High Performing Teams Have Highly Engaged Team Members
It would seem to be simple common sense but now we have the numbers to prove it: two-thirds of the workers surveyed felt they were more efficient when working closely with coworkers. They work better when they work well together.
Gensler, the world’s leading collaborative design firm, conducted the workplace study. The survey included more than 2,000 participants at all staff levels, over eight industries across the United States. Though they were looking for the impact of workplace design on the productivity of workers, their results have enormous implications for increasing employee engagement. Their data support the belief that highly engaged workers, those that work well together as a unit, are members of high performing teams. One has a direct influence on the other.
It stands to reason that, if you feel as though your contribution to the team is meaningful and valued, you have a powerful sense of wellbeing. Wellbeing begets happiness which begets increased engagement which begets greater productivity. Employee engagement training is all about learning what it takes to feel good about your work.
To keep your employees working well together:
- Manage the make-up of your team.
Take a tip from Gensler and be purposeful in how you design your team. Of course, you will avoid (or get rid of) toxic personalities who sabotage team values or goals and destroy motivation. But don’t settle for workers who are consistently low or average performing.Focus less on the skills needed to do the job than on values and attitudes. Team make-up is all about team culture. Decide how you want your team to behave on a day-to-day basis and then prune and hire for people who consistently exhibit those behaviors.The greater the compatibility of team members, the happier they will be. And the author of The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Anchor, maintains that the brain works better when a person is feeling positive. When workers are happy, they are more effective at collaboration and at working toward common goals.
- Manage the opportunities to share both personal and professional lives.
How often does your team get together? Financial incentives are less important as stimulants to greater productivity than worker satisfaction. Happy workers are 10% more productive than unhappy workers. Why not, then, provide more opportunities for coworkers to mingle and share? It could be as simple as starting off each regular meeting with “Good News” from each team member. The news could be a recent goal achieved at work or a milestone celebrated at home.
- Manage your own behavior.
Remember that as team leader you are the role model of the behavior you want to encourage. If you want respect, show respect. If you want open, straightforward communication, you must set the example. If you want to encourage continuous learning, be a bit vulnerable and open when you have lessons to learn or improvements to make. As you go, so goes the team.
The science of well-being will be more fully explored in years to come. But, in the meantime, do what you can to build teams that enjoy their work and enjoy their workers. Higher levels of employee engagement and increased productivity will follow.