Written by Higson

How to engage your team

8th June, 2021   •   3 min

The success of any team is directly correlated with the engagement of the individuals in the team. An engaged team is more proactive, productive and collaborative. There are high levels of trust, honest and transparent communication and everyone feels valued for the work they do. Each individual is more likely to do their best work.

How can we engage our team?

Here are four things you can implement to create an engaging culture where people are motivated to do their best work.

1. Share regular compassionate and honest feedback

When we personally care and challenge directly, we can help each other improve. Feedback is a critical part of creating an engaged team and it is through feedback that we can grow.

Here are four ways to build a feedback culture:

  • Share both positive and constructive feedback regularly – make it a habit to share feedback after a meeting, pitch, project
  • Share the feedback in a structured way, clearly highlighting the example, the effects, and what behaviours can be changed or continued for future success
  • Proactively ask for feedback from the team to create this feedback culture
  • Share regular verbal or written feedback in all directions

Kim Scott’s radical candour framework is a brilliant guide on how to share feedback effectively and create behaviour change – read more about this in our blog.

2. Communicate the big picture

When we feel connected to something bigger than ourselves, we get a sense of belonging and purpose. This is one of the strongest drivers of motivation and engagement.

Cascading goals are an excellent way to connect the team to the vision. This is a top-down approach of explaining how the goals of teams or individuals align and contribute to the vision and mission. The key is to clearly share how and why their goals link to the big picture and specifically how they are contributing to the vision.

3. Show genuine recognition

According to a recent study, 69% of individuals would work harder if they were recognised more. A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way. Effective recognition is shared often, explains the behaviour, is genuine and comes in different forms.

Individuals like being recognised in different ways. Take time to learn how your team likes being recognised, some may prefer words, others time, gifts, or actions. For example if someone in your team feels recognised by words you could write a card for them after they have done some great work. If they are recognised by time spent with you then organise a team activity at the end of a project. Or if they are recognised by gifts buy their favourite chocolate bar when they have gone above and beyond. If it is actions that they feel motivated by then after an intense period of work give them an afternoon off to say thank you.

Find out how each person likes to be recognised, often individuals like to be recognised in many forms – so next time you say thank you try to recognise them in one of these ways.

4. Provide training and development

94% of individuals say they would stay longer at a company if it simply invested in helping them learn. Investing in your team’s development has many benefits: it shows you care, it makes them feel valued, they are more likely to stay longer and it improves their performance.

Here are some things you can do with your team immediately:

  • Ask your team about their long term goals, their strengths and the skills they want to develop, get them to help build their own development plan
  • Set monthly development goals that are clearly outlined, reviewed and link to the big picture. Discuss and capture how they they can achieve these goals in your coaching session
  • If there is budget, look into external training programmes, contact Higson to help
  • Book a “learning day” where your team can spend a day learning, reading and developing the skills they want to focus on – this can be a great team building day too

Implementing these behaviours can have incredible benefits on engagement and motivation. Build trust, connect them to the vision and make people feel valued.

Get in touch to share your thoughts on how you engage your team or for help from the Higson team.