You want your team to be more engaged.
You know this will contribute to better performance and enhance overall motivation within the team.
You believe there is a way to achieve this, but where to start?
Each meeting is an opportunity to influence team engagement and, when done well, can pay huge dividends towards getting buy-in from your team members on both a micro and macro level.
With the busyness and sheer volume of what work can throw at you, it can be challenging to step back and think about what you can change for the better, so here are some quick tips to get you started:
- Take a blank piece of paper and write the name of one team member at the top. Underneath, note the following three headings: Strengths, Goals, Areas to Develop. How much do you know about each team member under these headings?
- Before your next one-to-one, let your team member know you’ll be doing things differently in their next one-to-one and that you’ll be discussing what they consider to be their strengths, goals, and areas to develop. Suggest they think about this before the meeting so you can have a constructive and quality discussion around this. Explain, in a way that feels comfortable to you, why you want to take this different approach, e.g., You’d like to check-in and get a better understanding of where they are at so that, as a team, you can work together in the best possible way.
- At the start of the one-to-one, take time to make a personal connection in the first five minutes. It builds rapport and helps you both remember the crucial factor in any working relationship – that we’re all humans doing a job!
- During the meeting, ask them to talk through each area at a time. Ask the question: “What do you see as being your strengths?” What are your goals?” What are your areas of development?”. Be comfortable with silence and let them answer the questions. If you find silence in these situations difficult, focus on your breathing, have a smile on your face – both these actions help you feel calm and leave that space for the other person to speak. Acknowledge their responses with nods, smiles, and curiosity. Ask for plenty of detail on each category with open questions. e.g., How do you apply this strength at work? Where are there more opportunities to use this strength?
When you understand your team, you have a much better chance of engaging with them more meaningfully in the future.
Moving forward from this conversation, with each task, request, piece of information you communicate, ask yourself:
- How does this relate to their strengths?
- How does this feed into their goals?
- How does this help with their areas of development?
By applying practical meaning to what can often seem to be meaningless tasks, we increase motivation and engagement and give people the benefit of knowing they are valued.
People who feel valued at work are more productive and contribute to creating a positive working environment, thereby directly influencing overall team engagement.