If you have a team, whether virtual or live, here are some of my favourite tips on improving engagement and performance.

1. Set Clear Goals and Expectations

To have a high performing team, your team members need to know what is expected of them. Don’t assume that they will know what you expect. Establish goals with a clean line of sight to organizational objectives so that they are meaningful and provide motivation.

 2. Provide Regular Feedback: No One Likes Surprises

Discuss performance on a regular and informal basis. Waiting for quarterly, or *gasp*, the annual review does not serve anyone because it does not provide adequate time to make the small corrections to get back on course. Be proactive and include information and numbers that show how a position contributes to the big picture.

3. Allow for Open Communication

Be open-minded and allow employees to express their ideas without criticism. Practice active listening. Address concerns if you can and explain if you cannot. Communicate any organizational news internally before it gets to the media or the community.

4. Play to Strengths

People tend to be more engaged, productive, and happy when they are utilizing their natural talents. When providing feedback (see #2, above), be certain to provide an emphasis on strengths, instead of only focusing on gaps and developmental needs.

5. Recognize a Job Done Well

Did you ever get a card from someone acknowledging your work? Did you save it in a drawer to pull out on a day when things were not going so smoothly? Then you know that a simple “thank you” or “well done” can go a long way towards motivating employees and encouraging positive behaviours.

These are only five of many tips to managing your team. Starting with these will get you pointed in the right direction. It is the little things like saying “thank you”, taking time to provide feedback, and listening that make a difference in any organization.