by Anastasia Bennett, TwoBrain Mentor
Why are some members of your team more engaged than others? This is such a good question to discuss and it comes up very often on my mentoring calls.
In fact, this is the main reason I got a mentor for my own business. I thought the problems in my business were because of my team. But I was wrong: the problem was not my team, but my leadership.
Everything a leader does has a huge impact on the team performance and their engagement.
“Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.”
― Jocko Willink, Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
As a business owner, you are the leader and you are in charge of everything. It is your job to take responsibility for your own actions and to lead by example. If your team is disengaged, or they use an “I have another full time job” excuse, it’s on you. You have not done what it takes to get your team motivated.
What does engaged mean?
Engaged = motivated
Being fully engaged in your workplace means they are professionally happy; they have a defined role that outlines what their responsibilities and expectations are; they actively contribute to the team; and they are continuously working on their self development.
Why is it so important for us to have engaged staff?
- Customer satisfaction
As a manager/owner you have a huge influence on your team and how they are performing.
How do you keep your team motivated?
- Have defined roles, clear expectations and pathways to show them opportunities for personal growth;
- Show them that you care:
- Share your WHY with them, your vision and your values. Alignment is important here. If they understand and align with your vision you will have a better chance of succeeding. Commit to your staff and try to build relationships. What do you know about their family, dog or home? Small things make a huge impact.
- Help them with their personal growth:
- If you want to have engaged staff, loyalty is the key. And loyalty isn’t a one-way street. They need to see that you are invested in their development. You can always start with coach development sessions. Pay them for the attendance and spoil them with coffee.
- Listen to their needs and feedback. Implement some of their suggestions
- If you’re not sure where to start, get feedback on your own leadership. Ask your admin person to do a survey. This can be painful, so be prepared. I did it a couple of years ago and while it was hard was to read their responses, it gave great insight on what I needed to work on. As a leader you should always be working on your own self development and the ways to improve how you operate. After all, you can’t expect your team to do it if you’re not setting the example. Look for you team’s strengths and weaknesses, then bring in outside experts to help you all improve. Let them see you working on yourself. Look for improvement and don’t settle on the average. You need to set your standards high for yourself and your team. This is why it is so important to do staff evaluations and give them constructive feedback. Then develop a performance plan so everyone is accountable and working towards being their best.
- Concentrate on their strengths
- Do you even know what their strengths are? There are so many great online tests that they could take or get a professional to come in and help you to identify strengths and weaknesses. It is not only super beneficial for your business but also fun and enlightening for everyone in the team.
- Help them with their wellbeing – work-life balance
- Go back to their perfect day and see how you can help them to get there.
Remember, you can’t force people to do anything. Force creates resistance. If you want your team to be more engaged, turn up to the meetings and participate in community events: you have to lead them. Lead them by example and be a positive influence in their lives.
The biggest part of leadership is TRUST. We build trust by trusting others. Trust your team, let them make mistakes and create a plan for their development.
Without a team, you don’t have a business, you have a job!
As usual I have an action plan for you. Just like you do your annual planning, marketing planning and sales planning, I want you to have a team development plan.
Create a 12-month calendar and plan out:
- 1x Team building activity (something fun)
- 1x Team development block
- 1 x Cooked breakfast at your place
- 1 x Dinner out (maybe a Christmas party)
Share your plan with me and let me know how you do. Start leading your team and soon your team will be fully engaged and ready to follow.