Think about new employees or team members who join a team, they are excited. They are ready to learn and be actively engaged in their new role. I mean, they did apply for the job, go through the interview process, and accept the position — it was their decision! They are excited to get started in their new role. Over time, as the business evolves or as leadership changes, employees and teams can be neglected or confused. This is a defining point where people become disengaged in the workplace.
Majority of businesses are currently employing individuals, or leading team members, who are not fully engaged in their work. Maybe they are distracted, or uninspired, or just at a lull in life in general and it is affecting their work. Instilling employee engagement into a team cannot be forced. Rather, it must be strongly encouraged from the top, down; it is a product of strong leadership.
Not only do leaders want their employees and teams to be fully engaged, the employee themselves actually want to be engaged! Having a sense of full engagement within a role means that person will work harder, be more driven to achieve goals, and feel more passionate. In addition, businesses have lower risk of turnover, increased customer satisfaction, and a greater overall chance of success.
Here are a few ways to instill a culture of engagement within your business:
Start Off on the Right Foot
Upon hiring the right person for the job, a leader must also be sure to provide effective training and onboarding. Coming into a job can be nerve wracking, especially if it is something you have never done before. To be sure that the new hire or new team member knows his or her exact job responsibilities and expectation, leaders should provide adequate and advanced training. This is where a new team member or employee will learn the ins and outs of the company, business operations, and will most likely get to spend some quality time with their direct leadership. This will help build trust and loyalty between the new team member and leadership. Studies show that if a leader can help a new team member fully understand his or her job responsibilities within the first six months, he or she will continue to be engaged after the ‘honeymoon’ phase wears off.
Enrollment & Acknowledgment
To achieve cohesiveness among a team and be sure that each member is engaged in their respective roles, it is important to enroll your employees or team members in the business goals. Make sure each person knows how their specific roles play a huge part in achieving the goals. When they understand WHY they are doing what they are doing, they will be more willing to help contribute to the outcome. When an individual, or the team as a whole, achieves a goal or makes massive progress on a project, be sure they are acknowledged for their work. Recognition, no matter the size, can be incredibly impactful and will inspire the team to keep working hard towards other goals. The powerful combination of enrollment and acknowledgement plays a large role in keeping a team motivated and engaged.
Empowerment is Powerful
As a leader, it can be hard to not micromanage your team and watch their every move. It is likely that you know exactly what needs to be done and how to do it. Rather than give specific orders to the team, encourage your team members to be resourceful and take ownership of their own roles and projects. Leadership should be responsible for providing the team with an overall goal or outcome, and the necessary resources they will need to get there. Other than that, the team members should be left to come up with their own solutions. Empowering team members to think on their own will not only boost overall engagement, but will also allow them to foster unique ideas.