Years of working in a corporate setting have enlightened me to many experiences. One of the best lessons I learned as a manager is that employee engagement is highest in a productive work environment. A happy and well-organized team is one that will excel. If you’re in charge of a project at work, one of your most important priorities is to make sure your team is going to get along and get things done effectively.
Activate these LEADERSHIP STRATEGIES to build a strong team and increase employee engagement.
- GET TO KNOW YOUR TEAM MEMBERS
Take the time to really learn about the projects they are passionate about and what are they good at. You’ll find that when you’re looking to get the best results from your team, you need to know what they excel in. This can help you figure out ways to capitalize on their talents and the best assignments to get maximum results from their performance. Scheduled “closed door” meetings can be intimidating to others. Instead, invite them for a walk to cafeteria for an afternoon beverage and learn about parts of an assignment that motivates them. Also, don’t shy away from engaging in conversations about their children, pet or an obsession with a particular celebrity they have plastered on their cubicle way. Individuals performance better when they feel that their managers and colleagues care their entire well-being.
- KEEP EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE
One reason good teams fall apart is that some members have information others do not or some members feel unequal to others. As a change management associate, I held the responsibility of informing teams during a time of transition as my organization reinvented its operating model. I often found the greatest level of frustration with employees during the reorganization was centered on communication. Individuals and groups that lacked information associated with the change experienced lower productivity and greater disconnection with organizational or team goals. Remember that keeping your team briefed is an extremely important part of being a good team leader. It’s not only important to keep everyone up to date with available information, it’s also important to let them know the “why”.
- DON’T FORCE CONTRASTING PERSONALITIES TO WORK TOGETHER
According to the CCP Human Capital Report, the primary cause of workplace conflict is personality clashes and workplace egos. Therefore, it’s not surprising that you’ll have two people on your team who aren’t going to get along. That’s okay. Your team doesn’t have to be a second family. Trying to force harmony, without acknowledging the conflict, will cause more trouble in the long run! Emphasize respect as a professional goal regardless of disputes. And armed with the knowledge of the personalities on your team, you’ll be alerted to potential “flashpoints” or situations that may ignite disparity. Implement effective methods of resolution for each individual, based on their needs and styles. As a leader it’s imperative that you avoid taking sides. Act swiftly to resolve conflicts in order to minimize disruption.
- DON’T LET BAD APPLES HOLD THE TEAM BACK
It’s almost inevitable that you’ll have a member of your team who thinks they can sit back and let the rest of the group do all the work. Or a colleague that consistently misses deadlines, is late for meetings, unprepared or discourteous to others. If you find yourself in this predicament, you must take action. An enlightening study by found that a single negative employee can literally cause a 30 to 40 percent drop in a team’s overall performance. Other reports not only highlight the affects on group productivity but also the financial and morality implications of toxic employee behaviors. If, after discussing the issue with the employee, they still refuse to pull their weight, remove them from the team. Reassign them to more manageable tasks as you consider the impacts of their unproductive behaviors. As the team’s leader, you may need to take on the extra work yourself, but at least it’s getting done and your team will appreciate and respect your efforts.
- SHOW RESPECT FOR TEAM MEMBER’S ABILITIES
One of the most important things a team leader can do is to stand back and let talented people work. When you’re constantly hovering over their shoulder, you’re essentially saying that you don’t trust them to do their job. Have faith in your team! If they say they’ll deliver, make sure you respect their promise unless you have a justifiable reason to doubt them. Remember, if members of your team are already working hard there’s no reason to crack the whip on them.
- RECOGNIZE AND REWARD TEAM MEMBERS
Employee engagement, productivity, and customer service are about 14% better in those organizations where recognition occurs. Employee insights reveal that praise and commendation from managers is a top motivator for performance, beating out other non-cash and financial incentives. Show your team how much you appreciate their efforts. Therefore, whether you take your team out to lunch or something as simple as letting everyone out a little early, rewarding your team can go a long way towards making them more productive.
Above all, don’t lose sight of how you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes. Keeping those feelings, along with these tips, in mind will create a fun and team oriented atmosphere for everyone involved. And it will enhance your ability to lead effectively, thereby increasing your success as well.
Do you agree with these insights? If you struggle with the confidence to deal with challenging situations check out my Free 5-Day Confidence Mastery eCourse Break the Chains by clicking on the link.