Facilitator Guide

Facilitator Guide

Rising Team gives you everything you need to run transformative team-building sessions. Each session will cover one topic and include training for you and a fun, interactive experience for your team. Equally effective for in-person, remote, or hybrid teams, our software does the work of a professional facilitator.

More than 90% of our users agree or strongly agree they learn something valuable, feel more connected, and believe they’ll work more effectively together as a team after the very first session. In a world where nearly half of all employees are actively thinking about leaving their job in the next 3 to 6 months, Rising Team helps you address the human issues underlying this trend: helping people feel valued, giving people a sense of belonging, and building trust and care among teammates.

Getting set up as a team lead

Accept your invite

Look for an email from hello@risingteam.com titled "Welcome to Rising Team!" and click on the link to create an account.

Toggle between multiple teams if applicable

If you are using Rising Team with your own manager in addition to your own team members, you'll need to use the team switcher located at the top of the screen next to your initials in order to toggle between the two views. If your Rising Team home page looks empty when you log in, it's likely because you're in a different team view.

Get help

We're easy to reach, and we're here to help! Email us any questions at hello@risingteam.com or join our private Slack community that's built for managers using Rising Team.

Running your first session

Choose your first kit

Click on the Kits tab and you'll see a list of kit topics. The kits are in the order we recommend, starting with foundational topics like Psychological Safety and building from there. You have access to all the available kits up front in case one topic feels like a pressing need for your team. For instance, if your company recently ran an engagement survey and found areas that are low, you can choose kits that tie to those specific areas of engagement. If you are using Rising Team as part of a broader company program, then your HR or leadership team may have a certain order they want you to use for the kits.

Schedule your first kit

Identify a two-hour block that could work for you and your team. We recommend two hours, although smaller teams may need less time. Kits can be done in-person, remote, or hybrid. Once you have a date in mind, click the kit and enter the date under the section titled "Pick a date and time" and then "Add to calendar."

Note that while our calendar invite includes the links to the session, it will not automatically be sent to your team, so be sure to add your team members and a video link or conference room to the calendar invite. Consider inviting anyone involved in your team where you are invested in the working relationship, up to 10 people. This might include direct reports and cross-functional partners, or “dotted line” reports.

Prep to facilitate the kit

So that you're not going in blind, we recommend taking time to prep for each kit. On the kit homepage, you'll see sections titled "Learn about the theme" and "Give it a test run" that help you get up to speed on the topic. Read or listen to training articles or watch a brief video that previews how this session will flow. It's even shorter if you watch it at 1.5x or 2x speed! Overall, this prep should take around 30 minutes to complete. The shorter Connection Boost kits require only five minutes or so of prep time.

If you'd like to share info about the kit with your team before the session, the first of our three training articles is a good option. Hit the Share button at the top of the article for a shareable URL. Consider this optional!

Follow the prompts

When the day arrives for your session, log in to Rising Team, visit the kit homepage and click the orange "Start session" button. Share the session URL and code with your team, and allow time for everyone to get set up. You'll find an on-theme song to play while you are waiting for people to join! From there, simply follow the prompts on screen all the way through to the end. Your team should also click the orange “next” buttons to stay on the same page as you. Look for the gray "Facilitator tips" boxes throughout for our advice on how to make things go smoothly.

Keep an eye on time

For screens with an interactive exercise, utilize the countdown timer to stay on time. If something arises, you can pause or re-set the countdown timer. The countdown timers are only a suggestion; you are welcome to spend as much or as little time on each screen as you see fit. You can also use the session timer at the top of the page to see how many minutes you are running ahead or behind (based on a two-hour window) so you can pace things accordingly.

Help your team access the kit

If someone joins a session late, they can still catch up by using the same link and code you shared with the team, and clicking the next button until they are on the same page as the rest of the team. 

If you have a new team member or someone missed the session altogether, you can invite them to catch up on exercises they missed. First, go to the Account tab and “Invite new member” if they haven’t yet attended a session. Then go to the Team tab and click “Send invite” under their name, next to the exercise you want them to take.

Making the most of the experience

Revisit team results

You can access the main exercise results for each person on your team anytime via the Team tab. Consider using them as reference when coaching your team members later on.

See anonymized session reports

Each kit will have a step for team members to share their reflections and action items, as well as fill out a required post-session feedback survey so you can see what people thought. After your session is completed, we'll email you a link to a report that contains those responses, as well as each person's results from the session's activity. These responses are included at an anonymous level in the Reports tab, which is shared with your company admin, if applicable.

