Engage Your Team Using These 7 Simple Steps
Before we take a look at the 7 ingredients, remember that each employee is unique and will need a whole array of different things from you throughout the employment relationship.
A ridged and uniform approach to managing others will not yield the best results, however a variable mix of ingredients most definitely will. The secret is getting to know the right mix and quantities and knowing when to adapt the recipe over time to meet the changing needs of each employee.
- Prioritise your time.
Making time to line-manage effectively is where you should begin. Start by scheduling in time over the long term and block out time in your diary. Treat the time you have allocated to individual employees as sacred. The consequences of not making good quality time are costly and can often take up lots more time in the long run.
- Get to know yourself
Really get to know more about yourself. What are your preferences and tendencies of behaviour? The more self-aware we become the better able we are to adapt, connect and get the best from others.
- Be a role model
Model the values and behaviours of your organisation – don’t cast a long shadow, instead be the guiding light. Offer clear direction and vision. Shrink the “say – do” gap so that you do what you say and say what you do.
- Really get to know your team
Spend quality time getting to know your employees both individually and as a team. The employment relationship should be based on much more than just a financial exchange for the skills and knowledge that each of them brings. Find out what motivates and inspires them. Don’t be afraid to ask “how would you like to be managed?” This is the simplest of questions, which is often overlooked.
- Tell me how I’m doing
A staggering 98% of employees will fail to be engaged when managers give little or no feedback. Create an environment that fosters reciprocal and honest feedback based on observation and fact. This works both ways and you should be actively seeking feedback from your employees too. Celebrate success widely and be loud and proud of your team’s achievements. Provide timely and meaningful reward and recognition.
- Give me a voice
Seek the opinions of your staff and give them a voice which is heard and acted upon. Flatten the hierarchy by delegating management responsibility. Allow your team to chair team meetings and as the manager “get stuck in” and help out during peaks of work.
- Where do I fit in?
Articulate and illustrate a clear vision and direction, tell a compelling story and have meaningful conversations about where each of your team fit in. Discuss and agree clear, achievable objectives based on individual talents and strengths, and give opportunity for stretch and growth.
Adjust the level of involvement and control you have on the delivery of tasks, based on the needs of each employee. As a rule, less is more and you should seek to monitor by exception only. Give freedom and scope to innovate and do things differently.
Becoming a truly effective manager requires a great deal of self-reflection. We hope these 7 tips provide some inspiration to pause and reflect.