Two easy ways to measure the temperature of your team

By Line Bloch, 13. February 2020

Annual employee satisfaction surveys give at best an indication of the employee well-being at the point of time measured. At worst, the responses are skewed to avoid having to launch a lot of initiatives or making unnecessary noise internally.

Both employees and managers well-being are so important to your organization, that it should be discussed much more frequently than just once a year. Ideally it should be part of the ongoing dialogue both between manager and employee – and within the team.

How do you make it a integrated part of the team’s everyday life, besides the easy answer: “talk to your employees”? Here are my suggestions on two relatively simple methods.

Why not just measure once or twice a year?

The recurring annual or semiannual employee satisfaction surveys with 87 questions and associated action plans are still surprisingly popular. Probably because they give the feeling that we are doing something and that we are listening to the employees. And then they can be used to make nice reports for top management.

I don’t know any middle managers who find it very enjoyable to review the survey reports at department meetings or to define and document the follow-up initiatives.

Not that the employee’s well-being doesn’t matter, far from it. It is indeed important to ask if people thrive – and more importantly – to listen to what people say, but do we really know that the satisfaction surveys, and all the work that follows in the aftermath, is what raises the well-being?

The feeling of being heard is good, but often it resembles a theater show being played in honor of… who really?

But how do we then find out how people feel? The easy answer is “talk to people”. And yes, that’s correct, but how does the leader, who may not have the mental surplus or insight into daily work a feel with his people? And most importantly, how do we share with each other, how we feel? This is in my opinion one of the most important things: that the team knows how the team is doing.

There is many good and not so good tools for this out there, but I have not yet come across one that is as simple and efficient as the team temperature we even often use. I will share two versions here: the ultra-easy and the easy method.

The ultra-easy way to measure the temperature of your team

You will need: a whiteboard or a big flipover. A marker.

When: In the very start of a department meeting, project meeting, or team meeting.

How often: Every time you have that type of meetings. Preferably weekly.


  1. Draw a large table on the whiteboard having 6 rows. Type the numbers from 1-6 in each row.
  2. Ask one by one: “How’s your week been on a scale of 1-6? And why?” If the meeting is not part of a fixed rhythm, you can put the question: “how are you feeling right now on a scale of 1-6?” instead.
  3. Put a cross in line with the number being said.

People don’t have to explain their choices, but often does. It’s perfectly ok to say “3 because there’s been something private that’s kind of messy”. And also to elaborate: “2 because Simon from accounting has been busy with project x, so I haven’t been able to get my stuff done”

The point of having to answer 1-6 and not 1-5, is that the option “mehh” is not there. Either things are predominantly good, or predominantly bad.

Once you’ve asked everybody (including yourself), you say thanks, and get started with the meeting agenda.

Value: You get an ultra fast update on where each other is. As a leader, you get a hint about something that perhaps needs to be addressed outside the meeting. Each employee and manager get better at reflecting and putting into words how he/she feels.

The easy way to measure the temperature of your team

You will need:

  1. A survey tool (e.g. MS forms, SurveyMonkey or the like), set up with a questionnaire asking about these 3 things:
  • How satisfied are you with your results this week? Scale 1-6
  • How happy are you about your relationships this week? Scale 1-6
  • How appropriate has the workload been this week? Scale 1-6

Preferably including a comment option. Some people prefer to add a few words on their answers. You decide together with the team if the comments should be shared or kept confidential. Often it will be a combination. Comments like “Hurrah, we reached deadline!” can be easily shared, but other comments may be of a more sensitive nature.

  1. An Excel-spreadsheet
  2. A printer or large screen

When: In the very start of a department meeting, project meeting, or team meeting

How often: Every time you have team or department meetings. Preferably weekly.


  1. Share the link to the questionnaire to let the team give their answers the day before your department meeting. It usually takes less than 2 minutes to answer.
  2. Pull data out of the system you are using and make a graph that shows average for each question. You can also make one that shows the overall average if you and your team loves graphs and data. Once your excel-spreadsheet is designed, the graphs can be drawn in about 5 minutes.
  3. Show the graph at the meeting and ask the team if they have comments. Often people will have to get used to the process before they feel comfortable with the open dialogue, so start by sharing your own thoughts and perhaps even what you scored. Everybody doesn’t have to comment on the graph, if they don’t feel comfortable with it – or have nothing to add.

We usually find that the team initially responds quite politely, meaning that they choose middle scores like 3 and 4, instead of using the entire scale. Once they feel more comfortable with the process and realize that its ok to go to the extremes if needed, the variance will rise.

When there are no more comments on the graph, you move onto the meeting agenda.

Value: You get a common weekly temperature measurement on the team. Each employee gain insight into how the rest of the team is doing, including those they may not work closely together with. This makes it easier to take care of each other or ask for help.

In addition..

If you choose to not make the questionnaire anonymous, you can use the answers for input to the 1-1 meetings with the employees.

