Yesterday was a great day! I got to meet some new people that are very passionate about what they are doing. I truly enjoy listening to people speak with passion. Right after talking with those folks, I went to one of the local coffee houses (don’t want to give them free advertising). There was a manager discussing a problem she was having with her crew with a district manager or someone in her reporting structure. She was struggling with getting her team engaged. Take those two incidents that were maybe 15 minutes apart and you have a topic!
Getting your team engaged does not come with a manual. I have learned some steps over the years that I use to help me attempt to get my team completely engaged. Notice the word attempt. Not everyone is going to be engaged all the time. Here are some of the steps that I use:
- Clarify what it is that needs engagement. Make sure that you as the manager fully understand and can communicate to your team – the what is it that you want. If it is improve quality, output or customer service, then make sure that you are stating that. Don’t attempt to boil the ocean with engagement…
- Involve your team in setting goals and how to make it happen. Sometimes it is easy to just put out the goal that is needed. If you want your team engaged, involve them in setting the goals. Then you can work together to figure out how to get there. Ask questions, listen to each member and insure to ask those that are not being very open. Need to pull all team members into the discussions.
- Set up a way for the team to watch progress. If you have the data or can easily get the information. Make sure that you are sharing that information as real time as possible. If the team can get the data and see it – then all the better. If the team can see their work making a difference, I know they will continue to work toward success.
- Celebrate Success. At the end, make sure that you celebrate with the team to share in the team’s overall success. It could be a simple team meeting with treats. Something to thank them for a job well done.
Each situation is different based on what you are trying to get your team engaged on. The key is to always have a Rev 0 vision in mind… Work with the team to get to the Rev 1 or 2 version. Use them to help define the how to get there roadmap. All to often, managers think they know better… Don’t think you know. Ask those that do know. Keep track of progress and adjust if necessary. Then celebrate success.