An Introduction to the Beyond Engagement Philosophy
As a leader, how do you expect your employees to behave on a daily basis?
Leaders often feel frustrated by team member’s behaviours that don’t align with their expectations.
The problem is that these expectations are often only implied, and therefore not explicit to employees.
Consequently, you’re probably not seeing the behaviours you seek. In fact, you may be seeing the exact opposite.
Timeliness is not a virtue (well, not to everyone)
For example, let’s say you hold a regular team meeting at 9 a.m. every Wednesday.
Your expectation is that the meeting starts at 9 a.m.—that is, everyone should be seated and ready to get down to business. But what time do people actually arrive? If you’re like a lot of leaders, you see employees only beginning to trickle in at 9 a.m. By the time they’re all present, it’s probably 9:10 a.m.
You may think that, because timeliness is a virtue, everyone should inherently know they need to be on time, and behave accordingly.
But that’s not a realistic expectation—because not everybody thinks the way you do.
And so, in this case, the team norm becomes less about “being in the board room at 9 a.m.” and more about “arrive as close to 9 a.m. as you can...nobody is going to call you on it.”
Create team norms
To prompt everyone to behave according to your expectations, you need to do two things:
Here are seven team norms you can incorporate into your own organizational culture, helping to guide employee behavior and create a greater sense of cohesion:
Don’t imply; be explicit, and make your expectations into team norms known far and wide!
However, there is one more thing you need to do to make this work.
Walk the talk
One of the most difficult—but absolutely necessary—things leaders must do is model the behaviour they ask of their teams.
Why? If employees don’t see their leaders stand up and lead by example, employees will feel less engaged—and be less willing to do their best work.
When people see you trying to model the behaviour you ask of them, they will give you points for your intent and effort.
Moreover, the fact that you initiate a change in your own behaviour, reflect on it and even show some vulnerability to your team will create a greater sense of “we’re trying to be better together.”