Integrate the learnings

After each session, you'll receive a series of three emails from us once a week with leadership tips designed to help you put kit learnings into action and incorporate new behaviors into your routine. After the session is over, you may also find it helpful to re-read the third training article from the section titled "Learn about the theme," as it contains tips to continue building on what you learned. We also encourage you to discuss each session with your team members in 1-on-1s and ask for additional thoughts or feedback.

Share and update your results anytime

If there's someone who might benefit from seeing your Rising Team exercise results (say, your User Manual or Talents Profile) you can share those via the Team tab after a kit is done. Select your name from the drop-down menu and you'll see a Share button with a unique link that anyone can view. You can also update your exercise results anytime from the same page. You may want to ask your team to do so over time, as attitudes and preferences do change.

Alternate kits with connection boosts

In addition to the Learning Kits, we also offer Connection Boosts which you'll find on the Kits tab. Connection Boosts work the same as a learning kit, only with less time commitment and more focus just on team bonding. We recommend alternating these with the Learning Kits, and aim to do one or the other once every six weeks.

Becoming an excellent facilitator

Putting yourself out there to lead a workshop with your team can feel nerve-wracking for even the most confident and capable of leaders. If the idea of facilitating makes you uncomfortable, take heart knowing that Rising Team is going to make it extremely easy! Just follow the steps in each kit and it's plug-and-play, from icebreakers to ground rules to discussion prompts. 

You can trust that by going through these motions you're actively practicing the leadership skills that research shows leads to happier and more engaged teams. If you already have lots of facilitation experience, Rising Team is flexible enough for you to make adjustments and lead the sessions using your own instincts and expertise.

Here are a few big-picture things to keep in mind when facilitating a Rising Team session:

  1. Model the behavior you want to see: People on your team will take their cues from your own attitude towards this new experience. If you're excited, they'll be excited. It's easy to feel rushed or cynical, but projecting this will make it harder for people to open up. Some may arrive at the session with a sense of doubt about taking time for team bonding. Exude a sense that it's worth your time (which it is!) and that you are eager to learn, connect, and participate with an open mind.
  2. Stay present and flexible: When you start a Rising Team session, each step will be laid out with a countdown timer. You can follow this path exactly, or you can adjust based on how your team responds. For example, if one step elicits a deeper conversation, ignore the timer and shorten a later section to make up the time. Some steps will have suggested discussion prompts; if those aren't sparking a good conversation, ask your own questions. No matter how you improvise, the kit structure ensures it will be a good experience for your team.
  3. Be consistent: We recommend hosting a two-hour Rising Team session with your team every six weeks. It might feel impossible to make the time, but think about it this way: that equates to only 1% of your working hours for the year. If managers can't spend 1% of their time on team-building, it's no surprise the data shows employees don't feel valued or a sense of belonging at work. Teams that did at least three Rising Team sessions saw a lift in nearly all team engagement metrics, including intent to stay at their company and how much they feel appreciated. Being consistent matters, and Rising Team gives you an easy structure to do that.

With each kit you facilitate, you are learning a new leadership skill by doing. That said, you don't always have to serve as the facilitator. You can rotate this role to any person on the team (or even another person like an HR partner) by changing who is listed as the Team Lead on your Account tab. Some people rotate who facilitates in order to give more people on the team the experience of leading a session.

For account admins

Use the Admin tab

If you manage the Rising Team access for multiple teams, you'll have an Admin tab where you can see a snapshot in table format of all the teams in use, invite new team leads (or change or remove them), and view or change the team members working with each team lead. You can also add other people as account admins and view or edit your billing information from this tab.

Use Rising Team with your own team

If you plan to run Rising Team sessions with your own team, you'll need to be added as a team lead in addition to serving as the account admin.

See anonymized session reports

After team leads at your company start using Rising Team, you'll be able to see summary reports by team and by kit. To respect the privacy of what people share, individual responses are not associated with a name. The Reports tab can provide you with helpful insights around people's workplace preferences on a team-by-team level. Team leads also have access to the Reports tab for their team.

See anonymized engagement reports

We offer an engagement survey feature to track impact over time. It includes 14 standard employee engagement questions, and also calculates an employee Net Promoter Score. As an account admin, you have access to see anonymized results via the Reports tab in real-time.

Add teams to your account

Visit your Admin tab to add new teams to your account anytime, up to the number of teams your subscription covers. If you need to purchase access for more teams there is a link from the Admin tab to buy more.

Set up the option for team layers

If you have two or more layers of teams using Rising Team together (managers of managers), we can set up the ability for those managers to review the anonymized session reports of the full department they oversee. To request this set up, email us at hello@risingteam.com.

Stay tuned for other admin tools

We plan to offer additional tools for company admins that are not available today, including a usage report of activity levels among teams so you can see who is more or less engaged with Rising Team over time.