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Team engagement do's and don'ts

Team engagement do's and don'ts.

When working with your team as a manager, team leader, managing director or any other person that is leading a group of people, it is important to keep the team engaged. Only teams that are engaged in what they do can perform well and produce amazing results. In this article, I’m talking about how to create engaged teams and mistakes to avoid if you want to create an engaging team.

How to create engagement?

Engaged employees feel that they are valued, and they feel a sense of belonging to the organisation.

There are many things you can do to show that you value individuals and therefore increase the engagement of your team. One of the most important things is to make sure that individuals have their say in what is happening within the organisation, especially in the area of their expertise. If you make decisions behind their back about things that affect them, often during secret meetings, not involving them in the decision-making process or even worse, not informing them at all what is happening, you are on a good path to create disengagement.

For an employee to be engaged they need to feel a sense of belonging to the organisation. They not only need to be aware of what is happening on every level of the organisation, what changes and decisions are being made but also they need to have their say and feel they are being listened.

If your employees need to find out what is happening in the organisation by gossiping and talking behind the management’s back, there is something seriously wrong going on in the organisation.

Mistakes you may be making that create disengagement in your team

  1. Not informing your team what is happening within the organisation (because you think they don’t need to know).

  2. Not involving your team in the decision-making process and not giving individuals the opportunity to have their say about things that are affecting everybody within the organisation.

  3. Not informing your team about the overall condition of the business or giving them vague information.

  4. Always correcting the decisions of the individuals because your ideas are better than theirs.

  5. Not believing in the abilities of your team and finding weaknesses instead of strengths. Ask yourself these questions: Do you more often see what is wrong with the team rather what’s working well? Are you not giving your team challenging tasks because you think “they’re not capable of completing them to the standard you would like”?

  6. Not allowing to make mistakes. If you intervene too often and try to prevent individuals from making mistakes, you are not helping them and in fact, you slow down their progress.

  7. Not giving the autonomy and micromanage. The thing you should be the most interested in is the outcome. Everybody should have an autonomy in the decision on how to get there. There is more than one way to achieve the same result and the fact that it is not the way you would like doesn’t mean it is a wrong way.

Summary

Managers expect everybody to be engaged by default. I sometimes hear managers complaining that the team or individuals are not engaged in what they do. But they don’t take too much trouble to understand what are the underlying reasons behind the lack of engagement.

Organisations are not machines. They are living entities. They consist of humans that have feelings, personalities that are different to yours and everybody else; characters that are unique to each person. Everyone is different. Only by understanding these psychological differences it is possible to create high performing, engaged and winning team.

Avoiding mistakes I’m talking about in this article will help but when it comes to engagement there is no one size fits all. Everyone reacts to the same event differently; remember, everyone is unique. Therefore it is crucial to understand individuals within your team, be a scientist, experiment and learn, adjust to them and don’t expect the team to adjust to you. Choose the engagement strategy that works best with each individual. Only then you can create dedicated, engaged and high performing team.