You thought you’d heard the last word on employee engagement, right? Wrong! Because it’s so important to your organization’s success (and your personal success), we’re going to expand on the keys to fostering engagement among your workforce, starting with team building.
Volumes have been written on team building, but you can save yourself a lot of time by following these few simple pointers:
Know your team members. More specifically, know their strengths. This applies primarily to team leaders, but take everyone’s talents into account. Similar personalities keep everyone singing from the same hymn book. Add a little multi-part harmony by introducing people with complementary strengths – for instance, a creative group can benefit from someone with a more analytical style.
Now, once you’ve formed those winning teams, lay a few basic ground rules for leaders:
Set clear, achievable goals. You’d be surprised how many times this gets overlooked. In the rush to get through the tasks at hand, all too often we forget what we’re working towards. Try setting short-term goals that will lead you towards your ultimate objective. And celebrate every goal met!
There are no bad ideas. Every contribution should be welcomed, acknowledged and considered. Respect, not ridicule, encourages ongoing participation and just might lead to that breakthrough idea down the line.
Mediation matters. An effective team leader recognizes potential conflict and heads it off at the pass whenever possible. But when minor disputes do erupt, it’s critical to balance the concerns of those involved against the objectives of the team.
Hand those reins over. Delegating tasks to other team members accomplishes a lot more than shifting the workload. It demonstrates trust, respect and confidence. It’s also an opportunity for employees to stretch, to learn and to show what they’re made of. Dare I say it’s a great way to engage them?