Why your team is not engaged

How many of your top performing team have left you – leaving you, as their leader, wondering why, asks Stuart Ross of Global High Growth.

Team members will often quit before they ask for what they truly want. These wants can include clarity, focus on strengths and engaged management.

Clarity of our words

From the leadership perspective, clarity of words requires you to increase explicit communication and expectations, and decrease implicit communication and expectations. Explicit expectations are stated outright, employees know exactly what is expected of them, and in some detail. Implicit expectations are those that team members have to magically ‘figure out’. Clear and consistent communication (meetings, phone calls, emails, texts) are key. Why? Communication reinforces the areas/tasks that the employee ‘owns’, and reminds them that their managers are easy to approach and willing to listen.

Clarity of goals

When done well, performance management has a positive impact on employees. What performance management lacks is going above and beyond the basic annual review. According to Gallup, managers need to help their employees set work priorities and performance goals. When managers help set performance goals, employee engagement is 69 per cent. If managers don’t help to set performance goals, 53 per cent of employees are actively disengaged. Put simply – your team wants your input and feedback on goals and expectations.

Focus on strengths

Employees who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged at work. Weaknesses shouldn’t be ignored, but a strengths focus offers managers a better chance to develop individuals in the context of who they are, instead of attempting to change their personalities. If you want your team to grow, let them use their natural talents.

Managers must be engaged

Employees who work for engaged managers are 59 per cent more likely to be engaged themselves. As a leader in your organisation, ask yourself – are your managers engaged? If managers aren’t engaged, the team isn’t engaged.