Musings on

Culture

By February 4, 2014

Strategies the Best Managers Use to Keep their Team Engaged

The best managers build great teams

The best managers can’t be defined by specific personality characteristics. While some of them are calm and soft-spoken, others could be more accurately described as a extremely extroverted and wildly enthusiastic. Regardless of their personality, the very top leaders have something in common – they drive bottom-line results for a company because they work hard to improve the lives of their employees.

Great managers know that to keep their team performing at the highest level, they not only have to hire A players but they must work on an ongoing basis to create a workplace environment where employees are truly engaged. Engaged employees are more productive and motivated—they produce higher-quality work, take fewer sick days, and stay with your company longer.

Develop an incredible workplace

The good news is that there are many things managers can do to develop an environment that makes people feel genuinely happy and productive. Below are 5 tips to help you be an extraordinary boss who helps your team thrive:

1) Facilitate team member camaraderie

To help your team to perform at their best, take the time to facilitate cooperation and commitment. You can do this by regularly asking about your employees’ families and hobbies outside of the office. Take team members out to lunch or coffee together. Encourage group connections by having team happy hours or bowling dates.

The point is not to become best buddies; rather it’s to establish common ground among colleagues. The more you connect, the better you’ll perform together inside the company as a team. When people learn about each others’ interests and can share informal conversations, they build trust and are more willing to have productive dialogue on projects – even when they disagree.

2) Set individual and team goals

Each person you manage has a specific role to play to ensure your team’s overall success. Creating quantifiable expectations for your employees will empower them to monitor their own performance. Make sure your team members are clear about what they need to do to reach their goals and that they have all the resources necessary to do their jobs. Reward and encourage people when they are doing a great job and making progress.  A little appreciation goes a long way

Track how far your team has come since the beginning of the year and show how far you have left to go. Are you on schedule, behind, or ahead? Be honest about your progress and have regular check-in meetings. Don’t wait until near the due date to signal that you are running behind. You can ensure that these metrics are meaningful by tying them to company goals.

3) Allow team members to be creative

Once you have given your team members the tools and information required to do the tasks necessary to get the job done, give them some leeway in how they choose to complete their tasks. There is more than one way to get a job done – people may not choose to tackle things in the same way. But by taking a new approach, your employees can get the same (or perhaps an even better) result. Free up your team to flex their creative muscles to find different solutions to an issue or a problem.

4) Offer training and development opportunities

Don’t let your team stagnate because they lack the opportunities to learn new skills. To keep them motivated, give them new responsibilities that challenge them. Find or develop training programs that meet your team members individual career goals. When used properly, this strategy can help improve your organizational culture and may even help to pave the way for strong performers to move on to more challenging positions.

5) Provide feedback and reviews regularly

Too many managers look at feedback as something that is only given when a team member makes a mistake. Instead, ongoing reviews are something that should occur regularly. They should include recognizing team members when they have done well on a project, handled a difficult customer with finesse, or come up with an idea that will save the company time or money. Great managers also help their staff get over areas where they are stuck by providing a listening ear and constructive advice.

When your team members have done well, share their successes publicly. Other members will be motivated by their teammate’s success as well. However, if you do have to discuss a performance issue, make sure that the discussion is held in private. Keep your comments to the job itself, without criticizing the team member’s personality or anything else that could be construed as a personal attack.

Commit to being the best at leading

Being an incredible leader means inspiring your employees to reach for more. And it means supporting them by providing them with the guidance and resources to accomplish their goals. Commit to putting the above behaviors and systems in place, and your employees will do their work with pride, increasing their dedication to your business and your customers.

Remarkable management is easily within your grasp and you can begin to make changes today. As a result of creating a fantastic workplace with engaged employees, your company will accelerate!

Did we miss anything? Leave a comment below to share other secrets to being an incredible manager.


About the author: Sophie Eagan has worked in HR for much of her life. She believes it is extremely important for all businesses to drill in team work so the company runs smoothly. For maximum efficiently, she recommends a program called 360 degree feedback which collects data from the employees themselves.