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ATD Blog

Engage Teams for Organizational Success


Mon Mar 02 2015


Peter Drucker said, “No executive has ever suffered because his people were strong and effective.” Having a strong and effective team will create engagement and excitement, empowering the team with a “CAN DO” attitude that leads to great momentum for success.

In fact, we all know that there is a limit to what you can achieve on your own. Therefore, to enjoy greater influence, impact, and income, you need buy-in from the whole team. But many leaders are unsure where to start.


Hire for Success

Team engagement actually starts at the hiring stage. First, you must attract the best team for your organization. Spend time in an interview procedure to discuss the vision and culture of the organization. Look out for key areas, such as: character, commitment, courage, chemistry, competency, and compassion.

If you have inherited a team, I would encourage you still to focus on these 6 Cs. This is because this will build the framework for gaining the culture you need.

In addition, every employee wants to feel secure in their career, as well as know there is growth opportunity. Leaders who want outstanding engagement from their teams need to display and clearly communicate potential growth opportunities. They also need to identify and work with those employees that they want to grow with these opportunities.

Build the Best Team


Clearly, leaders play an important role in leading teams. Equally important, though, a leader must realize that they have a pivotal role in first “building” the team. In fact, there is a big difference in having a team that works “for” you versus having a team that works “with” you.

The first option is more formal. The team rarely exhibits much vision, and it feels that they are just there to do a job and that is it. However, when you have the latter, you have created a team that is engaged for success. A team that works with you typically displays:-loyalty-passion-vision-commitment to you and the team-desire to be and to deliver the best-accountability-trust.

These attributes can be found in many team members, but it takes a leader to uncover them—for them to flourish.

Avoid Criticism; Offer Engagement

As I coach and train other professionals, I often see a “Tug of War” between the employer and the employee. This leads to frustration, wasted energy, and a breakdown of trust and productivity. Often, this can be traced back to poor leadership.


When I train leaders, I often say, “Don’t criticize what you allow to happen.” It can be too easy for a leader to criticize a team member, often behind their back, without actually ever addressing the situation or person. The leader, therefore, allows the wrong things to happen, which ultimately affects productivity.

One of the best ways to create engagement for success is for the leader to be engaged with the team. When this happens the team is engaged with the leader. Success and engagement is then part of the culture of the team.

Train for Transformation

Great leaders are great because of great teams. To see teams engage requires leadership training. When a leader sees—maybe for the first time—what she can achieve with an engaged team, it can literally transform a company. And many leadership skills can be learned, including:

casting a vision—that has team buy-inidentify and recognizing emerging leadersremoving unrealistic expectations—so the team can exceed its limitationscreating a culture of engagement for success by all. To be sure, leading a team is a great responsibility. But the coming year holds many opportunities for leaders to become better at leading themselves and their teams. More importantly, leading a team that is fully engaged in where you want to go is fundamental for increased productivity—and can deliver huge dividends for the organization.

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