Business management consultant Oscar Persichitti, who provides team management training to companies in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, says team engagement is the key to high performance.
In the last article on leadership, we discussed the importance of leaders making time to meaningly engage staff both on a personal and professional level. The leader/employee relationship must be based on honesty, confidence and trust. These are only mutually gained by Respect – not Status.
Trust is the primary factor in how people work together and listen to one another. It is the critical link that drives morale, productivity and profits.
Lack of trust, particularly of the leadership group, creates doubt, negativity and an unwillingness to contribute to business solutions. This is often the cause of a ‘disengaged’ workforce which generally leads to low energy levels, team morale, productivity and poor customer service.
So ‘team engagement’ becomes the key to high performance teams. Talking to employees about their concerns to monitor morale, and consulting about business decisions and direction, are both examples of what is required on a daily basis. This can’t be done by sitting behind a desk or using email. Leaders need to ‘Lead from the Front’ and engage staff.
I currently deliver behavioural-based safety and leadership training to the leaders of one of Australia’s largest miners and often also interact with a number of government agencies, small and medium businesses. A key point I often emphasise to leaders is that they set the culture of their departments and teams. Culture is staff perception of the norm – what they see and hear within the team and what the leader role-models, praises, reprimands and ignores. Leaders who ‘walk-the-talk’ and provide a communicative workplace whereby all employees are forthcoming in expressing opinions, ideas and resolving conflicts, often have ‘engaged’ staff, low staff turn-over, high productivity and great customer service.
(By Oscar Persichitti)