3 Steps to Employee Engagement and Aligning Your Team
NATURAL COMMUNICATION STYLE.
Each person has a natural communication style.
Understanding yours can and will impact how effective you are when dealing with friends, co-workers and clients.
You want the same thing your team wants. Perhaps for different reasons, yet both you and your team want to get aligned and achieve results. What if the traditional approach of the leader setting the goals and creating the plan is what stands in the way of truly aligning your team? You can get an aligned team just by changing how you set the goals and create the plan.
Benefits of aligning your team
1. More collaboration and creativity
2. Less politics, roadblocks and barriers
3. More excitement and celebration
4. Less turnover and absenteeism
5. More passion and commitment
Step 1 – Let Them identify the goals
You could set the goals but then the goals would be “your goals”. Consider allowing your team to set all the financial, service level agreements, and measurements used to track team performance.
Follow a proven, well-designed approach so the team sets and owns the goals. We customize a framework like Bridge the Gap so the team examines where they are now; the goals they want to achieve; and create an action plan to bridge the gap.
If you fear losing control or your group is setting the standards too low – this reflects more about your beliefs as a leader or the current state of engagement within your team – we recommend you start with an engagement program like Save the Titanic or Communicate Naturally to get your team opened up to what is possible as a team.
Over the past 25 years, we have never had a team choose smaller goals. Teams want to choose large goals because we all want our work to be meaningful.
Step 2 – Let them determine the results
Sounds like the same thing? It isn’t. The result is what the goals look like when achieved.
Imagine how the team will be working together. Get the team to illustrate as visually as possible how they will be working when the goal is achieved. The clearer the picture, the closer you get to fully aligning your team.
If everyone has a clear picture of the end state, then we can all choose our responses and activities in the present that align with the future state. This is what we did with the podium-potential athletes for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games through the program Inspire the Future.
Step 3 – Let them track their performance
Having goals and a plan is not enough. You need to track progress and find opportunities to celebrate progress toward the goals. Simple monthly and quarterly updates that identify progress reinforce the culture shift you have in your team.
Praise progress. Keep focused on the positive progress toward the goals. When the progress doesn’t happen – don’t react. Keep your leadership focused on the commitment to the goals and the results. Avoid the blame game. Stop any conversations about reasons. Refocus the team on results.
If you don’t know how to keep the team focused on results rather than reasons, consider investing in Meetings that Produce Results. This meeting effectiveness training helps your team to learn how to collaborate quickly to create results with tools that work.
It really is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Allow the team to set the goals; identify the results as visually as possible so they know when they have created them; and track performance to keep everyone focused on results rather than reasons.