Team engagement and happiness


Often we fall in love with measuring qualitative aspects of agile teams in assessments. One thing that I find as a catalyst to high performing teams is actually engagement, trust, alignment, and purpose. If we create cultures that nurture these areas, we enable high performing teams and happier people in general.

On my team, we currently measure these areas with OfficeVibe. It is a regularly polling engagement assessment tool that integrate easily into slack and allows for anonymous team feedback. I use this as another feedback loop and measurement of experimentation. For example, my team has mentioned there are not any healthy snack options in the office, resoundingly. So I introduced a fruit bowl and low and behold, the health score improved almost as quickly as the fruit disappears daily. I am curious what others do to ensure engagement beyond the regular conversations and interactions with people.

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Recently went to a talk by Jurgen Appelo based on his book “Managing for Happiness”, a lot of great nuggets available on his site. I wrote a blog post recently on his “Celebration Grid” concept as well -


My company sponsored the one in philly! Was a great event.


I think its important to have an opportunity to be heard and setting the tone makes a HUGE difference. When I host retrospectives, I like to open with kudos/appreciations first. This sets the tone of the conversation up in a more positive way- even if everyone has had a rough sprint. We have a “bouquet wall” near the kitchen so we can post appreciations where everyone can see them! “ie: @ryan thank you for bringing us fresh fruit every day!”


I like the practice of including a Niko Niko type survey at every retrospective.


I put a blog post a while back on gurereilla grooming… We started with the intent to combat organizational impediments and end up with more engaged team members! Some time a change of scenery is all it takes!


I love this. At times we used a “quiet room” b/c it was the only room available. It was literally 10x10 room used by new Mom’s to pump breast milk. No whiteboard, lo wifi signal, no distractions. I’ve also had backlog discussions near an outside water fountain. Change of scenery definitely = more engagement. With permission I’ll call it guerrilla grooming in the future (along with a shameless plug to the coalition and your site).


Have at it! @rlegatie