Team Building2024-03-19

Running Health & Well-Being Check For High-Performing Engineering Teams  

Happy developers are productive developers. But achieving peak performance requires more than daily tasks—it demands regular well-being check-ups. Discover how integrating these check-ups into your team's routine can propel performance to new heights.
Tech team health & well-being checkup

Engineering teams thrive on their ability to innovate, and keep delivering on demands with limited resources. But what fuels that innovation? Happy, healthy, and well-supported developers. 

Although globally organizations have improved their investments in employee health and well-being initiatives, they still lack a data-driven approach to check in with their team. The human cost of ignoring developer health & well-being is too high to calibrate: An engaged, and happy workforce ups overall productivity by 20% and saves $320 billion annually that companies are essentially losing to burnout blues as of now.

Besides, engineering managers too often struggle with granular visibility into team dynamics, developer happiness, and time spent in meetings vs time spent in actually coding, and grooming. 

This creates a vicious cycle of high attrition, low time spent in coding, knowledge loss, and developer burnout. It’s just not an engineering manager’s problem, it's a business problem. Before your team hits critical mass burnout and a dwindling bottom line, let's shift the narrative. 

Hatica’s data-informed well-being platform steps in as your partner in running daily team health checks and combat burnout, improve people's health, and identify early signs of productivity loss. 

What Is a Team Health & Well-Being Check?

Team health check is a power tool for engineering managers to understand the impact of engineering activities on developer health. It's like a regular checkup for your engineering team, helping identify strengths, red flags bothering your developer’s well-being, and areas for improvement. 

This could include measuring active coding time, communication hours, collaboration, morale, trust, workload, decision-making, and overall effectiveness. The idea of running a health & well-being check is to identify burnout trends, recognize their engineering work, understand the impact of workload, and how happy, and satisfied they are with the current workflow. 

Why Should You Do Team Health Checks?

Just like you wouldn't neglect your physical health, regular team health checks are essential for ensuring your team is functioning at its best. Here are some reasons to run a health check with your engineering team: 

  • Early detection of stress signs like burnout, low coding hours, and workload imbalance before they escalate into major productivity regressions.
  • Regular health checks are a platform for constructive feedback, fostering team cohesion and appreciation. This translates to a more engaged workforce, willing to go the extra mile and collaborate without hurdles. 
  • Unhappy developers often jump ship. Team health checks help you identify and address issues that contribute to low morale and dissatisfaction so you can work towards reducing talent churn and retaining your valuable engineers.
  • Team health checks go beyond team-level assessments. They also provide valuable feedback for your IC’s growth and development, and help you to run more personalized and data-driven 1:1s. This leads to more well-rounded and future-proof engineers. 
  • Improve developer experience by capturing the satisfaction index of developers and how work affects their health and well-being, and the team culture impacts individual productivity.

Running an Engineering Team Health & Well-Being Checkup With Hatica

Hatica’s engineering management platform offers factual operational visibility into your engineering teams, processes, and technology, and measures the progress of engineering work using data-rich metrics like coding activity, code review durations, deployment frequency, incident response times, meeting time, etc. 

Today, 600+ global engineering teams are deploying Hatica as their go-to tool to make data-driven decisions that create a supportive, productive, and healthy development environment without compromising on business alignment, software delivery, or quality. 

Here’s how we are helping engineering leaders run regular health and well-being checks: 

1. Protect Focus Time of Developers

From Slack pings to commit notifications, the constant barrage of interruptions disrupts focus and productivity. Did we tell you a developer spends 30 minutes before finding their focus streak back? Imagine the opportunity cost (both human and capital) everytime a dev’s focus is disturbed, and they have to switch from writing a codebase to attending a meeting, or participating in daily standups

Hatica helps you give focus and support to your developers so they have enough time on their hand to code and groom. Our maker time metrics protects deep work hours of engineers by reserving 120 minutes of focus slots so they can run code, build apps without adopting the “always on” culture. 

Maker Time

A low maker time coupled with low coding time means your dev is spending too much time outside of building, and delivering high-quality software, and more on unwarranted tasks like interview, or incident management. 

