High-Performing Teams and Employee Engagement: Worthwhile Investments
Developing high-performing teams with deeply engaged employees is well worth the effort. A large Gallup workplace analysis concluded that business units with highly engaged employees resulted in 21% greater profitability. Even more impressive is that those departments with highly engaged teams had 59% less turnover and 41% reduction in absenteeism. They also found a 10% increase is customer service ratings and a 20% increase in sales.
So, let’s back up a little bit and talk about what we mean by engaged employees and high-performing teams.
What is an engaged employee?
Gallup describes engaged employees as “as those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. “ Following is an illustration of an engaged vs. disengaged employee. Imagine you have one front desk staff who’s always upbeat and enthusiastic when she arrives at work. When she finishes all her work, she asks what else she can do to help and wants to learn how to do new tasks. You have another employee who is often late, who just does the bare minimum necessary and then looks at Instagram the rest of the time.
What’s the ‘secret sauce’ for a high-performing team?
A high-performing team is a group of individuals working toward common goals who collaborate effectively and achieve superior results. A Forbes article notes that high-performing teams “have high levels of internal trust and accountability, navigate change more successfully and have resilient mindsets. They are more sustainable, have higher levels of engagement and therefore efficiency.” Though the perspectives of experts in management and leadership (e.g., SHRM and McKinsey) may differ slightly, nearly all point to the following additional qualities as essential for both high performance and employee engagement.
==> Big picture is clear. Be sure your organization has a clearly defined vision and mission that’s communicated to all employees. When you on board new employees, emphasize how they contribute to the achievement of your vision and mission.
==> Shared vision and common goals. Establish goals for your organization, team, and individuals. That way the team is all rowing together in the same direction.
Employees equipped with the right skills and knowledge to succeed. Use best practices in attracting, screening and hiring top talent. Provide any training that’s needed to ensure that employees can be successful in their roles. If they lack skills or training, they will likely disengage.
==>Clear expectations. Every employee, as well as the entire team, should know what’s expected of them, from customer service to OSHA and HIPAA compliance.
==>Performance feedback. According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), “Research has shown that managers who engage in effective performance management produce extraordinary business results compared with those who do not.” Employees need to know what they’re doing well and what areas need improvement. It gives you or your practice manager the chance to acknowledge accomplishments while identifying coaching, mentoring, and training needs as well.
==>Mutual trust and respect among team members and between team members and managers. For best results, you and your practice manager should adopt “servant leadership,” providing support and service to your employees. This approach builds trust and respect. Try not to blame and criticize employees. If an employee needs to improve, provide constructive feedback in a supportive manner.
==>Stellar communication. Regular communication between the manager and team, among team members, and between the manager and individuals is critical to success. Employees should feel psychologically comfortable expressing themselves. In fact, a report by Salesforce notes that “employees who feel their voice is heard at work are nearly five-times (4.6X) more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.” Hold regular meetings; when employees are included and valued, they’re more likely to be engaged.
==>Continuous learning and growth. To engage your staff and retain your best employees, offer opportunities to learn and grow. Training and development are worthwhile investments in one of your most important business assets.
If you or your staff would like to acquire new skills and knowledge that will help promote employee engagement and high performance, you may want to consider the following interactive online courses:
- Cultivating a Winning Mindset: Introduction
- Cultivating a Winning Mindset: Habits for High Performance
- Leveraging Communication Styles
- HR101: Strategic Planning
- HR101: Organizational Culture
- HR101: Recruitment & On-boarding
- HR101: Training & Development
- HR101: Change Management