“I have a team of four members and they only respond to my instructions. I have tried to get them to be more proactive and look for areas they can contribute individually and then take action on their own. Even with my encouragement, they just wait for me to bring issues to them for resolution. How do I get my team to want to be more involved?”
If team members are chastised for making errors when acting on their own initiative, then that will deter them from taking such action in the future. If that is not the case in your situation, here are a couple of thoughts;
There are three key components to get team members engaged in their work:
They need a shared purpose; every person needs to have a purpose for what they do. It is that purpose that fuels the drive and ambition to get something done for them personally and for the organization they support. An important part of developing a common purpose is setting reasonable goals for the team and each member individually along with establishing a sense of pride for belonging to the team.
They need involvement; being a part of something means that they are informed, updated, consulted, and trusted. Communication is critical to keep a team focused on the tasks at hand. A recent blog by Seth Godin made the point perfectly-"if you want employees to act like mushrooms, then keep them in the dark and feed them manure."
They need accountability; many employees want more responsibility, but not always the accountability that should accompany any level of responsibility. If you have a culture of “reasonable” accountability to accompany actions, then you will find the employees you want on your team are those that accept both their responsibility and accountability. You must be specific about the accountability levels so that there are never surprises.
Be prepared to deal with team members that want no part of participating after these three factors become part of your on-going operation.
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