“Have a Great Day!” We all want to go home at the end of the workday feeling like we had a great day. How do we know if we had a great day? Did we set ourselves up for success? Did we set others up for success? The Best Practices team at Interstates works with our craft team members from E1 to leadership. In our conversations with these team members, we’ve heard two common thoughts 1) they all want to feel like part of the project, and 2) they’ve done a good job.
Tips to Engage Team Members
Project engagement is important to keep people motivated. Crew members often tell us they don’t want to feel like robots. They want to know about upcoming work and how they play a part. These wants are not limited to craft team members, but to any other teams you lead. Below, I share three ways the Best Practices team engages our crews in the field, but take the time to consider how you can make it work no matter what your team looks like.
- Look-Aheads: Give a 1-2 week look-ahead showing the upcoming work. On-site, we’ve used a whiteboard scheduling technique to do this in our trailers. How can you visually give a look-ahead for your projects?
- Task Handoffs: Deliver thorough task handoffs. Incomplete handoffs cause frustration for both the team member and the leader. Teams that fully understand the task can better find and correct safety, quality, and productivity issues, even if they’re small.
- Small Teams: Keep a small team size when possible. This allows the leader to lead and interact with each team member effectively. We’ve found large crews under one leader can become ineffective. Communication channels grow, and personal touches between the leader and team members are lost. While team sizes are not always controllable, think of ways to be personable with your team. It could be regularly meeting 1-on-1, sending a personalized note, or recognizing teammates for a job well done.
Making an Impact on Someone’s Great Day
How can we impact whether someone has a great day? Take a look at a few simple steps you can take every day to impact someone’s day positively:
- Setting clear expectations is the first step to ensuring your team will do a good job and have a good day.
- Following up on those expectations is the second key step. If I had to guess, your people want to know if they are meeting expectations. Hearing they’re meeting those expectations is a nod to a good job.
- Lastly, we need to break down barriers that prevent team members from doing their best work. On a job site or in the office, there are any number of obstacles that can stop progress and cause frustration. As leaders, we must ensure people have the tools, materials, and knowledge to do their best work.
At Interstates, our team is our success. We encourage and push to keep our team members in the know to ensure this success through look-aheads, complete handoffs, and right-sized crews. Setting that foundation can help you set clear expectations, follow up on those expectations, and knock down barriers. You may find your people are going home feeling like they did their best work that day. All of this leads to team members having a “great day.”
Jeremy Oliver, Quality Assurance Developer