You May Lead, But Do You Engage?
According to the most recent 2018 Gallup Study, nearly 66% of the U.S. workforce is unengaged and not reaching anywhere close to their full potential. The repercussions of this type of news are quite concerning. While the church doesn’t necessarily have an engagement index like Gallup per se, if you’re a leader, have you thought of what this engagement index may look like for you within your serving teams or small group community? Before we get to measurements, let’s explore what engagement is and why it matters.
What is engagement?
Engagement is not just about happiness, it’s actually about connection, commitment, and clarity in the cause or the vision of why your team exists. As a leader, you must define your vision, mission, and core values. Some leaders may not see the value in this and they may be tempted to skip this step, forming teams quickly. They later find their engagement is not where they want it to be. They have created a whole lot of “what” without any “why.” Simon Sinek says it this way, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”
So, leader, take a step back and ask yourself: “Have I clearly defined my mission, vision and core values and have I clearly articulated these things to my team or community?”
Why does engagement matter?
When you create clarity on a team (through vision, mission and core values) it will solidify those who will get behind the cause and weed out those that will not be committed to the team. If commitment to sign up and show up is important to you and you state it up front, those that flake on commitments often will see that and avoid your team at all costs. For example, if a core value of confidentiality is stated and agreed to up front in your small group, it will give you the language to tell a member that you are justifiably concerned when you do not see that happening.
Providing clarity creates committed teams. Clarity and commitment begin to establish trust in the team, and that creates engagement. Think of engagement as the pulse or the heartbeat of your team or community: Strong heartbeat; healthy heart. Weak heartbeat; weak heart. No clarity; no real commitment. High clarity, high commitment, and high trust leads to higher levels of engagement.
How can you measure engagement?
Initially, focus more on your behaviors as a leader that help to create a culture of engagement. Five questions to ask yourself that are critical to measure engagement are:
- Did I create clarity (mission, vision, and core values)?
- Did I create trust and empowerment on my team?
- Do I hold my team accountable to our core values?
- Am I investing in each member of my team by knowing who they are, what’s driving them to be on the team, and how to encourage them?
- Do I provide feedback on what is working and what they can improve to help others grow?
If you have done the things above, then begin measuring initiative rather than attendance. Ask yourself: Does the team take initiative to fill a need when they see a need or are they waiting on me to act?
A healthy team understands the vision and then embodies the vision. They go after that vision without being asked or told. When your team is highly engaged the team cannot help but grow. The team will identify other healthy team members that should be added to the team. Highly engaged teams have clarity, they have very little turnover, and they grow!
Now those are great measures for engagement!