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By Rod Miller, Bizkinnect Lead Consultant

Want your employees to feel more engaged and interested in their work? Research shows that those who report to you feel most engaged and dedicated to their responsibilities when they experience three important elements in the work place:

  • They believe that their work is relevant;
  • They are able to measure their own success;
  • They feel known by their managers and colleagues.

One of the most significant ways to create these three key realities for those who report to you is to improve the way you connect with your team and individual employees. Read on for four things you might be doing that are destroying employee engagement, and how to make changes for the better.

1. You only have one type of meeting, and it’s boring everyone.

Connection points at work can, and often do, happen informally. But when they’re formalized, we call them meetings. However, most managers don’t realize that meetings fall into three separate categories. They therefore try to incorporate all elements into one weekly departmental meeting.

If your weekly meetings leave your team bored, unenthused and uninspired, start by separating your meetings out into the three basic types:

  • Team meetings– These meetings include your whole team. Each team member gives status updates around your team’s most important goals. Each member reports on their progress towards your team’s rallying cry”—meaning your department’s current priority project or goal. Is their part “red” (stalled and in need of a solution), “yellow” (moving along but with some questions or concerns) or green (progressing well and on-target)?
  • Daily Stand-ups or Status meetings– Brief, start-of-day meeting where everyone is actually standing. Each person states what they’re working on, what they’ve accomplished and anything for which they need further discussion or guidance.
  • Ad-hoc meeting– This is a problem-solving meeting that will usually involve only the colleagues working on the same project or task. This meeting may run longer, as the goal is to strategize together to resolve roadblocks. It may require up to two to four hours.

2. You’re mixing up the purposes of all your meetings.

When you try to have status updates, problem-solving and brief, priority-setting meetings all in one event, not only will your meetings be longer than necessary, but your department members will become unengaged. They will tune out during segments that are irrelevant to them, especially when they have their own pressing deadlines to meet. Ultimately, they may feel unheard, unseen and irrelevant.

Start having three different types of staff meetings, and don’t mix the function of your meetings. Keep the three meetings and their purposes separate.

3. You’re trying to resolve problems in Team and Stand-up meetings.

How many times have you sat in meetings where the discussion at hand was irrelevant to you and far too detailed for most of those listening? It happens all the time, and it’s usually due to trying to resolve problems during what should be a Team or Stand-Up meeting.

Instead, use Team and Stand-up meetings to uncover problems. Then arrange Ad-hoc meetings as necessary to work on resolving problems, involving only those who need to participate.

4. You’re still making up the agenda for your Team meetings.

Instead, let the status-update around your Rallying Cry become the structure of your meeting. In so doing, your team members will bring up areas that are out of alignment with the team’s goals. These items become the new agenda and set the stage for further ad-hoc meetings to address deeper issues, strategize and resolve road blocks. Your employees will feel more ownership over their work, the meeting and your team’s progress.

(For further reading on this topic, see Patrick Lencioni’s books The Truth about Employee Engagement and Death by Meeting.)

Want to learn more about how to use organizational health principles to create project success in your workplace in light of organizational changes like a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)- or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)-implementation project? We’re here to help!

Ready to connect?

  • Sign up for the 45-minute webinar, “Conflict and Clarity,” with Bizkinnect’s lead consultant, Rod Miller. In this webinar, Rod shares practical organizational health and change management concepts you can begin to apply today.
  • Would you like a free one-hour consultation? Let’s connect!  We would love to help you as you implement these practices within your own organization.
  • Please note, we now also offer all of our services remotely via video conferencing.
  • If you have any questions, feel free to call us directly.  800-953-8112
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