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Introduction to the Align tool

Everything you wanted to know about Align

Updated over a week ago

What is Align?

Align is a unique tool that diagnoses team effectiveness or adoption of a new culture and provides a roadmap for improvement. Uncover the hidden, unspoken issues that are holding your team back or how the team feels about the new cultural norms... in minutes, instead of hours.

By leveraging the insights provided by the Align tool, teams can make informed decisions to enhance their productivity and achieve their goals more efficiently.

The Process of an Align

The Align process is structured around three key steps to ensure a thorough understanding and application of the tool's insights within your team

  • Diagnose: Launch your exercise and collect responses

  • Digest: Digest your team's results (optional: Team leaders and HR Partners can book 1:1 time with the Valence Coaching team here)

  • Discuss: Have a Discussion as a team (typically 60-90 minutes long)

Timeline for an Align

Typically, a team would run an Align every 3-6 months to keep track of their effectiveness and encourage healthy, productive conversation amongst the team

To efficiently run an Align exercise, follow this streamlined timeline:

  • Launch Exercise (Day 1): Kick off the Align exercise, setting clear expectations.

  • Team Engagement (Week 1): Team members complete the exercise within this week.

  • Optional Coaching Call (End of Week 1): Schedule if needed to prep for the team discussion.

  • Team Discussion (Week 2): Convene to discuss findings and plan improvement strategies.

  • Habit Formation & Progress Tracking: Post-discussion, establish habits for areas of focus and ensure accountability through regular progress checks.

This compact timeline ensures a focused yet flexible approach, allowing for comprehensive participation and impactful outcomes.


Who else has done this?

We've had over 10,000 teams from hundreds of companies do Align. It is a tried and tested tool with a great track record.

Why do people run Align?

Everyone has their own motivations but common ones are:

  • A desire to improve a team, whether they already perform well or are struggling

  • An offsite or team building activity coming up and lack on clarity how to make it succeed

  • A culture change program wants to engage the whole organization to better adopt the new norms/behaviors

  • A desire to unearth what team members really think isn't working

Will my team think think more or less of me as their manager after doing the activity?

It can be nerve racking to get input from your team and talk about how things are going. But the team will think more highly of you for investing in them, their experience and the team's results. We guarantee they won't think it was a waste. This is the more common response manager's see.

Do team members like it?

This isn't another boring survey where team member input goes into a void. The exercise itself is on a two-by-two quadrant takes just a few minutes to complete. The results are shared with participants and discussed in a debrief, so they know their voice is heard.

Best of all team members are a part of the problem solving process, which means everyone is included in solving the issues the team cares about the most.

What's the risk to me as the person running the exercise?

An overwhelming majority of team managers who've given us feedback think it's a good use of time. Some potential worries are:

  • It's possible that problems will come up which you don't want to talk about. But these problems are real and affecting your team already, this just brings them to the surface so you can solve them. Solving as a group is much more powerful than trying to unilaterally force a solution, or worse, pretending the problem doesn't exist.

  • It's likely that your team members will disagree about some issues. This is a good thing! It creates productive discussion, and when done in a positive forum you can use the disagreements to really narrow down what matters, and define improvements.

  • It's possible your team will score low on some statements and you and others may feel bad about that. Again those low scores already exist in people's minds, and Align surfaces them in a structured way so you can make targeted improvements.

The bottom line is that every team has problems and Align exposes them in a productive and healthy way so your whole team can resolve them.

How do I run an Align?

It's a simple setup similar to any survey and accompanying team discussion you'd do manually. Here's a guide to get you started.

  1. Invite your colleagues to complete the exercise

  2. Close and send everyone the results

  3. Discuss the results to agree on priorities and come up with solutions

  4. Commit to improved ways of working and track progress over time

Can I get help throughout the process?

Yes, we wouldn't leave you hanging. We also have team effectiveness experts who can hop on a call with you to plan your use case or interpret results together. We also have in-app advice and step-by-step guidance as well as tips and documents to prepare for and run the conversation.

What's the ideal team size for Align?

Between 4 and 20 people is ideal. You can do it with a larger group, but we recommend breaking the conversation into sub-groups if applicable.

How long does it take to set up the exercise?

You can set it up in under 5 minutes (and it's really easy!).

How long does it take for my teammates to complete the exercise?

It usually takes around 5 minutes to complete the exercise.

Are the responses anonymous?

Yes. We only collect email addresses to confirm completion of the exercise, and provide a custom report to each participant.

Why do you ask for my name and email if the responses are anonymous?

We do this so we can send you the results and so you can see how your responses compare to those of your colleagues.

How do I invite my colleagues?

When you set up the exercise, you’ll be prompted to invite people either via email or by sharing a link with them. We recommend inviting by email so we can notify you when all teammates have completed the exercise. Inviting by email also sends automated reminders to anyone who does not complete with the first invite.

How are the results calculated? (What does the red-yellow-green categorization mean?)

If you were wondering how the statements are categorized, see the image below describing how

Red: Statements that tend to be important and not going well (top left quadrant)

Yellow: Statements which have mixed opinions, or no real indication of how well it is going

Green: Statements that are going well, typically of higher importance to the team (Right side of the quadrants)

How much time should I set aside for the conversation?

1.5-2 hours is ideal. We've had teams discuss Team Foundations for over 3 hours and wish they had more time!

How do I start?

Excellent question! Click here to set up Align in less than 5 minutes. If you are already in the app, you will see 'Align' on the left side navigation menu.

Have other questions?

Ask us directly using the chat button in the bottom right of the app or email . We'd love to hear from you!

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