Mastering the Art of Team Engagement: One Essential Strategy That Really Works
In How to Spot Check Engagement: Just Ask the Team (Quick Leadership Tips #1), I talked about checking in with your team in their one-to-one meetings and asking the questions:
- On a scale of one to ten, how engaged were you at work over the last week?
- How can I help improve that?
But to make this strategy work long-term, there are a few more things you must do:
Be consistent — make sure you talk about engagement every week and to all the team.
If you miss a few weeks and suddenly start asking again, your team will wonder why, and the rumor mill will start to grind.
Remember, most people have experienced toxic bosses in their career and may be suspicious of why you are asking about their engagement.
If you keep stopping and starting or only talk to some of the team, you could reduce engagement rather than increase it.
Repeat the message — Tell your team why you are talking about engagement in their one-to-ones and keep telling them.
Over and over again.
Otherwise, what you are trying to do will be misconstrued.
Have you ever come out of a meeting with a different impression of the key message than the person sitting next to you?
So, keep banging on about engagement and why you are talking about it until everyone understands.
Listen — Listening well is a skill leaders need to cultivate.
Make sure you let your team talk and only speak to ask probing questions to understand what they tell you.
Ask for specific details and repeat what you’ve heard back.
Follow up — The fastest way to disengage your team is to say you will do something and then not do it.
If your team shares an issue with you, make sure you do something about it and report back.
Even if progress is slow, keep the team updated so they know you care and are still trying to resolve the issue.
Good luck, let me know how you get on and if you have any questions just ask in the comments :-)
I write about leadership & training, and I’ve designed The New Leader’s Starter Kit to help leaders better communicate with their teams. Get your free copy here — The New Leader’s Starter Kit takes you through how to run One-to-Ones and Constructive Feedback sessions & develop professional listening skills — a printable one-to-one form, feedback form and listening skills checklist included.