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Factors that Influence Team Engagement

Factors that Influence Team Engagement

Has your team engagement dropped over the past year? Since team engagement is directly correlated to employee engagement, we looked closer into employee engagement over the past year. A 2021 Gallup study found that 34% of US employees were engaged in their workplace while 16% of employees were actively disengaged. Compared to a 14% disengagement rate in 2020, this is a concerning upwards trend that is critical for leaders to reflect upon carefully. This study also found that the three areas contributing to the greatest declines in employee engagement were, “…clarity in expectations, having the right materials and equipment, and the opportunity for workers to do what they do best.” (Gallup, US Employee Engagement Drops for First Year in a Decade, 2021) As all three areas are fundamental to employee engagement, and by extension team engagement, it is important that leaders continually work toward providing employees with at least these key areas. 

For leaders looking to increase team engagement, it’s important to look at what factors impact team engagement and then determine how these factors can be improved upon to increase engagement.

What factors impact team engagement and how can I fix them? 

A whole host of issues can impact your team’s engagement, but we’ll highlight the top 3 factors , and give you some tips on how to fix or improve upon them. 

Clarity

As noted in the study above, clarity is one of the key elements of positive employee engagement. Employees who are aligned with organizational values and direction are more likely to perform well and be more engaged at work. Ensure that you are sharing your organization’s core values along with vision and mission statement, plus keep these documents up-to-date. Not only does this establish clarity, it also ensures that new employees are aligned with the organization’s values and future direction. 

Flexibility & Shifting Work Environments

An EY study shows that 90% of employees want “flexibility in where and when they work.” (Ernst & Young Global, Business suffering ‘commitment issues’ on flexible working, 2021) Because the pandemic opened up new ways of working, many employees are now looking for hybrid or remote work options which is forcing employers to evaluate traditional work patterns. These new work environments can really impact your team’s engagement–especially when it comes to having team meetings or events. To help strengthen your work environment to include and adapt to hybrid or remote workers, ensure that you are focusing on both physical and mental well-being along with encouraging human connection

Technology

As our work environments shift, more importance is placed on technology, both in respect to physical technology and software. An EY study showed that 64% of employees want faster internet and videoconferencing technology available in physical offices while 48% of employees wanted organizations to upgrade their at-home hardware or reimbursement for higher-speed internet or cell phone expenses. In order to ensure that all employees can perform their work functions appropriately and participate in engagement activities, it s extremely important that employers establish either budgets for hardware or provide hardware plus offer allowances for internet and/or cell phone expenses. 

What does all this mean?

A recent Inc.com article sums it up perfectly: “1. Focus on outcomes rather than time spent in the office. 2. Trust and empower your employees.” (Inc., This Company’s New 2 Sentence Remote Work Policy is the Best I’ve Ever Heard: Siemen’s new remote policy is a master class in emotional intelligence, 2021) 

In our opinion, both of these points are connected. In order to focus on results, leaders must trust and empower their employees. By creating an environment focused on well-being and human connection along with providing employees with clarity regarding organizational values and direction, you’re laying the foundation for trust and empowerment. Once you’ve established this foundation, the ability to focus on results will naturally follow. The key here is using emotional intelligence to create a culture of engagement as this allows you to elevate your employees to go above and beyond, both for your team and for the organization. 

That’s great, but how do I increase team engagement?

There are definitely a few ways that you can leverage your emotional intelligence to effectively increase team engagement. Focus on these key steps: 

  1. Schedule team meetings regularly to increase clarity amongst the team. Ensure you use a meeting agenda to outline the purpose of a meeting as well as to define the topics that will be discussed and decisions that the team needs to make. 
  2. Ensure you allocate time for your team to make connections and have conversations unrelated to work. 
  3. Show personal interest in your team members and be present during your conversations with them.
  4. Show appreciation in the workplace and encourage others to do the same! 

Provide regular feedback to ensure you’re cultivating a culture of transparency and growth.

If you need help building your team’s engagement, book a call with us here

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it impacts your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, and inventory of resources and much more!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin to keep up with our latest blogs! 

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Experiential Learning in the Workplace

Experiential Learning in the Workplace

The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius once said: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”.

Today more and more organizations are gravitating to assimilating experiential learning in the workplace. Why? Companies are starting to see the benefits of bringing in training programs that encourage learning through “doing” and “experiencing.”

When you incorporate experiential learning into your training programs, it increases the learners’ motivation to learn, it produces more autonomous learners, expands the transfer of knowledge/skill to the workplace, and cultivates more meaningful learning. If your training programs are not designed to include approximately 30% of the time focused on disseminating the content to the learner and 70% of the time allowing them to apply what they learned, then you are missing the boat.

