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5 Key Strategies to build a productive and engaging team

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Do you manage teams? How do you ensure that your team feels engaged?

Jun 29 · 5 min read
Leadership
Leadership
Collaborative Team Development
Collaborative Team Development
Freebie
Freebie
Group of managers and direct reports launching their product

If these questions resonate with you, take a read on how Monica intends to develop and engage her team. 

Meet Monica – a senior leader and manager who strives to be a thoughtful and good manager for her team and company. We’re about to dive into what Monica does in keeping tabs of her team’s growth, how to supercharge it, while also ensuring their blind spots are found & made aware of.

Let’s consider a few prerequisite circumstances of how Monica manages her team:

Daily

Monica’s always keeping an eye out for anything that her direct reports do that inspire or impress her. She captures these experiences (with context) on a day-to-day basis — whether it be a project’s progress, a member anticipating her needs, or perhaps a gesture from someone that made the day just that much better for the team. The important bit is that she takes time to share them with her direct reports, encouraging them to do the same and continue building on these habits.

When met with adversity, she reminds herself to keep a note of such encounters too. Monica has seen many situations where a simple instance that didn’t go according to plan, can engulf and take over the human brain, creating spirals of thoughts or concern, which can lead to an involuntary bias, amongst heightened levels of anxiousness.

A 6:1 ratio of positive feedback is found to be the golden number for employees to perform their best, according to Harvard, and she finds it wise to not share these concerns immediately. Jotting down such moments allows her to remove the initial anxiety & stress around the matter, and lets her refocus for the day ahead.

Monica will come back to her “improvements” at the end of the week, and evaluate which ones need to be passed on as critical feedback to her team.

Weekly

Apart from her daily cadences, she puts aside some time on her calendar weekly, using it to reflect through the past week (most managers dedicate a 15-min slot on a Friday afternoon). This allows Monica to go through her existing experiences & moments, and take time to reflect on her directs’ areas of development.

She ensures there are specific details at the heart of her reflections, meant to be a guide for her team to grow and become better, rather than just a passing by note. Sharing a laundry list of improvements to a member could be detrimental to their growth, and can find themselves feeling overwhelmed.

The more Monica interacts with her members, with time, the clearer her team’s superpowers and potential in their arsenal become. 

Taking time to share & recommend content, for learning & growing (an article, a research study or a podcast) helps the team to excel in what they’re good at, as well as develop areas that will prove useful to the employee and team!

As / when necessary

While OKRs and organization goals exist, Monica asks her direct reports to create and share their own goals with her; this allows Monica to continually celebrate achievements made, while also linking them to shared goals.

Her team will feel supported and encouraged to move the needle forward.

With remote work now more prominent than ever, conversations are the only thing linking teams together. It’s important to be able to provide the right feedback at the right time and support your team’s growth by identifying, analyzing and recommending steps to get better.

With the cadences that Monica builds through her daily & weekly summaries, she’s able to get a glance at what her directs are excellent at, and where they can improve.

During performance reviews and 1:1s, while it’s easy to understand a celebratory share, being specific about her direct’s improvements helps the team feel like they have someone who cares about them.

They feel empowered to know their manager is involved in their growth as a professional.

The outcome? Monica feels like a good manager, being able to spot the team’s excellences, communicating, and helping them develop habits to grow better. Her team on the other hand feels valued, recognized, and feel like they can control their growth in a tangible way!

Loop us in on how you’d like to manage your team, and what new practices help teams.

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