Lesson 2: Keeping your (hybrid) team engaged

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Video Transcript

Welcome back to the second lesson of your free Retrospective training.

After this training, you are able to keep facilitating engaging Retrospectives, even when doing them every week, and that's for teams that work from the office, hybrid or remote.

You have already finished lesson one, so now let's start building on what you learned in this lesson:
Keeping your hybrid team engaged.

In this video, we will use one of the templates of my paid Retrospective course. The template is called Atomic Habits Retrospectives, which is a great retrospective if you and your team want to get better at remote and hybrid teamwork.

Using that template, we will unpack the secret of keeping a highly engaged team.

So, if you've not already done so, make a copy of the template by clicking the button below this video, and once you have the template open in Miro, click the template's name in the top-left corner, and then the duplicate button.

This allows you to save the Retrospective template to your own Miro account.

Don't worry if you don't have a Miro account yet, because you can create one for free and save up to three active Miro boards active.

The Atomic Habits template is structured using my seven steps of effective retrospectives, which you can see all seven if you zoom out. If you want to learn more about the seven steps, then have a look at my Run Retrospectives like a Pro course, but for now, we're only going to focus on steps four and five. You might recognize these steps from the book Agile Retrospectives, but if not, don't worry because the template's structure will help you.

Remember from the first lesson that retrospectives are a proven way to build healthy team habits and break bad ones. Running frequent retrospectives allows you and your team to become one percent better daily.

Do that for a year, and at the end of the year, everyone from your team will have improved thirty-seven times. Just imagine the things you are to do as a team then.

The one percent mindset comes from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, in which he explains an easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones. Retrospectives are kinda like Atomic Habits, but then for your whole team.

That's why I created this specific template and made a retrospective workshop out of the book.

Figuring out the magic of this template allows you to unpack and really understand the secret of keeping your team highly engaged.

We will be using a scenario where a hybrid team struggles to work together productively and feel connected when not working from the same place.

Let's zoom in on the exercises of step 4, which is to gather data and generate insights.

In the first exercise, you and your team can discuss the values you find important. This is a great way to get everyone on the same page and feel more connected as a team. It encourages team trust and communication and creates a sense of team identity. Even if you've already created team values before, it can be really powerful to revisit them and see if they still reflect what's important to you as a team.

The second exercise is about brainstorming the habits that you want to build and the habits you want to break together as a team.

This is a great way to get everyone's opinion on what's going well and what could be improved.

For the scenario where a team is struggling with hybrid work issues, habits that you want to build could be things like "walk 10.000 steps per day" or "work together more asynchronously".

And habits that you want to break could be things like "not being able to focus when working from home" or " having back-to-back meetings".

The third exercise is about mapping out the team's systems that they want to improve. By focusing more on improving the team's systems instead of the team's goals, your team can become more adaptable, agile, and resilient in the long run.

For the scenario where a team is struggling with hybrid work issues, systems that you want to improve could be things like "the way we communicate with each other" or "how we store our knowledge".

For all three exercises, you want to allow your team to first write down ideas for themselves before talking about them. This allows everyone in the team to have a voice and prevents team members from being too influenced by each other.

Then, you can go around the room and have everyone share one or two of their ideas. Then you want to do a quick voting session in silence, using the red votes next to the exercise because we will need the winners for the next part of the retro.

Now that we've gathered all this data and generated these insights, it's time to decide what to do about it in the next step.

Four Laws of Behaviour Change

The Four Laws of Behaviour change is one of the key lesson from the Atomic Habits book. If you want to build new habits, you can use the four laws to make lasting change. Law one is to make it obvious, law two is to make it attractive, law three is to make it easy, and law four is to make it satisfying.

In this exercise, you will use the Four Laws of Behaviour Change to turn your team's habits into actions.

This is a great way to get everyone on board with the changes you want to make and to make sure that the changes stick.

In the first two boxes, you want to copy the habit that got the most votes in the previous steps and the system you want to focus on to build that habit.

Then in the next four boxes, the team can brainstorm ideas to make it really obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying to make that habit.

Then you can do the same as before by highlighting one or two notes per team member before a silent vote session.

For the scenario where a team is struggling with hybrid work issues, actions to take could be "have templates" or "make it easy to search in our knowledge base".

By taking action on the things you've discussed as a team, you will start seeing real results, and team productivity will improve.

The secret

Now, I promised you we would unpack the secret of keeping your team engaged by looking at this template. And the secret to keeping a team engaged actually is to get your team invested in the outcome.

When team members are invested in the outcome, and when it aligns with their personal goals and motivation, they are more likely to be engaged in the retrospective process.

I've found over the years that the best way to get team members invested in the outcome, is to create an environment in the retrospective where they feel safe enough to really share what's on their minds. This way, you can create a visual of what the team wants and needs, which helps them create clarity and make it easier to find agreement on what actions to take.

If team members don't feel safe enough to share, then you're not going to get an accurate picture of what the team wants, and it'll be harder to find agreement.

So that's the secret: create an environment for your team where they feel invested in the outcome.

It doesn't matter where a team works from an office or anywhere else. The only thing that matters to feel really engaged as a team is feeling a lot of trust and investment in the outcome.


That's it for this lesson. In this lesson, you learned how to build healthy hybrid team habits with your team and that the secret to keeping teams engaged is to get team members invested in the outcome.

In the next lesson, you'll learn team-building exercises that can be used to promote strong accountability in your team.

See you there!

Do you want to master Retrospectives?

Then check out my full Retrospectives course.