Teamwork is the elixir of an organization’s success. Employees are more productive, happy and perform better when they work in teams. This makes it vital for business organizations to work on establishing an environment of teamwork. For this, one of the most basic requirements is good team management. It is the ability of the organization to bind all team members together and regulate their working. Good team management sets up the foundation for a strong team and steers all team members through unreasonable conflicts.
But how do you cultivate and maintain a committed, devoted workforce? The answer lies in employee engagement.
Keep on reading to find out what employee engagement means, how it can help, and the steps you can take to harness the power of employee engagement for your own team.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is an emotional state that exists when employees feel energized and committed to the organization’s mission and goals. It’s how valuable they think their service is for the company and how invested they are in bringing value to the table every single day.
Now, some of you may think employee engagement sounds too much like job satisfaction. While the two terms are certainly related, they are not the same. And using the two terms interchangeably is a huge oversight that can lead to complacency among staff and make your business vulnerable. Job satisfaction isn’t enough.
An employee’s satisfaction is only a tiny part of their overall engagement. Employees who are satisfied with their job will not generally try to go above and beyond. Engagement is the only factor that motivates them to go the extra mile for their organization. When employees have a high level of engagement, they are inspired to contribute their full potential to benefit their organization.
Role of Employee Engagement in Team Management
1. Engaged Employees Are More Collaborative
When binding two or more things together, it is always advantageous to have a good quality of binding material. The same is true for binding employees together in a team. It is always beneficial to have employees who are more collaborative in nature. Engaged employees have an amicable aura around them. They radiate positivity and warmth. These characteristics make them more collaborative in nature. With having them in the team, organizations don’t have to worry about team politics or conflicts. This is because engaged employees are excellent team players who are far away from such negative traits. Not only this, their presence positively impacts everyone else in the team, and the occurrence of team conflicts becomes rare.
2. Engaged Employees Are Happier
Engaged employees are passionate about their work. They enjoy working and don’t take it as a burden. As a result, they remain happier than disengaged employees. Their happiness radiates through their smiling faces and energetic demeanor. Further, when a team is composed of engaged, happy employees, the environment remains positive and leads to good team performance. Even if some member of the team doesn’t feel happy, the company of engaged, happy colleagues ignites happiness in his heart. This is because happiness is just like energy. It passes from one person to another. So, having engaged employees in the team can help organizations cultivate happier and better performing teams.
3. Engaged Employees Are Energetic and Enthusiastic
Engaged employees are passionate about their work. Their passion for work fuels their dedication and devotion to their organization. Both these factors together make them more energetic and enthusiastic about work. As a result, they always meet deadlines and never give their managers a chance to complain. Further, when engaged employees work with their colleagues in a team, they radiate their energy and enthusiasm to them. As a result, the entire team becomes more energetic and enthusiastic in nature. So, organizations can easily cultivate energetic and enthusiastic teams through employee engagement.
4. Engaged Employees Are More Productive
A highly productive team is essential for an organization to soar high in success. This makes ensuring good team productivity one of the major aspects of team management. Although the task is challenging, it becomes effortless when an organization has a team of engaged employees because engaged employees are more productive. Gallup has also highlighted this finding in a study. It states that highly engaged business units experience a 17% rise in their productivity. So, if every individual member of a team is engaged, individual productivity will be high, and so will be the productivity of the team. This way, employee engagement is instrumental in enhancing team productivity.
5. Engaged Employees Are Self-Motivated
When a team is motivated, it completes work in time, the quality of work is impeccable, making the final results extraordinary. Thus, a motivated team is an aspiration of every business organization. They can bring this aspiration to fulfillment through employee engagement. This is because engaged employees are self-motivated. They are self-driven to produce excellent results and take their organization to heights of success. So, with engaged employees in the team, organizations no longer have to put much effort into motivating the team.
6. Engaged Employees Exhibit Lower Absenteeism
The absence of a single teammate is enough to disturb the productivity of the entire team. This makes lowering employee absenteeism an essential part of team management. But, when an organization has engaged employees, it doesn’t have to put extra efforts to reduce employee absenteeism. This is because engaged employees are responsible, and they realize that their absence can prevent the entire team from completing the work targets well. So, engaged employees exhibit lower absenteeism. This finding has also been highlighted by Gallup, in one of its reports. It states that workplaces with highly engaged workforces witness 41% lower employee absenteeism. So, employee engagement can help organizations reduce absenteeism and manage work teams better.
