Early in my adult life, I learned that I am a “set it and forget it” type of cook. I love quickly preparing a meal and then walking away for 8 hours or longer until I’m ready to simply pull it out of the oven and enjoy. While there are ways to make this work when it comes to cooking, there are other areas of life where “set it and forget it” simply doesn’t work. Leading a team is one of those instances.
Building an engaged and productive team requires regular reinforcement, not a “set it and forget it” approach. According to Martin Zwilling , leaders need to model engaged behavior and be present and available to team members. If you are eager to see your team achieve its goals and move the business forward, consider these three strategies to leading your team.
“When team members see how their role supports the organization’s mission and have guidance on how they can make an impact, great things can happen.”
According to research by Gallup , “employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged.” A monthly conversation about goals, progress, and concerns – whether face-to-face, over phone, or via video call – can ensure agreement on the current priorities and understanding of how their work moves the mission forward.
Connect the Role to Company Purpose
When team members see how their role supports the organization’s mission and have guidance on how they can make an impact, great things can happen. It takes time and energy for leaders to keep employees engaged and focused on the right objectives, but the results have a considerable impact on business outcomes. Research by Mercer found that “working with a sense of purpose boosts employee motivation, productivity, morale, and overall job satisfaction”. Take the time to remind your team of the company’s purpose and the impact of their work regularly.
Provide Positive Feedback
Praise is one of the greatest motivators. Take the time to recognize team members for positive contributions. Provide rewards for their impact on the organization and purpose. Taking the time to provide positive feedback sends the message that you value their involvement on your team and strengthens their engagement.
The labor market is competitive. People are employed and have opportunities to quickly move to the next employer when a new, more interesting position presents itself. Turnover is expensive. Leaders need to take responsibility for developing and retaining good talent if the business is going to thrive. All too often managers and leaders find good people, walk them through an onboarding process and then set them off on their own, hoping they will accomplish great things. It could be months, maybe even a full year before another conversation is held to discuss progress, career satisfaction, and/or development opportunities. By the time these conversations are held, it may be too late.
It may seem easier to “set it and forget it” when supporting your team members but ultimately that approach is probably best left to your rotisserie oven or crockpot. Investing time with your team members will lead to greater retention and productivity and ultimately stronger business results.