It’s clear to me that HORNE is rethinking the way we do things. One area that recently caught my interest is around engagement. In her book Own It, author Meridith Elliott Powell charges us to recognize that today’s employees are different. Simply stated, we need to redefine the expectations of both leaders and employees in team member engagement. Failing to increase team member engagement means losing great talent to other companies or failing to help those that stay reach their full potential.
We each play a role in improving the engagement of our fellow team members. Recognizing that engagement looks different for each of us, here are a few strategies to get you started.
Connect personally: Learn how to value team members and find ways to connect. This could involve a team building event or taking the time to recognize their efforts publically.
Explain the "why": Often, we neglect taking the time to explain the mission and purpose of a project. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage team members by explaining the "why" and having them understand the purpose. They may even provide new insight into the project that wouldn’t exist without their understanding.
Give Feedback: It is difficult to deliver and harder to receive, but even worse if it doesn’t exist.
Grow Others: Regardless of the seat you sit in, we can all look for opportunities to grow other team members around us.
Communicate Expectations: Team members will fail to meet every expectation you don’t communicate. But, remember communication is a two-way approach. Leave time for feedback, input and ideas.
Appreciation: Exceptional leaders give appreciation, but we all prefer different appreciation methods. Take the time to learn how your team prefers appreciation.
Contribute: Encourage team members to want to contribute ideas and input. Just look at the input everyone made to the Anticipatory Organization “Think Tank” sessions as an example of how powerful lots of thoughts from creative people can be.
Collaborate: We all have great ideas. Imagine the things we can accomplish if we all contribute our ideas and collaborate. That’s where magic happens!
Have fun: Engaged team member have more fun and help create a fun work environment for those around them with their positive energy.
Leadership is about meeting people where they are and taking them beyond where they thought they could go. Engaging team members is challenging, but is rewarding and worthwhile—and the payoff will be enormous if we all invest the time and effort.
About the Author
Eunice is a government services manager at HORNE LLP specializing in project management, quality assurance and quality control compliance, and reporting in accordance with state and federal regulations. She is a talented people developer who helps others see where we are going and how we are going to get there—together.