Saturday, 16 January 2010

Team Engagement - 10 ways to get loved by your Team - 2/10 Just Be there

Team engagement, doesnt it get trickier as you go on doing it? But doesnt it ease up so many things when you do it? I have known companies spending thousands and thousands of bucks on this one thing, involving people , places and dont know what not... Success in Team engagement is however limited unless that Attitude and Culture is evolved....

Now coming to our next element.... take this situation:

Its 1 in the night actually early morning, you have 4 members from your team working on a very critical issue that has to make the production tomorrow morning, you have no onsite support available. You assign the issue and you leave for the day. You call your team member in the middle of the night or he calls you and updates you that the fix is done. All goes well.

Same scene.. the fix is not done.. what is your reaction now? you organize a call with stake holders, you shout , you yell, you are upset? you reschedule the fix and ask for another day, come to the office and ask them to be there to give you an explanation? firefight, issue resolved but did something go wrong here? The feeling in the Team????

Now same scene.... You are with the Team all the time, discussing solutions, evaluating options, the fix is done and all goes well.

Same scene again but the fix is not done? What will you do now? Since you have a complete understanding of what the team has done so far and what you have being doing all this while.. you can set a correct expectation?

Yes... sometimes you may not be the Technical expert, You may not add any value being with the Team while they are working hard on something.. sometimes it is important just to be there, facilitate things for them, try to check on their needs and try to remove there blockers so they can work well. Its a morale support to the Team... they know who to go back to when you are there. Now if they can depend on you for this, Aren't they surely going to love you?

Today we did a release, one of the fellow colleagues asked me "It is OK if you are not in, we could have taken care of it" I said "No worries, I just like to stick around" a few minutes later the same colleague was stuck with a issue and needed some help from me to reset some user details. I reminded the colleague "When you lead a Team, make sure you are there for the Team, you never know what will come up and when you will be needed" ....

You must have come in this situations very often... Your Team would be working day , night , late hours, weekends... if they see you around with a motive of helping them out... They are going to like it.

A few things to remember and do while you are JUST THERE for the Team

1. Make an arrangement for a quick Pizza grab if they are working late or weekends
2. Give them a ride home if it is late in the night.
3. Ask them about if they need any help occasionally.
4. Get them short breaks if they are working late.. this would release them from some pressures.
5. Do some petty tasks for them... like random tests to help them, or builds, or deploys that can save them some time
6. Get them a coffee on their desk... they may like it
7. A quick shoulder massage... of course for male colleagues is not a bad idea.
8. Appreciate their effort....

Do not

1. Be there to do a status check
2. Do not give a feeling or be there to monitor the activities.
Both of this is showing distrust.

Another small thing... But this can really help making life of Team members and Leads easier... a low cost item that can improve the leads level of engagement with the Team.. Now ask yourself ....On when you were present when your Team needed you the most...