Have you ever worked on a project and wondered why team members were not stepping up and performing at their best? Could you be the reason?
When team members take ownership of a project they make every effort to ensure that all aspects of it are handled in the best possible way.
When they don't, it soon becomes evident.
Symptoms of a team that is dis-engaged can include:
- One or more members trying to sabotage the project
- Lack of support for each other
- Lack of effort and attention to detail
- Milestones not being reached within the required timeframe
- Team members not taking responsibility for their role in the project
Why would this happen?
It is important that team members are engaged and informed about all aspects of the project from the outset. If this does not happen then there will be a lack of commitment to the project.
The following aspects need to be made clear to all team members if the project is to have any chance of being a success:
- The purpose of the project
- The role of each of the team members
- The outcomes of the project
- The benefits of those outcomes to both the individual and the organisation
- Milestones for each stage of the project
Once the project is underway, it is important that everyone involved has the necessary resources and autonomy to complete their assigned tasks. If they feel micro-managed and not respected as a professional then their frustration can come through in their actions. They need to feel valued.
How to engage your team
1. Know their motivators
Knowing the motivators of your team members can help to frame the conversation around their involvement in the project.
2. Be clear about the end result
If people know where they're going and the time in which they have to arrive at this destination then they are more likely to be focused on the end result.
New information may become known or situations may develop during a project that require clear communication to team members. Communicating any new developments in a timely manner will help the team to stay focused on the goals of the project.
There will also be times when feedback and support may be required. Ensure that you are available to provide them.
3. Stay on track
Don't change the direction of the project or aspects of it without clear communication to all team members. The appearance of constant indecision or changing the requirements / expectations without answering 'why' can cause frustration.
If a person feels that whatever they do will be changed for the sake of change or because the team leader has changed their mind yet again then they will feel frustrated and de-motivated. Their efforts become 'good enough' as 'It'll be changed anyway.'
4. Remain focused and positive
Approach any hurdles that may arise with a positive attitude. A 'can do' attitude by you means that any possible obstacles are dealt with immediately. Your team will look to you to see how you deal with these hurdles.
Engagement leads to empowerment
Working on a new project can bring a team together for a common goal and build individual skills for the benefit of all. Engagement leads to empowerment.
As the leader of the team it is important that you keep open communication throughout the project and empower your team members to perform at their best.
What are your tips for engaging a team?