Whether you’re the manager of a small team or you’re at the top of your game as company CEO (congratulations!) every leader has something in common – one of the most important parts of the job is to motivate and engage others.
Why? Because without motivation and engagement among your team, you don’t have strong productivity – not to mention the other side-effects such as a costly high staff turnover and difficulty attracting great talent in the first place. A study by Gallup estimates poor management and lost productivity caused by disengaged employees costs the US up to $1.2 trillion per year. Wow, indeed. So, the message is clear, leaders should get on the front foot with a few effective tactics for supporting a successful team of engaged employees – and that means productive employees too.
Remember, everything about culture starts at the top (that’s you)
To support a team of engaged employees, you need to set a great example by nurturing strong relationships with your staff. Being present, approachable and on hand to help and advise when team members need it most means employees will be enabled to learn and develop while they remain aligned with business objectives and excited by goals. But this doesn’t mean leaders should be overrun by meetings and catch-ups – playing agony aunt for everyone in the business! By setting the example for what a supportive relationship looks like, others will soon chip in. Team members will be inspired to develop supportive and strong relationships among themselves which, in turn, promotes widespread confidence and creates positive attitudes.
Deliver engaging updates – regularly
It’s true, everyone in the workplace is searching for meaning and identity in everything they do. In fact, research has revealed meaningful work is essential to employee engagement, and that means, employees want to feel like a real part of a business’ values and overall success (because no one likes feeling like a small, barely relevant, cog!). Regular presentations and updates, whether they be about the team project underway or wider operational matters, will make employees feel like a valued, trusted and integral part of the business and its decision-making. What’s more, in an environment where businesses are competing harder than ever before for the best talent – leaders need to take these opportunities to make themselves and the business shine. Presentations, email updates and reports that deliver outstanding design and persuasive graphics (such as infographics) will make for more engaging and informative communications, while delivering some crucial underlying messages. We’re talking about positioning you as an authoritative, authentic, inspiring and professional leader in a great business.
Educate, educate, educate
When a job is not always for life, it’s no shock employees today are looking for a little extra from their leaders than a healthy pay packet. Whether they have designs to develop within the business or eventually move on to new pastures, modern employees have an insatiable appetite for continued learning and development – the kind that serves to advance their careers. That’s right, with learning and development being recognised as key to employee engagement, a feeling of career stagnation among team members could see them moving on sooner than you hope. Digital learning materials are becoming increasingly important to leaders who want to train their staff to do a top job, as well as nurturing and developing team members for promotion opportunities ahead. But don’t make painful work of those learning materials. Your teams will only thank you for them if they feel a connection with the language, find them easy to navigate, and even entertaining! Communicating complex concepts through clear, persuasive visuals and pop quizzes could be a great way to do just that.
Design your team vision
When on boarding new employees, it’s really important to get them across the business’ wider vision and values. After all, they’ll be working hard towards them. But leaders shouldn’t underestimate the value of a little individuality. Allowing people to help personalise the team vision could see teams working together far more collaboratively and cohesively towards smaller goals, whether they be day-to-day or week-to-week. This sense of individual identity will only serve to advance that all-important team spirit. Studies have even shown that highly engaged employees also have great team spirit. A great example of how to support such an initiative could be developing persuasive and consistent graphic design throughout team presentations and updates. But most importantly, however, it must be unique. The images, graphics, colours, fonts, and every other component should all work together to visually communicate the team’s story, vibe and amazing work ethic to the rest of the business.
Don’t micromanage – it’s a killer
Unsurprisingly, the key to keeping grown adults engaged is by ensuring they have a sense of control, empowerment, and responsibility. Leaders who overshadow their team members’ every move only succeed in stifling creativity and inhibiting people’s ability to think independently and develop their problem-solving skills. Yep, micromanagement is a real killer for productivity. So, the message here is simple, give your team space so they can learn from mistakes (as long as they’re not too costly, of course) and feel motivated by the sense of trust and control you’ve instilled in them. __
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