Leaders, Here are 5 Easy Tips to Engage Your Team Today
Many leaders today are versed in employee engagement terminology, ideas, and frameworks. The issue is that many times, these abstract things get in the way of leaders truly engaging with their teams.
Below are five ways that we at Fierce work with leaders to create deeper connections and engagement with their employees and their customers.
This work is not for the faint of heart. And that’s what makes it worth it.
1. Solicit your team’s input and get curious.
According to 80 percent of respondents from a Fierce survey on characteristics of good bosses, taking action to request input around ideas and strategies is one of the most vital things managers can do to create great relationships.
Tip: Have an hour one-on-one conversation with every person who reports to you. Use some of these sample questions: What has become clear to you since we met last? What topic are you hoping that I won’t bring up? What do you wish you had more time to do? What is currently impossible to do that, if it were possible, would change everything? And then, really listen.
2. Empower having fun together. In a connected world with constant emails and social media, it is easy to never truly break away from work. Given that, you better have fun along the way. Or what’s the point of all this work? Having fun is not only good for your health, but it makes your team’s discretionary effort rise. The catch to having fun is…you can’t force it.
Tip: Give your team a set budget to plan something fun together. Don’t put tons of criteria around it. It could be a happy hour, a lunch, a secret costume for team members to wear, whatever makes the team tick. It is a mistake to choose the events and outings for the team members. Let them own it. And go along for the ride.
3. Exchange honest, open feedback.
Managers who foster and encourage honest feedback from employees position their companies to make more money than those that don’t, according to a 2012 Corporate Executive Board and Harvard Business Review study titled “Open-Door Policy, Closed-Lip Reality.” This study found that organizations that rated highly in open communication delivered a 10-year total shareholder return of 7.9 percent compared to 2.1 percent at other companies.
Tip: Feedback needs to be clear, insightful, well thought out, and specific. If you or people on your team do not have that skill, bring in Feedback training. Practice giving feedback to each other and evaluating others' feedback. Many times people have the best intentions to be clear and concise, and yet, delivering and crafting communication takes practice and confidence.
4. Pay attention to your emotional wake. How do your team members feel after an interaction with you? Energized or deflated? Have you ever asked them? This tip is about emotional intelligence and honing the ability to inspire and motivate.
Tip: Make a commitment to take responsibility and accountability for how you show up. Ask yourself: To whom do I need to apologize? Who deserves my praise? Who deserves my recognition?
5. Have a conversation with yourself.
At the end of the day, your engagement as a leader directly impacts your team’s engagement. There is no way of getting around this. So if you truly want to engage them, you need to wake up and truly be committed. It is easy to go through the weekly, monthly, and quarterly routines and never feel like you have the time to.
Tip: Now the conversation turns inward. Write a “stump speech” for yourself. Ask the four core questions: Where am I going? Why am I going there? Who is going with me? How am I going to get there? Do not make vague statements. Clarify a powerful, specific direction that wakes you up. That jazzes you. Then given those answers, identify the next three steps you need to take.
These tips may seem simple and rather ordinary, however, they truly have the capacity to shift your life and your team in ways that you can’t even imagine.
We see it every day with Fierce work in organizations.
So I leave you with this: While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, or a life – any single conversation can.