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The External Essentials – Team Engagement and Its Importance

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“To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace” – said Doug Conant; and very true in every sense. Having a successful business is every founder’s dream. The way to have a successful business is to emphasize team engagement. As a company that engages their team, you will not only boost your team members’ morale but also customer satisfaction. This way the overall growth of your business is ensured in a healthier manner. Here are some of the ways you can establish a culture of team engagement at your workplace:

  1. A schedule of training sessions is essential to keep an organization in place. If team members are aware of the tasks they are to complete and the responsibilities they are in charge of, they will carry out their activities in a more focused manner. Mastering their workload, and completing it within the required timelines, will boost their morale and plummet their professional growth.

At Gouri’s Goodies, I enlisted the help of my family members and prepared skill-specific training sessions. Sometimes a one-on-one or compact training session helps my team members perform better and more comfortably. Everyone needs that little extra attention, and our personalised training sessions help in achieving this!

Periodic training sessions (whether monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or yearly – as per your choice) are imperative in order to maintain smooth functions at your organization. 

  1. For a successfully running business, a set of goals is the bible. To engage your team correctly, they must understand what must be achieved. This will help in propelling their activities in order to achieve the set of goals that is prepared. In order to check the traction and progress, you can set annual, bi-annual or quarterly goals. This will encourage workforce engagement and let the team know how their position complements another team members position. 

For example, I make it a point to sit with my entire team every Monday to set a task-list for the week. We discuss who completes what works, and how it should be done. If anyone needs help or advice for some task, I offer my assistance and techniques to make it easier for them.  

A full review of communication on a periodic basis will help develop strategies and tactics to enhance team engagement – for example, recognition awards, stories, case studies and acknowledging a team member’s achievement. Communication is essential from the perspective of your team – to make them feel more comfortable at the workplace.

  1. In general, if one feels invisible, they will automatically disengage from a task or organization (mentally and eventually, physically). Engaging your team-members by acknowledging their concerns, their behavioural changes, mood shifts, personal problems and so on helps the organization turn into a comfortable workspace for them. You can begin the practice of team acknowledgement by simple greetings like a polite “Hello” or “Have a good evening” and “thank you”. This can slowly turn into congratulating your team on their special dates like birthdays/anniversaries, and acknowledging an accomplishment or achievement, even if it is on a small scale.

    At Gouri’s Goodies, I have incorporated the practice of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which involves tapping or psychological acupressure to treat physical pain or emotional distress.

An intensely powerful tool that can help one get over their fears and automatically achieve all your goals (whether for the day or for a longer-term). Teaching my team this method has been such a boon to my organisation – it has made working with each other fun and comfortable, which in turn makes us work towards a common focus – nutrition for the belly and nutrition for our souls!

Try to pick a game that your team members enjoy. Games serve as a superb stress buster during work hours – it could be for 15 minutes or for an entire hour. At Gouri’s Goodies, I look forward to Lagori hour! Also known as Seven tiles, we build mini-towers of seven stones/pebbles, and one member at a time takes a tennis ball to knock the tower over. If they win in the first go, other team members are struck out. This game helps us let go of our work stress, and loosen up!

PS – For a longer play-session, choose Housie or Dodge-ball. It has worked well for us – of course, with special care during dodge-ball.

Compassionate leadership is the need of the hour. It is a common saying “people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses”. Holding much truth, this statement gives you an idea of how to let your lead flow in your organization. Higher levels of engagement come from members that work for a compassionate leader – one who is authentic, available and a sense of dignity and respect, holding themselves and others around themselves accountable and at the same time shows empathy.

 For Diwali last year, we at Gouri’s Goodies skipped out the usual gifting methods. I went to the markets and found a Saree vendor and arranged for them to visit our unit for a day. The ladies on my team were asked to choose their favourite saree from a variety displayed, as a Diwali Gift. Similarly, for the boys, I asked a tailor to take measurements of each one for a Bundi (once again, the colour of their choice). This gave my gifting a personal touch and made my team happy about the thought behind the arrangement! 

Being pro-women, I made Mother’s Day a special one for my team members in 2019! We invited every team member’s mothers for a special high-tea and games evening! Morale boosting and breaking down communication barriers in a very innovative manner. Aim to have one such event among the other main festivals, for a warm surprise!

  1. Team development is a very important leg of workplace engagement. Many workers look forward to exponential growth in their careers. Teams that are continually engaged use their mind and enhance their skills when given tasks regularly.

I do love to treat my team with a little extra every year. With the ML Gupta Education Trust, our team members who have been with us for a year or more, receive sponsored education for their children. We strive to make sure that as many as possible children receive educational support – reducing the burden on the parents and yet giving a child the education and support they deserve!

  1. Made up of senior personnel from across the business, and engagement board promotes a culture of engagement at the organization. Emphasis on feedback for your team members via this engagement board makes a large difference to the workspace environment and your workforce productivity. As obvious as it would be, global studies in various countries showed that a vast number of team members who received little or no feedback on their tasks or activity performance were actively disengaged. In a way, this suggests that you acknowledge your team members (ref. point number 3) but in a purely professional manner.

A quarterly review of tasks and performance help boost your team’s morale in the workspace. If appreciated for the way they have completed a certain work or in a certain duration helps in upping their confidence.

  1. Invest in a performance management software. These will help you keep track of your members and what drives them, what acts as an incentive for them, what challenges they face and how you must create opportunities for their feedback. This helps in understanding trends on a real-time basis giving you the agility to work in ways that help in achieving goals (even faster than your competitors!).

On a closing note, happy team members ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy stakeholders – in that order. As rightly said by Simon Sinek, we urge you to make team engagement a priority. Work on your own unique ideas amid this quarantine and look forward to a jovial workspace environment! PS – Munch on a Gouri’s Goodies Belgian Dark Chocolate Energy Bar to boost those ideas!

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