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New year, new team: Four ways to boost your team’s engagement and performance this year

Recently I conducted research with my corporate clients and one of the biggest challenges they faced fell into the category of employee engagement and performance. “How do I get my employees to take ownership of their job and perform in a way I would like?” was the most popular question I received. This is a common problem. According to Gallup, barely one in ten of the global workforce is engaged on the job. Most people are just checked out. While your ”new team” may not mean new persons, it could mean a team with new perspectives and attitudes that contribute to higher levels of engagement and performance in 2018.

How’s your team? Is it engaged? Why or why not?

As we start a brand new year, it is a critical time to create a moment where you bring team members together, clarify their goals, figure out their motivations and help them to be more aligned and productive.

Even if you have already done some type of new year meeting with your team, review these points to ensure that all these critical points were covered.

The critical link is “connection” according to Michael Hyatt, author of Best Year Ever. Here are four ways guaranteed to boost team engagement especially at the beginning of this year. In my corporate training and consulting capacity, these four points are exactly what I agree with – especially if it’s done in a fully interactive style and format that best suits your team.

Connect your team to the vision. When teammates don’t understand or care how their daily tasks serve organizational goals, it’s nearly impossible for them to maintain interest in their work. People laying bricks stay inspired when they realize they’re building cathedrals says author Michael Hyatt. So take time to explain the why behind the what. This can be done in a variety of creative ways.

Connect your team to you as their leader. People don’t work for companies; they work for other people. Often, folks don’t engage because their leaders don’t engage them. When leadership is faceless, two-dimensional, or dismissive, they lose interest (or never commit to begin with). It’s the leader’s job to go first—build rapport, demonstrate concern, and personally invest.

Connect your team to one another. People stay engaged with their work when they are engaged with their co-workers.
Toxic organizational culture breeds disengagement—emotionally healthy people will find their way to the door. Leaders should look for ways to cultivate mutual appreciation and create opportunities for positive shared experiences.

Connect your team to your results. One of the most important things a team leader can do is to begin regularly sharing company results even down to the financials. Allow people to see what their daily work does to shape the quarter and the year. Transparency is a leader’s friend. Don’t be afraid to share the metrics and underscore the relationship between team efforts and organizational results.

If you’re wondering why your employees aren’t engaged and want to do something about it in the new year, consider what you might need to do (or stop doing) to forge these critical connections. Each of these points requires steps and activities for it to be effective and long lasting but teams can certainly grow when done right.

During the month of January and February, I am conducting a series of Engage and Perform team building sessions for corporate organizations.

These are alignment sessions designed to get everyone in the team on the same page about goals, aspirations, needs, and rules. It has a great capacity to gently resolve conflicts and can be conducted in a variety of time blocks.
If you are interested in learning more, contact me at keshelle@keshelledavis.com.

• Bahamian Icon winner and a Nassau Guardian “Top 40 under 40”, Keshelle Davis helps companies improve their productivity and performance. She is the CEO of The Training Authority, an internationally recognized speaker and author. Formerly she served as executive director of the Chamber Institute – the education arm of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC), and has impacted thousands through her mission to educate, empower and inspire. Contact Keshelle at keshelle@keshelledavis.com.

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