The latter method would have been easier if it there was an app or an IT system for it. I have  yet to find a tool that can make it as simple as this, but if you know of an IT system or app that does it – without it being a huge cost for businesses – please let us know!

The well-being of employees and managers are so important to your organization, that it should be part of the ongoing dialogue and not a once yearly measurement.

The above methods are two low-key ways to start and to hold on to this dialogue.

The GDPR notice: If the setup is completely anonymous in an online survey tool such as surveymonkey, there is no trace on who has answered what, and in my opinion, you need not be concerned about GDPR. The comments added write on must of course be free from person-related, sensitive information.

Get free, useful tips and tools
that will help you navigate the future
and enhance your leadership already today

Want to know more?
Send me an email
and I’ll get back to you!

Are you looking for
a coach or
a professional mentor?

Curious on what we do?

Take a look at #blochøstergaard on Instagram

Måske er det noget for dig? #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard
Solnedgang over Gladsaxe; udsigt fra blochoestergaard kontoret. #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard
Er dit popcorn poppet? 

At “popcornet er poppet” er et mentalt billede på folk, der har set og oplevet fremtidens arbejde/organisation/lederskab/kultur etc - og har set, at det virker.

Både selve processen at poppe popcorn og det irreversible resultat (et popkorn kan ikke foldes tilbage til en tør majs) er fine beskrivelser for transformerende forandringsledelse: 

Oplevelsen af moderne ledelse er som at poppe popcorn: Du kan ikke af-poppe popcorn. Moderne ledelse er noget man bliver afhængig af :)

Lyt med når @pukfalken og @erikqstergaard i denne episode af "Fremtidens Ledelse To-Go" dykker ned i hvordan det sker, hvordan vores eget “popkorn poppede” og hvordan man kan få andres popkorn til at poppe.

#podcast #blochoestergaard
Hvordan hænger digital transformation, digital modenhed og organisatorisk kultur sammen? Og hvad kan vi bruge den viden til?

Ny podcastepisode ude nu, efter en god lang sommerpause. #podcast #blochøstergaard
“Det er ikke binært, det er nuanceret, hvornår hierarki fungerer, og hvornår netværk og demokrati fungerer. Vi skal blande. Måske skal vi bruge selvstyrende teams nogle steder, mens noget andet skal løses mere struktureret og hierarkisk. Men det handler om tidssvarende ledelsesværktøjer og om at skabe en verden, som alle kan leve i”.

Ovenstående er et citat fra mit indlæg ved Børsen Live  i tirsdags, hvor jeg gav mit bud på hvordan man kan lave en moderne organiseringsform; en organisatorisk model som er beskrevet i min seneste bog "Teal Dots in an Orange World." 

Børsen har lavet en fin opsamling fra dagen, bla. med ovenstående citat - og de har også fanget to andre vigtige pointer: 

(1) At moderne organisationsformer og disruption nu rammer de træge og høj-regulerede brancher (healthcare, industri og uddannelse, fx)

(2) At oplevelsen af moderne ledelse er som at poppe popcorn: "Du kan ikke af-poppe popcorn". Moderne ledelse er noget man bliver afhængig af :)

#blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard #tealdotsinanorangeworld
Jeg havde årets sidste foredrag i dag hos Ledernes KompetenceCenter, om "Den moderne organisation". Det var årets 35. foredrag.

Temaet var fremtidens ledelse, fremtidens organisation - og naturligvis "Teal Dots in an Orange World". Tak til ledernedk for et godt 2019 - og tak til Helle Damsgård for at være tovholder på kurset "Future of Work", som jeg underviser på i 2020. // #tealdotsinanorangeworld #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard blochoestergaard #futureofwork #futureofleadership
Hvad kan kortspil gøre for din organisation? 🃏 Altså, ikke dem til fredagsbaren (dem elsker vi også), men dem du tager med i beslutningslokalet? I dette blogindlæg beskriver @arb.use, hvordan Business Value Poker bruges som værktøj til vores strategimøder i vores organisation. 🛠♣️ _________
#theresponsiveleader #blochoestergaard #modernleadership #responsiveleader #organizing #leadership #futureofwork #futureofleadership #fremtidensledelse #firstleaderrole #businesscards #businessvaluepoker #strategymeeting
Erik snakker. Igen. Denne gang i Herning til HI Messen. Jeg kom der hvert år som barn. Den messe, og Agromek (landbrugsmessen). Vi så på teknologi og automatik og robotter og ventilationsanlæg og computere ... og samlede klistermærker. Det var det samme i år; bare 30 år senere uden klistermærker. // blochoestergaard #futureofwork #futureofleadership #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard
Et af de fedeste tools er en ONA - organisatorisk netværksanalyse. Lyt med i denne podcastepisode, hvor linebloch_ og pukfalken tager dig i hånden!

