SWOT stands for Strengths, Working on, Opportunities and Take it away.

A performance SWOT is a great way to help your staff understand where they’re doing well and where they need to improve.

It helps your team reflect on how they’re going and gives them a sense of accomplishment in their work.

You can run this activity for your team or ask staff to do it individually.

You may like to run this every 3 or 6 months to keep track of your team’s wellbeing. Or when your team has done a big piece of work or project.

    60 mins
    3 or more
    Workloads and performance

What you’ll need


If you’re together physically, you’ll need:

  • a blank wall or board
  • post-it notes
  • sticky dots


If your team is working remotely, use an online tool.

When you choose a tool, think if anyone in your team has accessibility needs and that they’ll be able to easily use it.

Some free tools you can use are:

But this is just a list of examples. There are a lot of tools.

Scheduling the session

Set up your meeting at a time where you’ll get the best results.

This means thinking about the diverse needs of each of your team members.

Think of things like:

  • Do some people work better earlier or later in the day?
  • Does anyone have kids or caring responsibilities that mean they need to start late or leave early?
  • Is there a time to avoid due to other work commitments?

How to run the activity

This a rough schedule of how you can run the session.

The key thing is to set a timer for each section of your session and stick to each time.

When people have a limited time to think, they’ll focus on the things that matter to them the most.

Step 1: set up your workspace

Divide up your workspace into four areas:

  1. Strengths
  2. (things to keep) Working on
  3. Opportunities
  4. Take it away

Step 2: brainstorm ideas

Set a timer for 15 minutes.

Tell each person what they should reflect on for each area:

Area What to reflect on

·     What are you good at without help?

·     What do others seek you out for help with?

·     What do you teach others in your team?

(things to keep) Working on

·     What do you need to keep working on?

·     What are some things you’re not confident with?

·     What do you ask others for help with a lot?


·     What is something you’ve done for the first time and think you could keep doing?

·     What’s something new you learnt that you want to learn more about?

·     What’s a skill or area you want to improve?

Take it away

·     What are some things you don’t enjoy in your job or in the project you worked on?

·     What would you like to do less of in your work?

In each of the four areas, ask each person to write down one idea per post-it note.

There’s no limit to how many ideas everyone can write down.

Give your team a further 5 minutes to identify and rank their top 3 items in each quadrant.

Step 3: match your team’s strengths and things to keep working on

Set a timer for 10 minutes.

Ask each person to present their top 3 strengths.

As they’re presenting, ask others to look at their top 3 things under ‘things to keep working on’.

When they think they have a match with someone’s strength with their ‘things to keep working on’, put the 2 ideas together.

This identifies a possible peer-to-peer learning opportunity in the team.

Step 4: match your team’s opportunities and take it away

Set a timer for 10 minutes.

Ask each person to present their top 3 opportunities.

As they’re presenting, ask others to look at their top 3 things under ‘take it away’.

When they think they have a match with someone’s opportunity with their ‘take it away’, put the two ideas together.

This identifies different ways to allocate work, by looking at what some people like doing versus what someone people don’t like doing.

Step 5: work out a plan

Have each person work out what they want to do with their matches.

They could set up a time to do some co-learning.

Or on the next big project, you can make sure you don’t give a certain task to someone.

Decide as a team when you’ll run a session like this again.