We get it. Work can sometimes be a drag. A grueling daily commute coupled with boring meetings and a seemingly endless stream of deadlines can easily make you feel like every day is the same. The general monotony can stifle productivity and creativity, reflecting negatively on not only personal, but overall team performance. But strong team engagement can remedy sluggish collaboration. So while employee engagement can fluctuate based on a number of factors, much of that engagement comes down to your ability to get involved with employees on a day-to-day basis.
Michael Stahl, CMO at HealthMarkets, states:
"I have found that too often, executives may be good on ‘their floor’ with other executives, but are less present and engaged with the individuals and teams involved in the nitty gritty work. I think it is important for people to feel like you are beside them and not over them."
No matter where you stand on the corporate ladder, check out some of the best team engagement tips from successful leaders that you can easily incorporate into your daily operations to keep you and your team going strong.
Being aware of your own behavior at work, especially around your employees, is a critical leadership skill. Conscious Leadership Expert, Tom Eddintgon explains:
“Self-awareness and self-mastery are critical for leaders to understand how they show up in their environment. Which behaviors are they exhibiting that are helpful and effective? Which behaviors are actually derailing their efficacy as a leader? Such inquiries require an openness to receive genuine feedback from team members.”
If you know you struggle to engage with your team, this is a great first step in discovering why that happens and how you can improve it. Once aware, you can take steps to being more involved and getting over the hurdles that are keeping you from doing that right now.
Get to Know Their Strengths
If you know your team’s strengths, you can engage more effectively with them. That’s why Matt Edstrom, CMO of GoodLife Home Loans says this is important for leaders:
“I’ve found the best way to keep employees engaged is to consistently demonstrate a sense of care… As a leader, take notes of each employee's strengths and monitor their growth in specific areas.”
Engaging with team members individually and as a group allows you to get a feel for their strengths as an employee and a teammate. This will enable you to better delegate and provide opportunities for growth. When you know what everyone is good at, you can play to those strengths and ensure the work they’re doing is keeping them engaged.
Ask for Feedback
Requesting feedback from employees with an employee engagement survey improves engagement and satisfaction in two ways. First and foremost, it allows you to learn about what your employees need, and how you can keep their interests central to their role. Secondly, if employees know you regularly ask for feedback, they are more likely to feel appreciated and that their position is important to the company. In doing so, employees are more likely to provide accurate feedback when requested.
As a leader, being “reviewed” like this may be challenging, so Jeff Arnett, Founder of Arnett Designs says:
“Be open to employee feedback. Employee feedback is very important to make sure you are creating a better environment for people to work at.”
Make employee surveys a regular part of your team culture to get the most from this simple strategy.
Learn the Communication Style of Your Team
Communication is essential to getting your team engaged, but have you considered how you communicate with them? There are many ways to connect with your team members, whether you meet one-on-one or send out regular team emails. However, Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com has found that learning individual communication preferences has a big impact on engaging your team. She says:
"I am a business owner who is able to engage with my team members through a wide range of communication avenues. Some employees like to meet with me privately for a discussion, while others are happy to respond to a group email chain. I make mental notes of how my team members prefer to be engaged with because no two members communicate alike.”
To help foster good relationships with each team member, use a collaboration app like Spike. The conversational nature of their emails and easy-to-use Groups makes keeping in touch not only less formal and stuffy, but fun and efficient. With so many productivity-enhancing tools, there’s a perfect communication fit for everyone. Easily create and keep a document that details everyone’s preferences and reference it at a moments notice with their detailed attachment preview, or schedule big announcements or birthday wishes with their Send Later feature.
Set and Share a Clear Vision
A clear vision unites your team and gives employees something to connect with, which is important for keeping them engaged with their work. What’s more, keep employees excited about goals and the direction of the company with incentives like fun retreats or weekly happy hours when achievements are made. Carlos Castelán, Managing Director of The Navio Group explains:
“Reinforcing the vision and goals through regular communication, both as a team and one-to-one, helps employees remember how their work furthers the organizations mission and increases engagement by making the work feel meaningful. Communicating a clear vision and goals to employees allows them to understand how their work fits into a bigger picture and that they’re making tangible progress along the way.”
Regular team meetings are a simple way to keep everyone united on team goals and sure of their value to the company – but be sure to spice it up a bit and change up dull meetings with productivity boosting coffee meetings.
Team engagement starts with you. If you struggle to engage with your team, they’ll struggle to stay engaged on a daily basis. Use these strategies to get on track and keep your employees excited about their work and see a positive change in office morale and performance.