Actively engaged and motivated employees are the at core of any company’s success. Now more than ever organizations rely on their staff’s commitment to drive better business results and prosper even in times of uncertainty. And while remote work, social distance and all the challenges that they imply don’t make it easier to reconnect with our teammates, there are ways to increase employee engagement.
Today we’ll share with you 5 ways you can do that with Microsoft Teams.
Leadership’s involvement in any initiative run in the organization is one of the key contributors to its success. Leaders create and communicate a powerful vision that unites all the employees in the organization. Their authority inspires and motivates the staff to take action and work to achieve the common goal.
Therefore, leaders play a vital role in creating engagement among employees. To do so, however, it is important to change the default mindset and make an effort to be more open with the staff. Employees are a company’s most valuable asset and great leaders treat them accordingly.
As a leader or a manager, you may want to show that you trust your staff and your teams, value their opinion, and care about their wellbeing. Even if you have a crazy schedule, these days you’ve got many tools at your disposal that allow you to communicate with the staff even on the go.
Knowing that your voice is heard, and your opinion is valued by the leadership and management is crucial for increasing individual’s engagement at work. Here are a few examples of how you can engage your employees using Teams:
If you have an org-wide team in your channels in your company, you can create a specific channel dedicated to communication between the leaders and the staff. Use this channel for idea and thought sharing, creating polls to ask employees’ opinion on specific subjects, asking for suggestions for improvements, etc.
This could be your platform where any employee could express their opinion on a specific matter with the leader, hence increasing organizational engagement.
Similarly, if you’re a manager you can create such a channel for the team you’re in charge of.
For the same purpose, you can use Yammer communities. It’s a great option if you work in a large corporation – too big to have an org-wide team. CEO connection community is a perfect platform to share important corporate news and announcements and communicate with the staff across the organization.
You may also want to organize Microsoft Teams live events dedicated to a specific event in a company. It may as well feature an important discussion and include Questions & Answers session to create a genuine bond between leaders and employees. Prepare fun activities, quizzes, and corporate anecdotes to establish a stronger connection with the staff even if you’re operating remotely.
Providing the staff with opportunities for learning and development is a key step to setting up your company for success. By doing so, you help your employees become better professionals and explore their potential. This inevitably increases their engagement and overall job satisfaction as they become better at what they do.
Or they could try to expand their knowledge beyond their working areas and learn something they haven’t done before. This will allow them to explore their potential and bring higher value to their teams.
Now, there’s a myriad of ways you can provide training for your employees. That can be in-office training on specific topics given by hired professionals or by experts within your company. These days, however, the most adequate option is to organize online training.
Microsoft Stream can be your knowledge base where you upload and share with your employees all the training videos. Additionally, your employees can engage with each other through the platform, ask questions, and leave comments.
There are numerous platforms out there that offer amazing courses on literally everything. For instance, LinkedIn learning, HubSpot Academy, Coursera, edX, and others.
If you find some useful courses online, you can add the website as a tab in a dedicated channel in Microsoft Teams. This way your employees can access them quickly right from their Teams environment.
Besides providing additional training to your employees, you may want to make sure they can apply their existing knowledge and talents and share them with the rest of the company. Offer them a platform that will encourage them to share interests, ideas, knowledge, and expertise. This can also be your company’s knowledge base that your workers may refer to when they seek advice from fellow colleagues.
You can create your company’s knowledge space with SharePoint sites and then organize related content through SharePoint hubs. Hubs connect sites based on project, department, region, etc. This facilitates navigation through organizational documents, and discovery of news and company’s activities.
The great thing about Yammer is that you can create communities around any topic of interest. Unite your project managers across all the offices and departments under Project Management community. This way, even when your employees are based in different parts of the world and may not even know each other, they can still share their expertise and help each other succeed.
Besides, you can build social communities unrelated to business. Make your organization the best place to work by allowing your employees to create communities of interests, for example #Vegan #Knitting #Hiking or any other topic! This will help your employees develop the feeling of belonging and create stronger bond with people they work with.
Another crucial factor impacting employee engagement is their attitude towards the work they do. We’re most engaged when we feel our job is meaningful, that we actually make a difference, and our work contributes to the company’s success. We need to understand the purpose of what we’re doing and feel that we have all the opportunities to do our best.
To understand how your employees really feel about their job and the role they play in the firm, you need to build relationships of trust and ask timely questions.
Make sure you check in regularly with your team. Ask them directly about their engagement and encourage them to feel free to share their concerns, wishes, and general feedback. Set up recurring meetings in Microsoft Teams – once a week or bi-weekly, depending on your availability, and make it a frequent practice.
You may also want to ask about their plans, how they’d like to grow in the company. Perhaps, some of your employees can perform much better in a different role. For example, your average-performing sales rep might be an excellent HR manager. Putting everyone in their right role is crucial to achieving high employee engagement.
Giving regular feedback can work wonders when it comes to increasing employee engagement. Receiving recognition and praise can be a more powerful motivator than financial gain. Even criticism, when delivered in a constructive way, can help a person understand how to improve and guide them in the right direction, fostering their desire to grow.
You may want to consider having 1:1 meetings with each of your team members where you will discuss their performance, core priorities, and share feedback. Use these meetings to recognize the work they’ve done and their contribution to the team.
You can also create a specific channel dedicated to sharing all team achievements, big or small, and give praise to everyone individually. This way, employees will also feel recognition of their peers and become more engaged.
Additionally, there’s a variety of apps you can use to praise your team members virtually. Praise app allows you to choose a badge for the person you wish to praise, for example achiever, and choose the right user among your team members.
Prioritizing employee engagement and making your company a great place to work will go a long way towards driving better business results. By following these simple steps, you will make sure your employees feel more connected, appreciated, and have opportunities to further grow personally and professionally within your firm.