Leadership & Strategy | October 19, 2015

Creative Ways to Engage your Team

Creative engagement is essential to any good business. We have all dreamt of being on those teams where everything flows well, communication is clear, people are anticipating needs, and everyone is working together to make things better than when they walked in the door. This is employee utopia.

How do you get there? This isn’t rocket science, but there is a science to it. To get started now and go forward with confidence, here are 10 tools to help you engage your team.

Keys to Engaging Your Team

Be With Them: Managers that sit in their office are not always respected. You don’t lead best from behind your team, but from alongside them. If you work in a retail store, this means working a Saturday closing shift, folding shirts, and making sales. If you work in an office, this means sitting and eating with everyone, sharing ideas, and getting to know your team. You can’t engage your team if you’re not there.

Show Progress: People like to know how they’re doing. From day one, set clear goals with your team. There has to be a tangible way to track employee progress. Not only does this help you coach a poor employee, but it helps you reward a great one.

Encourage Competition: Healthy competition is good for a team. Partner strong and weak employees together to foster relationships and teaching opportunities.

Employee Created Incentives: You can plan ways to engage your team until you are blue in the face. Make it easier by getting your team to tell you what inspires them. To you, an extra fifteen minute break might not seem that great, but it may be just what they want.

Be Flexible: A good manager will roll with things and be open to new ideas. Try things for a week or month to see if it works. If it doesn’t work, go back to your way. If it does, reward the creativity and initiative of your team.

Have Fun: You may spend more time at work than at home. Laugh, be open, and have fun. Take a tip from the top companies and look for ways to add whimsy to the workplace. From a game room to a joke of the day, pick an option and lightens the mood and motivates your team.

Challenge People: Bored employees can become lazy and disinterested. Don’t be afraid to switch up roles and responsibilities every once in a while. Have the current team member in the position train the new one, then give them four to six months to master their new role. This not only will engage your team, but make them more well-rounded.

Activities Outside the Workplace: Cultivating a team with effortless communication started with building a bond. Team sports, comedy workshops, and retreats get everyone out of the hustle and bustle of the office and out of their shell. Are you planning a holiday party? Click here for our favorite holiday work party ideas.

Say Thank You: Job satisfaction is about being appreciated. If you want to engage your team, thank them. Tell them they are valuable and doing a good job. You never know how much it may mean to someone to hear a heartfelt thank you at the end of a long day.

Click here for more tips on leading a team.