An engaged and enthusiastic team stands behind every thriving business. Supporting an environment of a strong organizational culture where people feel trusted, respected and valued is a recipe for success.

Unfortunately, not all businesses recognize this. Figures from Gallup suggest active employee disengagement costs the US working market around $500 billion each year in lost productivity and high turnover.

You can put a dent in these dire statistics. Promoting team engagement in a workplace begins with leadership. Your team members are your greatest asset; you want to attract the very best.

But more importantly, you want to retain them. Let’s explore how.

Biggest Enemies of Team Engagement

Leaders make or break motivation within their team. The biggest obstacles standing on your way to team engagement include:

  • Poor communication creating tension and misunderstandings.
  • Lack of recognition and praise weakening professional relationships and leaving employees feeling undervalued.
  • Micromanagement causing distrust, stress and creative limitations.
  • A poorly-organized system hindering efficiency and the sense of purpose.
  • Unclear objectives sparking confusion and impeding your team’s ability to make the right decisions.
  • Overburden and pushing your team beyond their limits.

Luckily, leaders can prevent all of these. Let’s have a look at how you can encourage a positive environment where trust, respect and recognition prevail.

Top 5 Drivers of Strong Team Motivation

Having a team of talented people promises decent results. But when motivation enters the equation, your team will be able to handle any objective you challenge them with.

Such a team is excited about the work they do every day and strive to go above and beyond their usual routine to accomplish excellent results. That’s because they know the effort they put into their job will be worthwhile.

Here are the top five traits of a highly motivated and engaged teams.

1. Communication Builds Transparency and Collaborative Spirit

Poor communication is at the root of team disengagement. High turnover, depleted productivity, low morale – all of these are most often caused by communication problems.

Your team members want to be heard. Go ahead and ask what’s holding them back from achieving more. It’s crucial you take initiative instead of waiting on them to make the first move.

Keep regular one-to-one meetings and retrospectives laid back. Similarly, surveys shouldn’t feel like a chore; find a suitable time and turn it into a fun experience. This is bound to do wonders in encouraging dialogue between all parties – leadership, management, team and customers.

You’ll be able to give your team an invaluable opportunity to speak their mind while promoting transparency and reducing turnover. Listen to your employee’s thoughts and make it clear they are being heard.

You can do this by taking visible, punctual action upon it. There’s no better way of showing your team their feedback matters.

2. Trust and Respect is the Bedrock of Self-Managed Teams  

Micromanagement does not belong in a result-oriented workplace. Respect your team, trust their capabilities and give them the freedom to do their job – after all, that’s why you’ve hired them.

Give your team the space to be creative.

Your team will make mistakes, it’s inevitable. Pointing fingers does no good. If you’re looking to blame anyone, blame your process and seek to improve it.

Refrain from taking a spartan stance; your team will close in under the intimidation, stop sharing their thoughts and work in a repressive way. A way which is likely to negatively affect their self-esteem and efficiency at work.

Instead, empower your team members to make their own decisions and become a little more independent each day. In turn, they will take more responsibility for the success of your business.

The Kanban Method can help your team become more self-managed by the day and help you achieve better results, faster.

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3. Appreciation and Recognition Propel Loyalty

Your team members want to hear they’re doing a great job.

Work worthy of recognition should always be graced with it. A simple act of appreciation – even if it’s only a thank you – makes your team members feel valued and confident about the work they do.

Employees need to know their contributions matter. Make sure you personally commend their efforts where due. It’s easy yet so effective in increasing individual loyalty to your business and driving higher retention.

Track how recognition affects the productivity of your team. Measuring your team’s morale is one of the most accurate ways of evaluating your team’s well being.

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4. Learning and Growth Sustain Team Engagement in the Long Run

Building a stellar company culture of trust and accountability starts with creating opportunities for growth.

Providing opportunities for learning and advancement is one of the best ways to retain top performers and reduce turnover. Start out by making their career path clear. Focus on onboarding, training opportunities and mentoring. This will help your employees improve their skills, understand business values and excel at what they do.

And while your team members should clearly define their goals, aim to provide them with the means to achieve those ambitions.

One of those means is time – a key currency when it comes to personal and professional development. Instead of utilizing every single minute of your team’s working hours, strive to allow more idle time that team members can use to expand their knowledge.

Aside from alleviating much of the stress, your team will be able to deliver work with precision and quality. Over time, as one small improvement leads to another, your team will become more engaged and self-managed. The Kanban Method advocates the practice of balancing demand with throughput in order to boost your workflow efficiency.

In other words, it suggests you invest in your team’s growth so that each employee is more invested at work.

5. Igniting Engagement By Working Toward a Shared Goal

Individual talent is great, but a collective effort is what drives results. When your team is working in good unison, amazing things happen. But for them to work cohesively you need to promote a positive work environment.

Make sure you set clear goals and objectives, allow ample flexibility and create an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable. Healthy professional relationships glue every business together.

Promote a constructive attitude among your team, and lead by example. Invest in team-building activities – this can be as simple as going for a couple of drinks together after work. Encourage a climate of sharing and collaborating – team quizzes and workshops will help.

All this will not only give you a competitive edge, but it will also make working seem like fun. And when work is fun, more things get done.

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