Knowing how to engage your project team is certainly one of the key drivers for running a successful business.
A project manager wants their employees to feel proud of what they do and of the organization they work for.
Those who work with a purpose will give their very best; a practice that can only benefit a project’s goal and a company in general.
Therefore, it is important to consider every aspect of why people do the work and what motivates them to do it.
There are many ways to measure the level of employee engagement within your project team, as well as tools to learn how to engage them. Let’s have a look at them in this article.
What is project team engagement?
Employee engagement means more than knowing whether or not someone likes their job.
Measuring a project team’s engagement allows you to know how committed each member is to the company and its success.
Understanding the engagement level is the first step; the following step is to improve this engagement.
As a manager, creating a workforce that is not only happy, but engaged and motivated to produce, will clear a hurdle on the path to success.
Some factors to be considered in understanding team engagement are the company and its leadership. You might also be interested in this article about different leadership models.
Before you can begin measuring their level of engagement, you need to ask:
- Are the organization’s goals and visions clear and concise?
- Do employees understand these goals?
- Is there a distinct connection between everyone’s work and the company’s goals?
- Can employees see how their work contributes to the company’s success?
- Is the organization’s leadership present and capable of motivating its workforce?
- Do managers have the skills necessary to lead a team to success?
When all of these factors are positive, you can begin to look more deeply at how engaged the project team is.
How do you measure Team members’ engagement?
Engagement is measured by conducting a simple employee survey.
Questions or statements such as “I feel my needs are a priority at this company” or “My workplace is safe” will be rated by each team member on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the degree to which they agree or disagree with that statement.
Once the survey is complete, you must interpret the results: raw scores will give the average of all survey responses, but these results won’t allow you to draw conclusions about actual employee engagement.
If you can compare this data to other companies that completed the same survey, you can better determine whether the scores are low or high.
How to engage the project team
Once you’ve completed the survey and interpreted the data, you need to know how to increase project team engagement.
There are several strategies you can put in place to help the team:
- Know your team members: Getting to know their families, backgrounds and personal goals allows you as a manager to develop a stronger relationship with them. Evidence shows that employees who feel valued tend to be much more engaged in their work and performance.
- Provide them with tools for success: A project manager not only needs to supervise work, but should also be sure that the team understands what they are doing. When one of the team members isn’t sure what to do or how to manage a situation, productivity can stall as they try to figure things out. While additional coaching or training is needed, providing employees with a solid foundation for future activities is a good step to increase their level of engagement.
- Tell them how the company is doing: For the team to have a real interest in the company, they should be aware of its successes, concerns, and difficulties. Empowering the team to know what works and what doesn’t ensures they have the opportunity to develop new ideas for weaker areas and continue to be proactive in the areas they are working in.
- Acknowledge the team and its work: A manager who acknowledges a well-done job is an essential motivator in developing employee engagement best practices. To be a successful project manager, it’s worth understanding what form of acknowledgement works best for each team. Either words of encouragement or a specific employee appreciation activity or, if the company can, a financial bonus. Appreciation helps promote positive attitudes and healthy behaviors in the workplace, a key factor in raising employee engagement levels.
- Promote teamwork between employees: There is a reason why people love playing team sports. When a group of people unite to win, it leads to a contagious feeling that embraces everyone around them. The same can be applied in the work environment, where developing a strong team of employees gives them a sense of greater purpose. Bringing them together to work toward a single goal can be incredibly satisfying and allows them to achieve a sense of cooperation, consideration, and trust not only in each other, but in the company itself.
- Creating a fear-free work environment: Many companies have a tendency to work in a performance-based environment that can lead to a fear of being scolded if a decision fails. Running a business where employees are punished for mistakes or a poor choice is a strategy that will inevitably lead to team members not taking risks. So choosing a gentler, more positive approach can be much more effective in achieving results, without diminishing the level of team engagement.
- Motivate and inspire: Building a positive work environment starts with happy employees, but it doesn’t end there. The tone is set by the management staff and a good way to achieve a positive tone is to be more than just a boss, but to be a true mentor. Whether it’s a pat on the back and words of encouragement urging you to keep trying or pointers on certain procedures, the manager should not be viewed with fear, but be seen as a guiding light.
Engaging the Project Team: Bottom Line
It is the manager’s responsibility to help employees become a cohesive and successful team.
Making your employees feel like they are part of a team and that their presence in the workplace is necessary is a key factor in maintaining high levels of engagement.
Engaged employees means increased productivity, higher profits and margins, and skyrocketing customer satisfaction scores can give your organization a fabulous reputation.
When the company can reflect the best efforts and reliability of its employees, it culminates in a successful business model where everyone is passionate, engaged and committed.
Simply put, project team involvement is a necessary part that will create a fear-free workplace full of ideas and a sense of camaraderie.