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Topics: Communications Management, Talent Management, Teams
What Are You Using to Improve Team Engagement?
There are many challenges facing teams today: globalization, remote work, multi-generations, gender differences, cultural differences, etc. I am hearing that employee engagement is currently a big struggle. I am curious to know what is being used to improve employee engagement and what is working and what is not. Thank you!
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What I do is: to make them visible that they will be more rich with the solution we are going to create than without it, where rich does not mean more money only. To do that, some techniques or methods related to stakeholder management and more are needed.
Mathew -

A combination of Daniel Pink's trilogy from Drive (Autonomy, Mastery & Purpose) with the opposite of Patrick Lencioni's Three Signs of a Miserable Job (Anonymity, Immeasurability, Irrelevance), regular authentic recognition and supported by the underpinning of psychological safety...


I look back at behaviours I have exhibited when being face2face and try to transform them to a virtual behaviour.

A smile, a thank you, walking around, having a chat, overhearing a conversation, smelling people, food and office, touching a hand, a shoulder, clapping ....
You can find ways to do this by opening your video on zoom, showing your room, not a background, pinging people on the chat privately (not controlling them), having a joint coffee time, doing joint exercises to feel touch (put your left hand on your cheek), etc.

And also utilize virtual capabilities, there are tools to monitor online communication and show upcoming issues, share videos, book readings and excerpt, exchange zoom with clubhouse once a week, send a taste or a smell to everyone, use gamification of your team collaboration (lookup octalysis).

As a leader make sure you know everybody's situation, listen and offer help. Be interested in people.

Read the new and last book of Tom Peters, Extreme Humanism.
In virtual conferences, turn on the video-camera, so other stakeholders can see non-verbal language, like facial expressions. Written communication using chat is also a way to get in contact with other colleagues. Create a WhatsApp group of the team, to allow team members to share commentaries and interact with others.
I am agree with Thomas Walenta, well explain all the things.
Saying Thank You is essential as mentioned by @Thomas.

I would also from time to time make small recognition by mentioning team or individual name to management over email so it is visible to the team.
We talking about small achievements, not big recognitions. And it has to be sensitive and balanced.
Best if management responds to this by short Thank You email. You may want to agree on this communication upfront.


The more You build a leadership position of yourself, the more people will follow w/o special actions. But this is another dimension :)
What I miss most is the informal one-on-one - the office drop by; the coffee station "how are you doing?"; the hallway "by-the-way"; the coffee shop across the street; the elevator "good morning, how about those Blue Jays?"; the chit-chat before and after the meeting. How does one replace those?

The Zoom meetings just don't do it. I used to see and chat with team members numerous times a day now we have weekly Zoom meetings which tend to be formal, agenda driven with a need to appear effective.

Maybe over time we will adjust or evolve.

Meanwhile, I keep looking for ways to connect. If physical get togethers are not possible, lets not forget the personal phone call (personal rather than formal). Quick email - "get yourself a coffee and I'll call you in ten minutes for a chit-chat". Or, just a cold call.

It's easier for some than others and there is an initial awkwardness but worth the effort. Ultimately when facing an issue the personal touch will facilitate problem identification, solution and implementation.
Dear colleague, first I think you should evaluate the level of commitment and motivation of the team to then create the coaching or mentoring needed in each case. Because, although the team is on physical colocation and even having communication face to face, without motivation and a goal collective commitment, neither practice is going to work.
The style of leadership is essential to manage this kind of situation, given the fact that many of the team members could be a distributed team or even on home office mode, which prevents still more effective communication. Indeed, tries to implement techniques of assurance participative decision-making process, based on a consensus-driven to reach collective commitment. There are many brainstorming tests to ensure collective participation and consensus that can be implemented on workshop sessions as Round-robin, Free-for-all, Silent ideas generation and other collaborative games. Also, the continuous coaching and mentoring of the leader, assessing whether each team member is aligned with a mindset driven by a preventive solve-problem approach, more than a reactive, developing soft competencies to achieve a collaborative relationship among all team members. This encourages members to develop initiatives of leadership to propose solutions, which is a reactive motivational chain to build participation to a collective commitment.
Finally, it is important to create a safe environment, so the stakeholder's support is critical to design a governance system to promote the generation of solutions, ideas and engage team members to be part of the solution.
One could think of several ways or nudges to create team engagement. At the end of the day, the team will be motivated if they see the value in what they do. Working in the pharmaceutical industry, I have it quite easy. I tell the team that everything we do contributes in saving lives - even if it is in an undirect manner, it still counts.

The team is a lot more engaged when the working atmosphere is pleasant and challenging. And more importantly, when the team achieves such a maturity level that team members pull work, as opposed as work being pushed upon them. Acting vs. Reacting, like Covey wrote in his famous book - third habit of highly effective people. It does wonders.

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