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How important is employee engagement and productivity to you and your company? The goal of this week’s article is to help you and your team feel more connected to one another, and ultimately, feel more engaged with your work and mission.

Scenario A

Imagine it’s Monday morning. You show up to your desk or you log on to your online team space. You dive right into your daily tasks. You check boxes. You cross things off the list. You go through the motions. Your phone rings. Your co-worker needs your help. You look at your endless to-do list and give him ten reasons why you can’t help him right now. It would be a huge imposition and you will get to it when you can. Your loyalty is to your task list. You take a deep breath and hope you can scrape by for another week.

Scenario B

Imagine it’s Monday morning. You show up to your desk or log on to your online team space. You pick up your things and head to or dial in for the weekly team kick-off meeting. Everyone has five minutes to give a quick update on what’s going on in their work and life. You get caught up on both the weekend happenings as well as the main items of focus everyone has for the week. You start to get ideas about how you can engage people in some of the work you have planned for the week. Similarly, your co-workers give you input on how they can pitch in on your projects. The loyalty you feel to the team reassures you that this will be another great week. Later that morning, your phone rings. Your co-worker needs your help. You’ve already been thinking about his project since he brought it up at the meeting and you dive into collaboration.

As someone who has worked on both types of teams, I can tell you which one leads to higher engagement and productivity. Team cohesion doesn’t happen overnight. Here are a few tips to help you get more toward Scenario B:

  • Don’t get right to business. Spend a few minutes at the beginning of team meetings catching up on what’s going on at work and in life.
  • Establish accountability partnerships based on a team goal. Think about an overarching goal you have for your team. Perhaps it is improving presentation skills. Assign accountability partners who will work with one another on this goal. This allows team members who otherwise don’t work together often to have a meaningful way to engage with one another.
  • Challenge what it means to be friends at work. One of Gallup’s key employee engagement questions is: Do you have a best friend at work? What does it mean for you to have a friend at work? What actions do you take to foster friendships at work? Conversely, what might you be doing to prevent work friendships? How could opening yourself to friendships at work help you be more productive and engaged?

What are your keys to team engagement and productivity? Comment below with your best tips or share them with me on Facebook or Twitter!

Not sure where to start? Reach out to me today. I’d love to help you think through you individual and team engagement opportunities and devise an action plan.

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Small Town Leadership Founder; Natalie believes everything she needed to know to succeed in her career she learned by growing up in a town of 600 people. As a Certified Professional Coach and award-winning public speaker, she helps her clients and audiences make wherever they are feel like a small town. She lives in Dublin, Ohio with her husband, Rob, a professor at Ohio State and two little girls.

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