How do you know if your team members are engaged and is it really important?

Victoria Gilmour - Mitie - Photo.docLast weekend we held our annual company awards, a time for us to get together to celebrate everything that’s exceptional about our business – our team members, the service they provide and their enthusiasm.

It’s also a great barometer of our levels of team engagement. How many nominations do we receive for our awards? How many people want to give up most of their weekend for a work event? Who wants to take the time to create an individual or team costume that really fits with the theme of the event?

In this case, it was a resounding success and as someone passionate about engagement, it was absolutely fantastic to see. As leaders, a team of fully engaged team members is our ultimate goal but how do you know what that looks like?

George Gallup founded his performance management consultancy looking at how to gauge opinions and engagement back in 1935, so although it’s not a new concept by any means, it’s been given much more focus in recent times.

Gallup defines engagement as ’the individual’s involvement and satisfaction with as well as enthusiasm for work’ and believes that there are three types of team member:

  • Engaged team members: work with passion and feel a profound connection to their organisation. They drive innovation and help to move the organisation forward.
  • Not-engaged: team members who are essentially ‘checked out.’ They are sleepwalking through their workday, putting time, but not energy or passion, into their work.
  • Actively disengaged: team members are not just unhappy at work; they are busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged colleagues accomplish.

It is therefore very evident just how important it is to ensure your team members really are engaged because they will act as Ambassadors for your business.

Here are some useful tips on how to spot an engaged team member:-

  • Looks for, and is given, opportunities to improve organisational performance
  • Is positive about the job and the organisation
  • Believes in the organisation
  • Works actively to make things better
  • Treats others with respect and helps colleagues to perform more effectively
  • Can be relied upon and goes beyond the requirements of the job
  • Sees the bigger picture even at personal cost
  • Identifies with the organisation
  • Keeps up-to-date with developments and innovation in their field

And to all the Leaders out there, you can only spot this if you really know your team and invest the necessary time with them.  Without your support there will be no engagement.  Look after your team and they will look after your customers.

I know myself and the rest of our business is already looking forward to next year’s awards and you can’t buy that kind of engagement.

Victoria Gilmour is director of client services at Mitie Client Services. Follow Victoria on Twitter.

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