As a leader, you owe your team more than just a lot of work to stay busy. Their workloads and engagement are two different things and you are responsible for both. How your team feels coming to work each day is different than enjoying their tasks. Even if they like the work they do, a lack of focus and engagement will create a feeling of unrest and cause them to either be miserable at work or start to underperform.

There will always be team members who decide to be aloof and not part of the team, but it is your responsibility to do your best to find ways for everyone to engage. Here are eight ways you can do just that.  

1. Promote perks and benefits that boost mental health and physical well-being. Healthy people are generally happier and more focused. Encourage breaks throughout the day and have a water machine and even fruit available for snacking.

2. Encourage employees to take the time off that they've earned. If you sense they are stressed or having some personal issues, pull them aside and remind them they can take days off and catch their breath.

3. Recognize exceptional work by employees. Everyone likes to know they are appreciated; some more than others. Know how each team member wants to be recognized and honor their wishes.

4. Supply the right tools for success. It is frustrating to have a laptop that won’t load company software or other machines that don’t work efficiently. No one can focus or stay engaged with broken equipment.

5. Create an environment where personal connections are encouraged. Stop worrying if your team went to lunch together and they are 10 minutes late in returning to work, if others are covering for them. Comradery within the team is the foundation to a high performing group.

6. Implement incentive programs. When goals are achieved, set new ones but don’t forget to be excited and encouraging about all that was accomplished.

7. Don’t skip or skimp on onboarding and training from the start. Training should be a regular thing for all your team members. Make sure you team is all on the same page. If certain standards apply to some and not others, a rift will start to form, and one group will be engaged and focused while the other group is lackadaisical and jaded.

8. Stop the micromanaging. Do your best to let them take a task and complete it. If the end result is met and the process is legal, ethical and up to the industry standards, does it really matter the order of steps or the exact method it was completed. Of course, in healthcare, there are standards for much of the assigned tasks - but be careful to not micromanage an already engaged team member. You will lose their support quickly.

For more help on training your team and making sure you are giving them your best, contact the professional at WSi Healthcare. We can give you some great advice as well as send some qualified candidates to you when you’re ready to add to your team, at any level.