It is easy to get distracted by many things.  Individual needs and preferences are important to understand, but they can cause us to swerve away from the greatest priorities.  Leaders must always remain proactive and identify the priorities that will lead us to fulfill our mission and purpose.  Our mission should be more than just words on our website, but rather a guiding principle that we all stretch to fulfill.

Engaging your team begins with keeping them focused on the mission.

The mission is what brings them together and compels them to excel.  Your purpose for existing stretches us beyond the day-to-day to realize that there is something important for them to accomplish.  This requires you to communicate often about those priorities and base your decisions on them.

Another way to engage your team is around a culture of well-being.  Many team members are experiencing high stress externally and internally.  When under high-stress people withdraw and just focus on their needs.  Leaders must be prepared to help their teams manage stress.  The mental and emotional health of our team is just as essential as the physical.  Consider your environment and how you are creating a space that is calming and inspirational.  We do not have to be therapists, but we need to learn more about the role we play in creating a space that is supportive of their well-being.

Another way to engage your team is through developing their talent and drawing on as many of their strengths as possible.  Many people leave teams due to feeling they couldn’t use their best skills, did not feel important, and did not feel there was room to grow.  In short, they felt stuck in their role and in how much they could learn.  Leaders must plug into their teams and challenge them to be their best selves.  Even those who want to stay in their current role should be challenged to be the best possible in that role.

Finally, leaders must open opportunities for people to share who they really are with each other.   This could be reserving time at team meetings to share.  Or could be scheduling times to be together outside the office.  Especially during a time when many are working remotely, it is imperative that they have opportunities to connect in person, not just virtually.  This effort to bring people together will provide a sense of belonging and community.

Do you want your team to have tight relationships and be extremely effective?  Then prioritize what is really key for them to be engaged.   Your team may not verbalize these needs, but they are hungry to experience true engagement.