There you are, tip-tap, working on your monthly’s again, and you find your team’s output is almost the same as the month before. Your progress reports hardly ever change. It’s as if your employees aren’t giving their all.
Could your team be disengaged?
There are some fairly standard drivers of engagement: When employees do not understand the direction of the organization, do not feel valued or listened to, do not feel appreciated … they do not give their best work. Period. Why care about the organization when it doesn’t care about me? Employees like this show up on time, but also disappear just in time. And when in the shadows, they often grumble, moan and reveal their escape routes to other employees.
The good news is we meet leaders around the world who have mastered the art of inspiring others. The result is an organization of employees who feel noticed, valued and engaged.
So, how do you get there? As with any process of improvement, the first step is assessing where your team is right now. What follows is a very short engagement quiz. If you are a manager, ask your employees to give their honest feedback about their experience at work (if they won’t, that should tell you something). If you are an individual contributor, answer for yourself.
The Engagement Quiz
- There are excellent opportunities to grow or learn new things around here.
- My leader regularly talks to us about our futures/career progression in positive ways.
- We are regularly recognized for our good work.
- My boss understands what drives me and gives me assignments I find motivating.
- We feel well-informed about organizational changes.
- We are free to speak up and give feedback without fear of reprisal.
- We feel our efforts make a difference every day.
- We understand the bigger mission and values of our organization.
So how do things look? Any surprises?
Now, what do you do with the findings?
A terrific exercise is to meet as a team, even if just for half an hour, and vote to identify which of these issues are overall gaps within the team. Then, again together, brainstorm solutions to fill the gaps. For instance, if the vote shows a majority of the team don’t feel well-informed of organizational changes, it’s time to put a process in place to address that specific challenge—for instance, you might invite other leaders from around the organization to breakfast meetings and pepper them with questions about their part of the business; you could set a standing meeting for your team leader to debrief the group after each senior leadership meeting she is invited to attend; and so on.
You aren’t going to solve every engagement woe in a short meeting, but chances are you will identify low-hanging fruit and take a step toward making a better workplace for you and your teammates.
As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Any questions we’ve missed that can identify a team’s level of engagement? How are you doing?