At some point, all teams experience a retrospective that deals with sensitive topics, and we want to hear everyone's honest feedback. But, how can we make sure all our team members feel comfortable speaking up?
What is a team safety check?
A team safety check is a way to evaluate the level of psychological safety in your team. The more psychologically safe your team feels, the more likely they will contribute their honest feedback in a retrospective.
You can run a team safety check using a column style technique or a team radar technique.
Column-Style Team Safety Check
- Start a retro and pick the Custom Columns option.
- Create 5 columns, numbered 1 through 5.
- Have your team members add a card (no text needed) to the column they feel best shows how they feel about speaking up in retrospectives:
- 5 – I'm completely comfortable and willing to discuss anything.
- 4 – I'm ok to talk about most things – there are only a few topics that are difficult.
- 3 – I'm about 50/50 – I'm ok to discuss some things, but I definitely not comfortable discussing everything.
- 2 – I might add a thought or two, but generally I don't feel safe speaking up.
- 1 – I don't feel comfortable sharing any of my feedback.
- Watch as the histogram develops. You will quickly be able to see how your team feels.
- Information in hand, you can end the retrospective here. This is one of the rare cases where you don't have to progress through all phases.
Radar-Style Team Safety Check
- Start a retro and pick the Custom Radar option.
- You can add a title to your radar so everyone understands what the goal of this activity is.
- Add titles to 3 spokes:
- Do you feel comfortable speaking up?
- Do you feel included?
- Do you feel heard?
- Move the retro onto the Collect phase and ask your team to place their ratings.
- In the Analyze phase, let Retrium help guide you through an analysis of the results. Click the NEXT button to step through the different analyses.
- You will quickly see how your team feels about their psychological safety, and where they agree or disagree.