18 Aug How to Know if You are Leading a Highly Engaged Team
While having dinner with two mentors, the topic of engagement came up. Rob mentioned the Gallup stats about disengagement and my jaw hit the floor. He said that roughly 30% of the workforce is engaged, while 53% were not engaged and 17% we’re actively disengaged.
I was shocked! Not only could I not believe it, but I didn’t believe it to be true of my team. Naturally, I was puzzled and had to find out what the signs were for an engaged team and how we measured up! Here’s what I’ve found…
Engaged teams are well-oiled machines!
A sign of a highly productive and engaged team is how well they work together.
Do they naturally seek to serve each other? Are they motivated to step in and support a team member who may be falling behind? Those are signs of a great team and a well-oiled machine.
When you see your team working really well together finalizing tasks while achieving bigger goals collaboratively, then you have proof of an engaged team. You have systems that your team members embrace so that whether you’re in the room or away on vacation, they will be just as productive and follow the structure of daily norms, meetings and weekly reporting.
What do engaged teams really look like?
Relationship with Managers:
Team members who are engaged typically have close relationships with their managers. They feel like they are in a safe space to bring concerns or even confront a behaviour that conflicts with the company’s core values. They have the confidence in their relationship with their manager to speak their mind and share openly in 360 reviews without fear of repercussions. Engaged employees will actively seek ways to deepen their relationship with their manager and will share vulnerabilities and concerns because they know they have a level of trust and confidence that their concerns will be kept in the vault.
As a manager or leader, we can build this trust by keeping confidences while also showing our vulnerabilities. Sharing our concerns openly and asking for feedback on how we can improve as leaders elevates everyone.
Sick days and turnover:
Fewer sick days and lower turnover also indicate a great atmosphere and engaged employees. As leaders, watch for an increase in sick days or tardiness. This may indicate a personal issue, temporary setback or it may be an engagement issue. Perhaps the team member needs a new challenge or to take on a special project to feel reinvigorated.
The pushback I get when I share this with managers is that they don’t have the time to check in on “every little nuance”. To which I reply, you can make the time now or suffer the consequence later when it becomes a pattern and habit that negatively spreads throughout the entire culture!
Bonds & Friendships:
Teams who form special bonds and friendships and connect outside of work hours are a good indication that they are engaged. Employees who truly enjoy each other’s company and form friendships will also work collaboratively as a whole to succeed. The mentality becomes “us as a team” vs. an individual journey to success.
If you notice that your team members display most or all of the above and their production and numbers indicate that they’re meeting their goals, chances are you’re doing an exceptional job at engagement!