Want to Grow Your Team? It's All About Growing Engagement

Growing leaders faster is a key need for most companies. With the changing workplace demographics—including the mass exodus of Baby Boomers and inept succession planning—organizations are scrambling to grow high potentials into leaders who can lead faster.

Seniority is out the window and amazing opportunities await those who can grow fast enough to meet them. The problem, however, is that we can’t grow ourselves effectively. We need others helping us along the way, and the first line in the playbook of growing these future leaders requires team managers and supervisors to understand three key components that drive engagement which leads to explosive growth of individuals.

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The first tier for growing engagement is what we call the FOUNDATION. Simply put, a team member must know what is expected of them at work and to have the resources to perform their jobs. How can a manager build this foundation? A simple way to achieve this is regular check-ins with each team member individually to discuss both team goals and personal goals, and set clear expectations.


The second tier for growing engagement is what we call INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTION. Managers must ensure that each team member has the opportunity to do what they do best every day. Team members need to be trusted in a capacity that allows them to make decisions and think for themselves. We have to let them fail, and then be there to coach them forward. Team members also need to receive recognition or praise for good work (at least once every seven days is what the research teaches us), and they need to have a manager who encourages their ongoing development.


The third tier for growing engagement is building a strong sense of BELONGING. Managers have a responsibility to build an environment where team members believe their opinions count. Team members have a need for a firm mission that makes them feel their job is important and they need to directly understand how they contribute to building the future of their organization. Team members also need to know their co-workers are committed to doing quality work, which means managers have a responsibility to accountability for those who are not. Team members also simply need to feel their supervisor cares about them as a person and has their back. Last, but certainly not least, team members need to have the ability to determine when, where and how they work.


With each tier, engagement increases. As engagement increases, a team member’s individual growth does too. To foster that growth tier and continue to increase momentum, team members need to have an approachable and engaged supervisor. This means being human to our team. They also need us as managers to talk with them about their progress—including candid conversations about barriers and future potential pitfalls—and to give them opportunities to learn and grow. Practically speaking, this means we have to have regular conversations with each of our team members where we are not focused only on technical coaching, but also on long-term career growth and professional development. We have a responsibility to help our team members set goals related to growth that aligns their dreams and the firm’s priorities.

If you want to grow your team into individuals who are ready to lead faster, focus on growing their engagement and their personal growth will skyrocket.

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About the Author:

Kassi Rushing, APR, is passionate about building the Wise Firm.  She dreams daily about the firm we are creating and adamantly believes HORNE is a place where team members can achieve their dreams and reach their Full Potential. You can learn more about our Wise Firm on Facebook, InstagramTwitter and at www.wisefirm.com.


Topics: Growth, Culture, People Development, Leadership

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