How To Effectively Engage Your Team
Team growth represents an exciting prospect in terms of innovation and progress but can also be a challenge for businesses – especially those who are expanding quickly. The more people added to the team, the bigger the mix of individual requirements, preferences, and goals become. Fail to respond to these adequately, and you’ll quickly see employee disengagement begin to set in.
Disengagement can manifest itself in a number of ways – low motivation, poor levels of productivity and drops in staff retention rates all number amongst the symptoms – resulting in reduced business performance. That’s why introducing a program of team engagement is so important.
There are many ways to engage your team – special employee events, wellbeing programs and activities such as team fundraising can all contribute towards a better-engaged team. However, before you initiate any of this, it’s vital that you get the basics right. Before bringing in an updated employee perks package, concentrate on engagement fundamentals. Get these correct, and you stand to benefit from a cohesive group of co-workers all working towards the same goal.
Whatever stage you are at in terms of your team development, here are some useful steps you can implement to help keep them engaged.
#1 Respond To Individual Goals & Requirements
People perform best when they are respected as individuals. Although business can sometimes be all about numbers, it’s crucial to remember that the people under your leadership are not. Every member of your team has individual aspirations, goals and workplace preferences. Having this in mind and reflecting this in your approach to your team is important.
As far as is possible, work with them to develop a personal development path that’s specific to their own goals. Make sure too that you understand their individual requirements – is there a particular area of training that they could benefit from? Could they be supported in any way? Is there an aspect of their role that they don’t like, or could be improved?
Understanding employees on an individual level can make a big difference when trying to engage them effectively.
#2 Be Open About Business Goals
It can be difficult for employees to be fully engaged in their role if they’re not completely clear about what it is they are working towards. Being open and frank with your team about the company’s goals can help to overcome this issue. That means sharing targets and being as transparent as possible about your planned trajectory.
You may encounter some initial resistance amongst your team – some may not share your vision or may not be passionate about the direction your business plans to take. Take this as a positive – you want passionate people who are as enthused about your business as you are – so by providing a clear insight, you can provide a reference point as to who your company is for. Being open about goals also provides employees with a good reference point for how to perform well in their role – if they know what the bigger picture is, it can help them to focus and to prioritize things that will contribute towards achieving that overall goal.
#3 Empower Your Team To Make Decisions
Many business leaders can have a hard time delegating responsibility to their teams – it’s their name on the line, after all. However, this tendency is only self-defeating as it can have negative consequences for your team, and therefore your company’s overall performance. No one likes a boss breathing down their neck and being held on a tight rein means that you will probably stifle your team’s output and creativity.
Not allowing your team to make their own decisions also impacts their confidence – they may feel as though they are not capable of performing to the required standard. This, in turn, can lead to a cycle of self-doubt and lower quality work. Break the cycle by empowering your team to make decisions. Ask for input from your team wherever possible and demonstrate how you have taken their opinions on board. Delegate responsibility for certain projects and tasks. Steadily increase the responsibilities of junior staff members. Draw up clear outlines of decisions that are in their remit, and which should be escalated.
These fundamental methods are all important when trying to grow your team. By enhancing your team’s confidence through empowerment, ensuring your business goals are transparent and treating team members as individuals, you will be able to engage your team and see better business results.
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Source: Startus Magazine
Author: Susan Jackson