How can you tell if your team is engaged? Is it any different from your spouse or kids or friends?
You have to be engaged!
You have to use the tools you have been given as a leader to have the conversations with your team to keep them engaged. You have to build a vision of possibilities so that each team member can reach their goals in the context of the corporate goals. This is critical!
You will know if your team is engaged by their energy levels. You will know by their input to improve their role or goals either on a one to one meeting or in the group meetings. You will know by their passion, no matter how quietly it is shown. You will know if they participate with your team. You will know if you can engage them in conversation about a future with your team.
They must be willing to discuss how the relationship will work. They must be willing to accept their role today and in the future. They must be willing to accept their responsibility to “get engaged” and to buy into the vision, no matter how foggy. This is not a one-way street. We seem to have bought into the concept that it is totally up to the employer to have employee engagement.
And to a degree, if you want your team to work, you have to either figure out a way to get your team engaged or get a new team. But, it is also up to the individual to work to become engaged and be part of the dream to move forward or to find another vision they can buy into. This is after all a relationship. And, like any relationship, it is a two way street if it is to be a success. Like marriage, it is hard work and a willingness by both sides to work together and plan together and be engaged together.
This is no different from your spouse. If the individual doesn’t talk about where the company is going and their role in it, they are not engaged. If you cannot talk about your future together with them, they probably aren’t thinking there is one.