How To Improve Team Engagement

August 27, 2011

Leadership


Playing your zone

Photo by Flickr member DeusXFlorida

Improving team engagement and motivation has been a hot topic for me this week.  It has become clear that the team at one of our suppliers is not performing as expected because the team’s engagement with the product and the job is not where it needs to be.  They are doing the functional part of their jobs, but that’s it.  They aren’t asking questions or raising a flag if there are issues.  Considering what the team does and the project they are on, that’s a big deal.

So how do we improve the team’s engagement?  There are a number of basic steps:

  • Make sure all the basic needs are being met.  This one should be obvious, but too many times it is not.  Pay the team a livable, competitive salary for what they do.  Ensure they have a clean, safe and reasonably comfortable work environment.  Ensure all the basic company operations work smoothly.
  • Ensure every team member has the tools and training to do their job effectively.  When it is the main tool to get the job done, something as simple as a slow computer can be completely demoralizing.
  • Know and recognize when someone is doing a good job and demonstrating the right behaviours.  There are many ways to show such recognition.
  • Identify and invest in high potential employees.
  • Remove the bad apples from the team.  Dealing with problem team members can be hard, but removing a toxic influence can be a major boost to moral.
  • Be engaged with the team – be visible, know what they are doing and provide timely, authentic feedback.

I would love to have some feedback from my readers on this topic:

  • What gets you more motivated at work?
  • What sort of things have you or your management team tried to improve team engagement?
  • What sorts of initiatives have had the opposite impact and just demotivated you or your team?
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About Liza Wood

After a dozen years leading video game development projects in a variety of roles, I decided to pursue a Master of Data Science at the University of British Columbia. Studying data science doesn’t mean I’m moving away from leading people. Growing data science teams need collaborative, pragmatic, Agile leadership to connect data to all areas of the business. I would like to share that point of view, along with my experiences, on this blog.

View all posts by Liza Wood

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4 Comments on “How To Improve Team Engagement”

  1. Leanne Whalen Says:

    As usual, on the money. Sure you don’t want to come back to California?

    Reply

  2. guest Says:

    * Things that improve my engagement

    Recognition, regular feedback, having clear objectives (for at least a few weeks), reasonable working times, sound processes, opportunity to improve, (genuine) team building with company backing,

    * Things that demotivate me

    Goals and deadlines that keep changing, inappropriate tools, nonexistent or broken processes that nobody follows, managers that don’t listen, see or care, not having time to fix processes, not having time to self-improve, no team spirit, crazy or unreasonable working hours

    Obviously, the second set does more to kill any motivation than the absence of the first set 😉

    Reply

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