- Increase efficiency and creativity?
- Increase endurance with energy to spare?
- Feel revitalized and positive?
- Extraordinary with your clients?
- Driven to be outstanding in the field?
- Then READ ON!
This 6 step plan to improve engagement will be the best cleanse your team has ever experienced. I know the idea of a cleanse sends most peoples behinds into a fast clench, but not to worry, this cleanse will have you and your team skipping to work and home again. It will require buy in from everyone concerned, and some cases, tough love on those of you who will be the energy administrators of this challenge.
So re-energizing and engaging your team is something you need to act on. Energy is a physics equation. What you put out you will get back. It is just simple science. The Following 6 challenges can be completed in whatever order you wish. But I would recommend you start with number 4 and then go whatever challenge you want to. Some will be easier than others and some will be downright challenging but preserver. As the Energy Catalyst, you will have to get full support and buy in from your team prior to setting out on the challenge. Now not to worry, even if you only get a few of the following challenges completed, you will have started the perverbial energy ball rolling and you will see a change in yourself and your team. The most important task with all of this is to have fun while you do it, or don't even start. Let me say that one more time. Just have fun. Now go and do Challenge number 4.
1. Technology, love it and sometimes leave it.
Here is the challenge you must take on and it won't be easy. How's that for a sales job. But the truth is, this one most people will find difficult. So lets' start out easy. Choose a day, and I will suggest a Friday that everyone on your team (and this could be your family team) and for an entire day, no cell phones, pages, blackberry's, no text messaging, no TV, video games, computers, radios, CD players, any of it. You must have face to face conversations and simply amuse yourselves by being with the people on your team or family.
At the end of this day, you must journal a bit about how the day went for you and then set some time to share this experience. Yes the withdrawal may cause some headaches. Ibuprofen might be required.
2. Come clean - How honest, authentic communication can bring out the best in people.
The truth about the truth is, honesty can sometimes be hurtful. The concept of authenticity has received a significant amount of attention recently as people search for meaning and happiness, particularly in their work lives. How one chooses to try to live more authentically depends on their own perspective on authenticity. Like many other popular concepts, different people have different views about authenticity and many people feel very strongly about their own views. Some people might assert that an individual is being authentic if they are being completely honest and participating in the here-and-now. There are others who assert that authenticity involves many other features, including, eg, always being centered with themselves and others, living in a completely integrated fashion with their own values and principles, always feeling complete meaning or sense of purpose in their lives, and I personally applaud those who can live this way. Also very challenging to do.
Regardless of others' perspectives on authenticity, it's important for people in management to live and work as authentically as possible -- a goal that is usually often difficult to achieve, particularly in large organizations. So to start the process, start to notice what you notice about yourself and communicate with respectful honesty.
3. Creating a Team Energy Plan. Learn how full team buy in engages and inspires everyone.
OK, whether you like this one or not, this is about each member of your team doing the following three things.
1. Move your bodies, get more oxygen flowing through everyones body more often. This one is NON-Negotiable.
2. Laugh more, it is mandatory that laughter is state of the atmosphere and is also mandatory for your home and work life.
3. You must all start to do some of the things each of you loves to do outside of your workplace. So if you were given 2 extra hours in your day and you can't do anything that is job or career related, what would do you do with that time. And start to do it.
4. Dung it out! How the environment you work/live in affects your "engagement ability" and outcomes.
The place to start is to take an honest open eyed look at where you work. You need open, organized space to be creative and engaged. End of story! It is time to 'spring clean' even if it's February. That means, every closet at work (and/or home) needs to be opened and left open until you dung it out. Start 3 piles, Keep, give away, and chuck. Block off a certain amount of time for this task and all team members are to do this task at the same time. So plan a 'get dirty' day. Bring whatever you need, boxes, packing tape, garbage and re-cycle bags, brooms, dusting rags and go to town. You will literally feel lighter when you are complete. And if right now you are saying "we have cleaners who come in and do this for us," well give them the week off. Crank up the music and bring some good coffee and when you are done, everyone should go out for beer and wings. Well, that's what I would choose to do. Also a very good team building activity.
5. The number "1" thing that needs to happen for teams to truly bond. "The Power of Getting to know each other's Performance Personality styles."
We have known for many years that the number one thing any leader could do to energize and engage his or her team is to allow the members get to know each other better and when I say get to know each other, I mean other than the things they do at work. One simple thing you could orchestrate would be to have everyone on your team bring in some photos of themselves and their life outside of the career they have chosen. They need to know that the photos will be used, so perhaps have them bring in copies of photos. You are going to create a "Team Board" Then in a meeting, ask the question "What does TEAM mean to you?" Have your team create a mural/poster of their answer to the question along with clipped out sayings, words and other pictures from magazines and the personal photos they have all brought in. And when complete, have each member of your team talk about what part of the poster they like the most and why. Then just sit back and watch how it unfolds.
I have done this activity with every kind of team and it is just a wonderful way to re-inspire, energize and engage the people you work beside every day.
6. Whistle while you work. The science behind music and how it affects mood and outcome = improved bottom line.
I will just say this, since radio has been around, music in the workplace has always made us more productive. So if you currently do not have music playing, then I suggest you re-think your strategy around this one. According to the University of Cubria, playing music at work could increase productivity and lead to a happier and more motivated workforce, according to Richard McGregor, Professor of Music, believes the right level of background music can make the day seem shorter, keep spirits high and reduce the number of stressful situations that can occur. However, choosing the wrong type of music can cause office arguments and lead to more problems than it was intended to solve. So find out what is the most preferred choice of music and turn it on.
My suggestion on this list of challenges is to choose one to take on every week or once a month for 6 months. I guarantee you will see a major shift in your team. And if you are super keen to really give you team an energy boost, try one of our Energy Boosting Workshops.
Linda Edgecombe, CSP
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