Coding Days

Analyzing maker time will help EMs to streamline workload, give your devs more time to code, and help them produce quality work. One of our customers, Amenify, is a living proof of how teams armed with actionable data can help remote engineering teams have sufficient focus slots to do productive work. With Hatica, the team achieved a 55% uptick in maker time, while boosting productivity, and streamlining operations. 

2. Fight Meeting Creep & Reduce Unproductive Meetings 

Two meeting-free days a week, and 30% less unproductive meetings. 

These aren’t just numbers but the real-time impact Hatica has on engineering teams while they optimize meeting overload, and cull context switching. 

Hatica helps teams understand how much time they spent on meetings and the breakdown of time and efforts invested per meetup so EMs can then make data-driven decisions about meeting frequency, duration, and participants.

Meeting Hours

Moreover, our engineering management platform helps in reducing unproductive meetings by: 

  • Visualizing engineering progress, and developer contributors to the overall development lifecycle
  • Reduce the need of daily, undocumented synchronous standups using powerful, and automated async standups mindful of remote teams focus slots, and IC’s geographies. Hatica’s async standups keep teams focused & aligned by ditching ineffective, boring standups, tailored discussion, and minimal interruptions. Here is a snapshot from Hatica’s async standups that help teams document, and visualize their progress without breaking flow state or deep work hours: 
Async check-ins using Hatica Check-ins
  • Run meaningful 1:1s that celebrate your engineering team’s efforts, balance investments, and work allocation, while staying on top of all your project deliverables
  • Optimize interview load, and time spent in incident management 
  • Consolidate important meetings, configure their time, and participants based on communication activity metrics.

3. Effort & Workload Management 

Skewed workload is the precursor to unhappy, and burntout developers, and can stifle team well-being, productivity, and project success. But how do you ensure everyone's pulling their weight without micromanaging or creating an unsustainable environment? 

Hatica helps EMs and their ICs have data-backed discussions on workload by tracking and analyzing their development efforts on roadmap vs non-core tasks, and ensuring their effort aligns with business goals, and doesn't get wasted.

Issues Resolved Per Type

Hatica’s data-driven approach helps you quantify your IC’s workload: 

  • Estimate efforts for new tasks and features required by each contributor to identify potential imbalances and ensure fair distribution
  • Track and analyze roadblocks encountered by developers, like waiting for approvals, lagging submitter time, or bug fixes. Proactively address these bottlenecks to keep work flowing smoothly. 
  • Identify slowdowns in code review processes that might impact individual workloads and team progress. Optimize review schedules and communication to maintain flow.
  • Project workload between core (coding, reviews) and non-core tasks (interview, and infrastructure maintenance) using historical data, project scope, and current sprint progress
  • Monitor individual workloads and identify situations where developers might be at risk of burnout using the quiet days metric. The higher the quiet days, the more skewed their workload, and higher time spent outside of work to deliver on projects. 
Quiet Days for Developers

The Future of Engineering Work: Developer Well-Being

Investing in your engineering team's well-being isn't just a feel-good initiative, it's a strategic investment with a clear ROI. By leveraging Hatica's engineering management platform, you can move beyond guesswork and make data-driven decisions that nurture a thriving culture where developers feel valued, empowered, and equipped to do their best work. 

Tech team health & well-being checks are not a one-and-done solution; they're an ongoing process for continuous improvement. By regularly assessing your team's health and implementing data-driven action plans, you can create a culture of iterative improvement, where your team constantly strives for excellence and adapts to changing technical landscapes and project requirements.

With Hatica, global engineering teams are already able to cull meeting creep by 30%, and even saw a 55% improvement in focus time availability. 

Don't wait until burnout strikes. Take the first step towards a happier, healthier, and more productive team today. Schedule your free demo with Hatica and discover how we can help you take care of your developer’s health and well-being.

Remember, happy developers are productive developers, and Hatica is your partner in making that happen.

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Table of Contents
  • What Is a Team Health & Well-Being Check?
  • Why Should You Do Team Health Checks?
  • Running an Engineering Team Health & Well-Being Checkup With Hatica
  • 1. Protect Focus Time of Developers
  • 2. Fight Meeting Creep & Reduce Unproductive Meetings 
  • 3. Effort & Workload Management 
  • The Future of Engineering Work: Developer Well-Being

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Overview dashboard from Hatica