, and relax. To that end, Engage is committed to the idea of sustainable pace, avoiding grinds that wear down the team. We stay on top of planning to preempt surprises cropping up. When our work is reactionary and urgent, it can lead to long hours and the corresponding mistakes that come from tired workers trying to just get things done now (rather than done right). We recognize that taking time to stop and sharpen the saw speeds up the entire process.
The growth of the whole team enables everyone connected to the team to benefit, and the results of the team to consistently exceed expectations. We’re committed to getting better, together.