Inspiring And Enabling People
To Make A Difference
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Engaging your Team
with Ian Redmond of Explore Training & Development Ltd
Ian has been helping teams develop and thrive for many years, both during his career at The Royal Bank of Scotland and since establishing his own company in 2001. Ian is one of our most popular Simesco associates, particularly with managers that are struggling to get the best out of their teams. I caught up with him on an assignment recently and asked him what he thought were the best ways of engaging with your team to ensure that they are focused on success, every simgle day. In his own inimitable style he quickly came up with the following list of six ideas that, if implemented, he felt would make a big impact.
“We like to take a very pragmatic and common sense approach to our work – so here are six thoughts that, in our experience, do not appear to be as common place as you’d like to think!
Share your knowledge (as much as you are able) with your staff. Knowledge is not power – it’s what you do with it that matters. Tell people what you can, explain when you can’t, welcome their feedback, thoughts and ideas. Create new and exciting methods for sharing plans and new initiatives. Do your staff have sufficient knowledge to be able to do their job? How do you know?
2. Show a genuine interest in your staff.
How well do you know your staff on a personal level? Imagine the benefits to your team or business if you took more time and effort to connect with each individual. Why would a member of staff want to take more responsibility within the business if their manager didn’t do this?
3. Create the right atmosphere.
What do you do to create an atmosphere that encourages an engaged workforce? What actions are you guilty of that discourage employees from getting more involved? Top managers know that their every thought, word and action is responsible for creating the culture – good or bad. They allow staff to empower themselves, they establish clear boundaries, involve staff in decisions and reviewing performance, they look for opportunities to celebrate successes and they encourage staff to challenge processes etc constructively.
4. Demonstrate you value contribution from others.
People become genuinely engaged in activities when they have an interest in them. The more they can contribute the more you increase the opportunity to generate an interest. How much opportunity do you create for your staff to participate in decisions, planning, idea generation and following through on action plans? Remember the saying – ‘the sum of the parts is greater than the whole’.
5. Clear Expectations.
How clear are your employees about what you expect of them? Our experience suggests that there is always opportunity to improve in this area. We recently ran an Expectation Exchange exercise as part of a team building programme with some fascinating results. We helped the team describe what they expected from each other in specific situations, producing clear gaps which were leading to dissatisfaction from both sides. By the end, the team in this example understood each others positions better and got rid of a few hindering differences between the team and the manager which improved their team working approach.
When was the last time you provided each member of your team with some personal and motivating feedback? How often do you do this? Catching people doing things right is just as important as correcting feedback. Employees who understand what is expected of them and know how well they are performing against these expectations are more likely to feel cared for at work and perform better.