• Devansh Lakhani

How To Keep Your Team Engaged

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships” – Michael Jordan  Many books, and teachers have taught us the importance of teams, and team spirit. As a startup owner, you will greatly benefit from integrating a team that is committed to your vision, as well as in alignment with the company values. Creating a culture of teamwork, and engagement is your responsibility, as a startup founder. You set the example by leading, and engaging with your team. Engaged, in tune teams have more productive brainstorming sessions, and have greater trust among the members. Here are a few ways in which you can keep your team engaged, for more participation, and openness: Weekly activities:

Whether it is work from home, or in-office work days, you have to ensure that your team gets together at least once a week to try and blow off steam together. Such informal meetings serve to break the ice between the members, and encourages open communication. In a startup, your team is one of your most valuable assets, hence it gets more crucial to encourage these activities. It can be a weekly game night, a trivia night, potluck, or the likes. Your main aim is to boost communication and bonding between your team.  Lead by example:

If you’re a startup founder who has a core team of chief executives, lead by example of your engagement with them. Keep your communications open, rope the executives in for the major decisions, and show a united front. This confirms to your team that you are building an organization that values team and teamwork. Team members are always watching their leaders, and it goes to show that leading by example is necessary.  Engage on all levels:

Rope in the line managers, and that starts a chain of engagement. Studies have shown that if the line managers are disengaged, their subordinates are four times more likely to be disengaged. It is thus important to let the engagement percolate to all the levels of the team. Focus on actively keeping the line managers in communications, which will effectively translate to the line managers keeping the rest of the team in loop.  Reinforce your messages: 

Robust leadership is built on clarity, enforcing and reinforcing the messages. Many leaders have realized that before a message is finally driven home, it goes through a lot of repetitions. You can do this by reinforcing your particular message in different ways. Some of them are as follows- in a team meeting, follow-up email post-meeting, if the message is a call to action then reminders regarding the deadlines are useful, communications through line managers also play a role. Visual reminders can also serve to help message retention- use the company bulletin board for this purpose. Most effective communications are always marked by doubts and questions; thus, encourage questions and ask leading questions that engage the team during each reinforcement of the message.  Reward the right behaviours:

Rewards are incredibly powerful in motivating teams. We don’t recommend using money as an incentive, rather we recommend the use of appreciative words, and due recognition for a job well done. This cultivates a culture of learning and motivation. It shoots two birds with a stone- creates a motivational culture, and increases engagement by keeping your team happy. This way you can also track and reward progress.  Thus, as a startup founder it is necessary for you to look after your team as well as your operations. Your team is a core asset that will help in scaling your startup to the right heights along with funding and your client base. A collaborative and happy team will always play a huge role in the quality of work, and the culture you’re trying to build. We, at LFS believe in maintaining an open and collaborative culture. Hence, we have written this piece to help you achieve your maximum potential.  About Devansh Lakhani

Director of Lakhani Financial Services, and a Chartered Accountant, he helps start-ups raise funds from his network of investors. He guides and advises start-ups to scale up by providing efficient sales, marketing, team building, and business management strategies. He has executed fundraising by block deals on the stock exchange and conducted IPOs and right issues on the SME platform to the tune of over Rs. 50 Crore. He is currently working with start-ups from various sectors to help them channelize their business models and investments.

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