Leaders know and recognize that the team’s engagement is the biggest key to the success of any business. Business leaders tend to focus on developing the company, and the culture follows. The business’s culture is really how the organization operates, what values the organization and its leaders have, and hold up to all decisions as to the final test of validity. Developing a culture or changing a culture is a long and arduous process, but it can be gratifying for the entire team – leaders, employees, vendors, and clients.
Why Build a Culture of Engagement?
‘Engagement’ inherently asks for participation and open-minded connections that drive collaboration; the result will be improved innovation, increased morale on the team, opportunities for team members to ‘show their stuff,’ and the ability to see productivity and execution jump by leaps and bounds.
Engagement invites communication. Communication on all levels – within the groups and with other stories- enables collaboration, brainstorming, constructive problem-solving, and even challenges to the status quo. In a culture of engagement, the challenges to the status quo are seen as ways to move forward and try new things instead of questioning previous leaders and teams. The status quo is no longer static. The status quo is now ready to be a moving and evolving target.
By engaging the team, individuals can also focus on allowing new talents and skills to be seen. Prospective leaders can take charge and help build their future by providing the example of leadership, leading the group or project, and engaging others. The engagement culture will help develop a solid succession plan for the evolution of an infrastructure that will support the organization to move it forward in new directions. An organization can only sustain the culture by building leaders within it. A solid succession plan will build continuity in the business, increase profitability, and encourage future growth.
How to Build a Culture of Engagement
Start with reviewing communication practices to determine if there are better ways of providing messages. Understand when verbal communication is better than written communication. Find opportunities to use open-ended questions and seek suggestions and ideas before making decisions or solving problems. Seeking input and collaboration, even just for the first time, changes the atmosphere and allows for more opportunities to collaborate, create, innovate, and solve the issue at hand.
Allow team members to structure their performance reviews. Give team members time to evaluate their work before reviewing or critiquing the outcomes. Not only will this will provide feedback from the team member, helping the leader understand the standards the employee has set for themselves,
It will also help the leader make comparisons and articulate any gaps in standards and expectations, building a solid development plan for the future.
Eliminating unnecessary reporting will continue to develop a culture of engagement. Part of the meeting is trust and empowerment. When employees and teams are allowed to make their own decisions without always having to seek external approval, work gets done faster and more confident because of the trust shown. This empowerment continues to spiral into ever-growing productivity and better-executed work, leading to higher profitability, better client service, and increase business development.
Understanding what culture the business has created is the first step. Knowing that a culture of engagement can drive improved morale, innovation, and business results is the second step to moving the organization in the right direction. Lastly, evaluate what communication takes place to foster engagement and create the company’s culture to continue to grow and evolve, always remembering to keep all stakeholders in mind – employees, vendors, clients, and leaders.