10 Tips for People Managers to engage their team better
When you see some teams, you can feel the energy. Some teams are too quiet and indifferent. Some teams demonstrate dropped shoulders. Team energy is critical for high performance. Energy leads to engagement. Who should pump in that energy and who can sustain: Team leaders or HR Managers?
Research over the years coupled with anecdotal evidence show that the team leaders are well positioned to induce energy into the team. Leadership ‘connect’ seems to be having great influence on how teams are energized and engaged.
Having said that it is not a special initiative or an additional project for the team leaders to engage their team members. It is simply a way of life and a way they relate to their team members. A few simple behaviors will create necessary impact and not a massive structured project!
Some of the daily behaviors that team leaders can try out include the following:
Don’t walk into your workplace with a grumpy face. Be pleasant and energetic when your team sees you first time in the day.
Walk around the workplace and connect with as many people as possible; tell them how eager and excited you are to see them achieve something for the day;
Occasionally, share with them some interesting personal experiences that you are going through the day
Announce openly and appreciate if any team member has tasted some success.
Openly ask for help when you are in need; it will encourage the culture of seeking help rather than living with problems
Demonstrate how you are enjoying your work and how you are dealing with challenges with a smile
Be available when they need help; don’t expect them to be robots and remember delegation doesn’t mean abdication of your responsibility.
When you are away from the workplace or working from home, use other channels such as a mail, call, WhatsApp to keep connected. Remember, the objective is to connect and not to micro-manage. In such situations, replace 1st and 2nd tip above with these ideas. Your messages must be positive.
Listen when they have an idea or view; at times, they may just want to share how they crossed an important step in their work. Don't be a quickfire critic showing off your knowledge!
Intellectual engagement is important; but emotional engagement must complement it!
Finally, it is important to understand how different team members have different levels of engagement needs!