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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- Ensure you allocate time for your team to make connections and have conversations unrelated to work.
- Show personal interest in your team members and be present during your conversations with them.
- 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!
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