7. Engaged Employees Are More Responsible
Teamwork involves the sharing of responsibilities between the team members. So, a significant portion of team management is about resource capacity planning when dividing the responsibilities between team members and ensuring that they shoulder them well. But, when a team is full of engaged employees, the organization doesn’t have to put much effort in this direction. Engaged employees are more responsible than the disengaged ones and shoulder their responsibilities well. Once a task is assigned to them, they go every extra mile to complete it with perfection. As a result, they never let their team suffer because of them. Moreover, they are always ready to help their teammates with their work.
Tips on how to engage employees
After learning all the benefits of employee engagement, it is understandable to wonder how to engage employees. The truth is, there is no definitive one-size-fits-all approach to make employees feel engaged at work. Employee engagement varies from company to company and team to team, but there are some general strategies that may appeal to employees regardless of their levels of engagement.
Here are some tips to help you achieve employee engagement glory.
1. Respect your team members
Employees don’t just need a good job and competitive wages. They also need your respect. When you show them that you value their hard work, your team will be more dedicated and effective. Take time to ascertain your employees that their time working for you is meaningful and that you appreciate their dedication.
2. Invest in mentorship programs
The power of mentorship is not just the acquisition of skills but also the creation of authentic relationships and an engaging work environment.
Leaders of the future can help employees better understand their jobs by engaging them in a creative mentoring program that helps to unblock the most challenging aspects of their roles. But mentoring doesn’t only benefit fresh talent. It also reinforces your commitment to ongoing professional development for your more experienced employees who likely feel burnt out. Workplace mentoring is also an excellent way to establish and strengthen bonds between team members who are otherwise unacquainted or having trouble working together.
3. Emphasize the importance of having a work-life balance
Make employees aware that you value their personal time as much as their loyalty and dedication to the company. Empower them to take time off when they need to. Show them you care, and know they have a personal life to maintain as well. Trusting your employees to manage their work schedule can be the best way to avoid burnout, motivate them to succeed, and let them know you care about their overall well-being.
4. Don’t let failures go to waste
Despite the best efforts and best intentions, every team is bound to make mistakes. These moments can be scary but also very essential in fostering employee engagement. If someone on your team makes a bad decision, it’s your job as a leader to be open and honest. Being open about your teammates’ failures and not passing the buck strengthens mutual trust. It shows you are human, real, and approachable.
5. Equip your team members with the right tools for success
It’s your responsibility as a manager to bring out the best in your team members. Giving your employees suitable support agents and tools will help do just that. One such tool that can help streamline the work processes and ensure maximum engagement and efficiency is a workflow tool. A workflow tool can help automate repetitive tasks and make sure that everyone is on the same page with the projects they are working on. This can lead to increased productivity and better results for your team. Every employee has something to offer, as long as you provide them with an environment in which they can thrive. If that’s not the case, then it’s inevitable that they’ll fail to meet their targets. And that failure will make them disengaged from the job. Access to best-in-class processes and tools is required to ensure that employees have everything they need to succeed.
6. Organise social activities outside of the office
Social events may not be a cure-all for your company’s engagement problems, but they are part of a larger strategy that will bring you closer to your team members than ever before. Fun team-building activities like holiday parties or team lunches can lead to stronger working relationships, effective communication, and increased job satisfaction. You see, when you get teammates out of the office, away from the desks and computer screens, you break down some of those walls that divide people. Walls like hierarchy and career levels. After all, free food and drink is always a great way to get people mingling.
7. Celebrate people, not just their accomplishments
It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of work and forget employees are more than the work they do. That’s why it is important to celebrate your teammates and the people they are outside of their roles. Take every opportunity to celebrate them, whether it’s a colleague’s birthday, an award they received, or even just a really cool thing they did.
8. Conduct employee feedback meetings
Developing a sense of camaraderie and inclusivity between your team members is critical. That’s why it is essential to maintain and encourage a sense of open discourse. With an open forum, team members feel like they’re actually putting a voice to their ideas, encouraging participation and engagement. A great way to solidify this communication is to schedule regular team feedback meetings. A tool such as actiTime is perfect for coordinating feedback sessions with ease. It helps you make the most of your meeting time by organizing and prioritizing your to-dos, minimizing the likelihood of missed deadlines and wasted hours on unproductive activities.
Discover how to engage employees and create a winning team
The question of how to engage employees is not just about whether you offer them happy hours or a fancy new ping pong table to play with during their break time. Chances are, most of those things will have zero impact on employee engagement. Engaging your employees is a complicated and nuanced strategy. Without a consistent and comprehensive approach, the inroads toward employee engagement that you make may be erased by a single slipup. To increase your team members’ engagement level, focus on developing camaraderie through meaningful interactions with your team and building a culture that people want to be a part of and talk about.
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