Client question: “My team is completely disengaged. What can I do to engage them more?”
The leader of the team is really the first place that engagement starts. If the leader isn’t engaging them then it probably isn’t happening. This is a tough message to hear as a leader. How can I make people be engaged? Isn’t it up to them? Yes, they do need to be willing participants, but if you are not doing what is needed to engage them, then that is when they start to lose engagement.
Think about a time that you worked in a situation where you felt very engaged. What made the situation different than when you were disengaged? Gallup has surveyed organizations and found that there is a direct correlation between engagement and an organization’s health. The ratio between engaged vs disengaged employees in world class organizations was 9.5 to 1 vs average organizations which were 1.8 to 1. Having higher engagement creates stronger retention, productivity, and more customer focus which creates stronger results.
What have you tried already to engage your team? Ask questions to determine why they are feeling disengaged. Look at their body language when you are having conversations with them. Listen closely to determine the root cause. You may need to look at some different ways to gain their trust and try new approaches. If you don’t have a foundation of trust, then engagement is going to be very difficult. Here are a few ideas of ways to build engagement in your team:
- Coach them when they are having issues and listen to their ideas
- Be collaborative
- Communicate with consistency and share information when you can
- Be respectful
- Set the vision, objectives and goals.
- Set a good example and lead with integrity
- Recognize and reward their successes
- Offer timely feedback to keep them on track
Consistency is the key when building engagement. A team’s leader is the first place where engagement starts and it will be the reason a person leaves if it isn’t there. There will always be changes happening in an organization, but you will have the ability to get through them easier with a team that trusts you and is engaged to work through those challenges together.