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING IN THE WORKPLACE 

TO BE EXPERIENTIAL; IT SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING FUNDAMENTAL ADULT LEARNING PRINCIPLES:

  1. It must have a purpose and personal applicability to the learner (relevance)
  2. Participants must be allowed to improve their learning by applying new skills (practice, feedback, and repetition)
  3. There must be reflection time to make connections between the activity and real-world applications (transference)

 

Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” With this in mind, do your training programs provide your employees with an experience they will remember?

Creating opportunities for your employees to experience an emotional connection to a concept is what is going to stay with them, not notes from a training session. Not sure how you will flavour your training programs with experiential learning?

Incorporating some role-plays, games, case studies, simulations, problem-based learning, sensitivity training, or on-the-job training are all experiential learning activities that will help the learner employ the concepts of what they learned.

Experiential learning allows an employee to get their hands dirty while applying what they have learned. Learning by doing provides the learner with instant feedback. They can reflect on what to keep doing, what to modify, or what to change altogether.

When you employ multiple senses and emotional connections when training, it creates stronger memories. Let’s not forget; our brains are wired to remember emotions. Experiential learning enables employees to feel something, improving the brain’s ability to remember. Training without an “experiential” component means you risk missing out on integrating what they learned into their day-to-day activities.

Experiential learning in the workplace allows the learner to get creative solving problems and more motivated to learn. It provides an opportunity to reflect, make connections between new concepts and existing ones, and engage more regions in their brains. This allows the learner to make genuine personal connections to the material, which helps enhance their knowledge and skills and yields more meaning behind the learning.

Experiential education is the ideal learning model that allows for direct, hands-on engagement with course content. The act of practicing a skill and reflecting on our experiences strengthens the neural connections in our brain, making us, in effect, “smarter.” It accelerates our learning, helps us apply critical thinking and adapt to changing circumstances.

It is critical that you incorporate experiential learning into your training and development programs, and allow your employees to practice, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and try again. As Sir Richard Branson says, “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”

Do you need help in effectively integrating experiential learning in the workplace?  Book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it impacts your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, to keep up with more of our blogs!

 

Using Your EQ for Successful Networking

Using Your EQ for Successful Networking

Everyone has heard that networking and building relationships is a crucial part of business and it’s true. However, large majorities believe that networking is only done face-to-face, which is in fact incorrect. Yes, networking events are common in a lot of businesses, but if you would like to connect with another person or business there are alternative ways, such as: email, phone, or connecting on business social media platforms like LinkedIn. Limiting yourself to just one outlet to connect with someone limits your opportunity of actually making an impact. Using your EQ for successful networking and maintaining professional relationships, will set you apart from your competition!

The 3 Ways of Using Your EQ For Successful Networking:

1. You know your desired outcome

Being self-aware, and understanding what you want is a huge element of networking. Whether it is getting a new job, connecting with potential clients, or talking to fellow employees; your ambition to get the result you want will be higher if you know what you need and want. Before you go to an event, pick up the phone or send an email to a potential business connection to open communication up. Think to yourself why do you want to talk to them? And what is the ideal outcome from this connection?

2. You are more aware of others

There are two parties involved in networking: you and the other person(s) you are connecting with. Having emotional intelligence, allows you to not only understand your emotions but others around you as well. When having a conversation with another person, it is important to have the ability to pick up on their reactions, responses, and emotions throughout the conversation – It will help you with what and how you say things.

3. You are able to express yourself

It is important to be yourself when networking or meeting new people, and self-expression helps you do that. Once you work on your EI muscles, you will be given the strength to become assertive which, in networking, is crucial. Being able to walk into a room and exude confidence and a powerful personality will not only help you connect with others but make a lasting impression.

3 Important Things to Remember when Networking

1. Don’t only talk about work

It is important to make a true connection and build positive relationships, and if you only focus on and talk about work, chances are you will leave an unimpressionable mark on the other party. Small talk can be at times tricky, but find something both parties have in common and go from there!

2. Be creative

If you network via email or LinkedIn, make sure the message is memorable. If you are trying to get a job that you know requires a portfolio of some kind, be ahead of the game and submit a sample piece in your message.

3. Stay in contact

The biggest mistake people make is to wait for the other party to reach out first. Remember to ask for their business card, email address or phone number. After your first encounter, it is always a good idea to send a follow-up email or phone call to show your interest in them and it will leave a great impression.

To discover more about your level of EQ and how to improve on it, check out our free emotional intelligence tools! 

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your company and team members, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you’re looking to build your EQ for successful networking, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!