When you’re running a business or directing an organization, it can be difficult to keep all your team members engaged. Some may be especially outspoken, while others prefer to remain behind the scenes. Encouraging everyone to be actively involved boosts morale and your overall success. Here are some tips for cultivating a truly engaged community.
Get to Know Them
Connect regularly with your team, both corporately and one-on-one, to establish a healthy rapport and learn more about what’s important to them. Community members feel recognized and valued when someone takes the time to get to know them.
Encourage Open Communication
Another way to foster engagement is to keep communication open. Give everyone on your team– staff, volunteers, and clients– opportunities to provide feedback and share ideas. Make sure you act upon their input so they feel heard. Without open communication, community members may feel isolated and overlooked. Make yourself available to talk to your team, and provide multiple channels for them to connect– in-person, by phone, or via online chat.
Encourage Personal Growth
As you learn more about your team, you can encourage them to pursue their interests and cultivate their talents. You may even consider providing resources toward that end, such as connecting your team with continuing education opportunities or community groups dedicated to their interests and goals.
Community members feel empowered when they’re given guidance and support. Rather than reprimanding staff and volunteers for shortcomings or mistakes, coach them on how to improve. For someone struggling in their role, a word of encouragement may be all that is needed to help the member overcome obstacles. In other cases, you, or other members of your team, may be called upon to provide possible solutions to problems. It’s important to do this in a way that inspires, rather than punishes, your team.
Build Their Confidence
Whenever possible, allow your team to take on new responsibilities and leadership roles. Give them some flexibility in accomplishing tasks so they don’t feel micromanaged. When people are encouraged to take the lead and are inspired to trust their judgement, they grow in confidence and unlock potential they may not have known they had.
Have Their Backs
People are motivated to fully engage within their work environments and social circles when they feel supported. Consistently show your team members that you have their best interests in mind.
Keep Them Informed
A major source of frustration for members of a company, organization, or social network is a lack of information. Keep your team up-to-date on the status of your business or organization. When members aren’t given a regular “heads-up”, they may become disillusioned and disengaged. When people feel like they’re “out of the loop,” they may think they’re the only ones not being updated. This can even lead some members to suspect that there is an inner circle that they are being left out of. Keeping your team informed gives them a sense of ownership and belonging in their network.
When staff and volunteers have exceeded your expectations or successfully taken on new responsibilities, acknowledge their accomplishments publicly. Similarly, encourage them to share about their achievements outside your organization. While making your team feel valued, rewarding their hard work gives you insights into their strengths and aspirations, so you can support them in future endeavors.
You can establish a better sense of cohesion among your community members when you give them opportunities to work together. Teamwork builds camaraderie and a sense of purpose. Including other stakeholders, such as clients or community partners, can give your team a greater vision for its goals.
Equip Them with the Tools to Succeed
Even when your team has a good grasp of the tasks at hand, they can be stymied in their efforts if they don’t have the right tools. Make sure they have what they need to get the job done. Since so much of our world has gone digital, it’s critical that they have access to technology and online platforms that allow them to accomplish tasks more effectively and communicate openly with all stakeholders in your community.
Go2s is a secure social networking tool that provides a safe environment for your team to connect and share personal information without fear of privacy invasions by unwanted third-parties. Sign up with us today.