How To Engage Your Team For Better Productivity and Profits

Published on January 12, 2012 by Anne Raymond

Being fully engaged in what you do means that you able to focus clearly, be more productive, and get better results! Who doesn't want more of that?

Gallup is one of the leaders in Employee Engagement surveys. They have shown that the more engaged people are in their work, the better productive, customer-focused, and profitable a company is. People are also more fulfilled, more creative and more innovative. The increased energy and passion and optimism of the future allow people to thrive!

So focus on getting your team (or the people around you) more engaged and you can enjoy the leveraged impact and results! What can you do to engage your team more (or yourself for that matter)?

Here are 3 keys to get you going:

1) Setting Clear Expectations Related to the Big Picture

Setting clear expectations up front is a critical step in engagement. At this stage, focusing on the outcomes or results that are expected and not the "how" to get there is important in engaging and empowering people up front. Generally, people don't like to be told what to do (who does?). So, clearly outline the results necessary and then allow lots of flexibility, it will motivate people to put a plan together so that they can do it "their way".

Another important part of this phase is clearly defining the big "why". How is this project connected to the bigger picture, why is it important, and why is it beneficial for the individual? This becomes increasingly important as you get more of the latest generation of "millennials" on board (or with your kids:)!) and a "what's in it for me" attitude!

2) Playing To Your Strengths

Strengths are those activities that you are naturally talented at, that you find easy, and you love to do. This is a recipe for focus and fulfillment! And not surprising, the more aligned you are with your strengths, the more productive and creative you naturally become!

Wouldn't it be great if you worked at a job where you could apply your strengths most days? It has been shown that for those people that can apply their strengths more often that they are also more engaged!

For those (including me) that have been a job that isn't a good fit for your strengths, you are demotivated, less confident and less productive. It can be a dangerous downward spiral of dissatisfaction and can dramatically increase the chances of leaving that job (bad for retention). Luckily in my case, I left a job for another one in the company instead of leaving altogether.

It's always a good idea for managers and their teams to be clear about strengths and job fit and make sure they're aligned as this has a significant impact on employee engagement!

3) Building An Environment of Trust and Support

Any good relationship is built on trust, mutual respect, and support. According to Gallup, the biggest influencer on people's engagement is their direct manager. So what can you do to increase the engagement with your direct team? Build rapport by providing different opportunities for everyone to get to know each other including you.

When in meetings with your team, listen more and ask my favourite question that I heard from a talk by Tom Peters - "What do you think?"! It's simple and effective and will get others involved in making decisions and mapping out the road to the future.

Try out these strategies for getting more engagement with your team and see your productivity and results soar!

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