Team members fully engaged in what they’re doing are loyal to the organisation they work for and committed to getting the job done. They have a common purpose and work towards the same goal. But if just one of them disengages, it can affect the whole team dynamic and spread negativity throughout. So how do leaders stop that happening and make sure the whole team remains connected and, consequently, productive?
Importance of communication
Without regular and clear communication, a team can become confused and disconnected from each other. This might be particularly evident at the moment with the increase in the number of home-workers and team members not all being together in the same place as they might have been before the pandemic.
Out of sight, out of mind? Assuming someone’s ok just because they don’t say otherwise could prove to be the first step on the road to a fractured team. In any circumstance, maintaining connections and being available is important for helping team members to avoid feelings of isolation.
It can be hard sometimes for leaders to let go of the reins but it can pay dividends for a team’s level of engagement. Leaders don’t need to have all the answers and allowing a team to take ownership of an issue themselves gives them an opportunity to share their ideas with each other and become a bigger part of the solution.
Everyone needs opportunities – to succeed and sometimes even to fail – to help feel involved and for a sense of purpose to grow. Fostering a team culture of trust and autonomy might therefore be the way forward.
Knowing the individuals
How well do you really know the people in your team? Do you play to their individual strengths – and take account of their weaknesses?
No leader needs to be too involved in their team members’ personal lives but being sensitive to their circumstances and what’s going on in their lives can help with untangling any issues within the team dynamic. When team members feel that they belong and that someone’s looking out for them, they’re often motivated to work harder.
Of course, all teams are different and what works well for one may not work for another. But it’s worth remembering that when a team is engaged, they’re more than just committed to the task at hand, they’re also invested in the mission and values of the organisation as well.