Repost from blochoestergaard using RepostRegramApp - ONA'en er og bliver et vores yndlings værktøjer. 🛠🙌🏼 Derfor har vi nu også dedikeret en podcastepisode til den. 🎧 Hvis du er nysgerrig på, hvad ONA'en egentlig kan, hvordan du kan spotte forandringsagenter, nøglemedarbejdere og endda se dem, der måske ikke er en del af kulturen, så er det nu, du skal spidse øre. Gå ind i din nærmeste podcastapp, søg på 'Fremtidens Ledelse To-Go', tryk start på episode 34 og læn dig tilbage. Og, som noget nyt kan vi fortælle, at podcasten også er at finde på den nye podcastplatform Podimo. 🙌🏼🥳 Velkommen til podcastverden podimo_dk vi glæder os til at se, hvor det bærer hen. 🤩
Episodens værter er: linebloch_ og pukfalken. 🎙🤓🦠 ______________
#blochoestergaard #ONA #OrganizationalNetworkAnalysis #organizing #organization #futureoforganizations #modernleadership #ledelse #fremtidensledelsetogo #podcast #podimo #podimopodcast
Yay! Bogen The Responsive Leader har vundet bronze i Independent Publisher Book Award 2019. 🎉😃 @erikqstergaard er SÅ glad og stolt af, at nogen har fundet bogen brugbar og værdifuld.
Tillykke til Erik, for at vinde bronze i kategorien “business/careers/sales”. 🥳
#Blochøstergaard #theresponsiveleader #futureofwork #innovation #organization #leadership #change #knowledgesharing #inspire #futureofwork #futureofleadership #enable #futureofwork #leadership #modernleadership #modernorganization #organization #waysofworking
Udvalgte tools og modeller linet op. What’s not to like! #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard #altergodt #workworkwork
Boganbefaling 📖👉🏼 The Fearless Organization af Amy C. Edmondson er en klar anbefaling fra @arb.use og @erikqstergaard. De er enige om, at Amy gør begrebet 'psykologisk sikkerhed' nærværende og håndgribeligt. Hun beskriver konceptet på en simpel og nem måde, har forståelige cases med og bruger research og konkrete eksempler på at understøtte pointerne. En klar anbefaling til både medarbejdere og ledere, som er interesseret i psykologisk tryghed og hvad det betyder for en organisation. 
Stjerner herfra: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ __________________
#blochoestergaard #amyedmondson #thefearlessorganization #psykologisksikkerhed #Psychologicalsafety #organization #organizing #tryghed #arbejdsplads #blochøstergaard  #theresponsiveleader
Der er under 100 dage til @erikqstergaard’s nye bog 'Teal Dots in an Orange World', og nøj hvor vi glæder os. 🎉

Et hurtigt tilbageblik fortæller os, at for 2 år siden sad Erik og @linebloch_ og redigerede på den første bog: 'The Responsive Leader', og selvsamme øvelse for 'Teal Dots in an Orange World' er afsluttet. 📖🥂 Nu begynder næste fase i bogprocessen: Indsamling af anbefalinger og endorsments til bogens cover og udarbejdelse af en markedsføringsplan. 🤓👏🏻#throughback #theresponsiveleader #tealdotsinanorangeworld #blochoestergaard
gurihanstvedt og mig på vej til lederseminar i Jylland, hvor vi faciliterer deres læringsnetværk. Så får man rigtigt snakket sammen i bilen 😃☕️🚗 // #blochoestergaard #futureofwork #blochøstergaard
“Det her er noget af det mest spændende ledergruppe-udviklingsforløb jeg har set!” <- dagens opturs-udbrud fra lederen af det 250 personer store område, vi havde kick-off med i dag. God start på et fedt efterår! #yay! #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard
Starter morgenen med lidt videooptagelse til marketing for Gladsaxe Erhvervskonference, som vi skal være med til at åbne og holde workshop på // #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard #futureofwork #futureoforganizations
Yay! Når min bog ligger fremme og bliver brugt! Yay! // #theresponsiveleader #futureofwork #futureofleadership #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard
Gåhjemmøde i Aalborg om fremtidens medarbejdere // #futureofleadership #futureofwork #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard
Solnedgangen er pæn! #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard
Jeg mødte en i dag, der kunne citere 4-5 konkrete brudstykker og pointer fra vores podcast, “Fremtidens Ledelse to-go”. Det gør mig sååå glad at vi laver noget, som gør indtryk og kan bruges! Find den i iTunes eller din podcast app. Eller på vores hjemmeside. // #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard #futureofwork #futureofleadership #podcast
Nu hvor du har påskeferie ... måske har du lyst til at arbejde sammen med os? Vi hjælper virksomheder med at transformere sig og omfavne en ny virkelighed. Vi søger kolleger til vores klan. Check link i bio. Ansøgningsfrist er 1-maj. // #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard  #futureofleadership #futureofwork