How to write your own health check questions

You are a scrum master and agile coach and would like to create your own health check questions? We give you 5 tips to create crystal clear and sharp questions for your employee survey.

What are the health check criteria?

The health check model represents the development objectives of your team which are used in employee surveys. These objectives can be of three types:

  • Behaviors. For instance “We do what we have promised”
  • States. For instance “Our roles are clear and known from everyone”
  • Experiences “I enjoy working in this team”

1. Use positive statements

Focusing on positive behaviors creates an improvement dynamic. By using negative statements, the team tends to do finger pointing within the team.
Replace the statement “We don’t blame your colleagues” by “We give constructive feedback”. 

2. For behaviors use “we” instead of “I”

Most behaviors are observable within the team. By using the “we”, teams give feedback about each other and then increase the evaluation relevance.
When a person evaluate his own behavior, he has the tendency to reflect with its wished behavior and not the real one.
The “I” perspective is more appropriate for individual experiences like “I enjoy working in this team”.

3. Speak the team language

Be careful of using the same words in the statement as those used by your team. For example you may have to choose between the word “user” or “customer” in your statement. Use the term which is used daily by your team.

4. Be as concrete as possible in your statement

Inspect each word of your evaluated statement and check their abstraction level. For example in the statement “We trust each other”, what does “trust” mean? Do you think that the word “trust” has a common understanding in the team? Prefer asking about concrete behaviors that show that your team is trusting each other, for instance “we speak openly about our mistakes”.

5. Focus on a single statement

Avoid linking works like “and” and “or” in your criteria. If you ask to evaluate two behaviors in one criteria, it makes it much more difficult for a participant to make two evaluations and calculate mentally an average.