5 Ways to Achieve Team Member Engagement

by Lakecia Carter, PMP

When do we know we have achieved engagement on a project? Is it when we sign the project charter or when we hold the kickoff meeting? I don’t believe so. Many times we aren’t sure if Team Meetingthe team is engaged. As project managers, we are responsible for creating an environment conducive to achieving high levels of engagement. In my opinion, engagement is not being happy all the time. Engagement is enthusiastic commitment. If we reach a high level of engagement in our teams, we need to sustain this momentum throughout the project’s life cycle. How do you do it? Here are 5 tips to help:

1. Encourage authenticity as part of the team culture. Even though we are PMPs, we are human. We don’t have all the answers. It is okay to admit it from time to time. Showing our humanity helps tear down the facade that many people struggle with on teams. Lead by example.

2. Visit and re-visit clarify of purpose, role identity and expectations – Don’t underestimate the importance of having a clear and full understanding of these areas. This is not a one-time occurrence, but a continual evolution as you move through the project. Consider the individual and group needs, as they are often different.

3. Maintain a balance in structure – Overweight processes and tools can weigh the team down. Lack of structure can cause the team to lose focus. Put in just enough structure to allow flexibility and adaptability to change. Use only what you need.

4. Remove the fear of failure – This does not mean we celebrate failure. It means that if we fail, we focus on the recovery rather than the failure. We choose ownership, accountability and responsibility over blame, excuses and denial.

5. Promote Shared Leadership – When team members are signing up instead of being assigned tasks, you have a shared leadership model at work. While you are the project manager, team members can be empowered and equipped to take the initiative, share ideas and make bold moves. You want shared leadership to get the best out of your team.

There are many ways to ensure high levels of engagement on teams. High engagement leads to extraordinary results. It will become your lifeline as you navigate the seas of change. What are some ways you achieve and sustain high levels of engagement on your project teams?

If you found these tips from Lakecia Carter, PMP of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.

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