Team work makes the dream work: Team Engagement

Here at Seed People Consulting, we like to take time to reflect when we can. The end of the Financial Year has provided us with that opportunity and reminded us of some of the great learnings and opportunities we’ve had over the past 12 months. 

In particular, we wanted to share with you some great learnings that we were lucky enough to take in at a Conference run by the Growth Faculty in March this year. When reflecting on our learnings, this came up for both Stace and I as an incredible event where experts shared their opinions on Engagement, Building High Performing Teams and Organisational Culture. Below I’ve summarised our key takeaways from the Conference, in the hope of inspiring you with regards to Leadership as you enter the new Financial Year!

The Ideal Team Player

Renowned Author and Business Expert, Patrick Lencioni was the first speaker on the day and he referenced a number of his theories around people management, one of those being ‘The Ideal Team Player’. Patrick and his team have defined 3 key attributes that make up the Ideal Team Player:

Hungry: Team Players should drive their own performance and outcomes – they need to care about the results;

Humble: Team Players shouldn’t only be in it for themselves – they need to support the team, and deliver on team results, not just individual results;

Smart: Specifically, Lencioni shared that this does not equate to intelligence – this is about Team Players being able to understand and relate to others, to build healthy relationships. 

We loved the simplicity of this model – and the fact that none of these attributes are technical skills, which brings us back to an old HR adage around recruitment ‘Hire for attitude, train for skill’. Lencioni encouraged us to forget our old approaches to interviewing, and to try to get to know people in the ‘real world’ – we love this!

Key Takeouts:

  • Humble is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking about yourself less
  • Interview differently – what are people like in real life?  How do you go beyond an interview to understand the answer to this question?

The Truth about Employee Engagement 

Lencioni then shared another of his team’s models related to Employee Engagement – a favourite topic of the Seed Team! 

Here, Lencioni spoke about the 3 aspects of ‘job misery’ – so, almost the opposite of engagement!  He advised that people became miserable in their roles because of 3 main reasons:

  1. Irrelevance: Feeling like their role doesn’t matter in the ‘big picture’ – employees will disengage with their job if they feel irrelevant to the business or the team. Communicate how roles link to strategy and results to make sure you’re connecting the dots with your team.
  2. Anonymity: Treat employees like ‘a number’ and they will very quickly disengage with your business. Spend time getting to know your employees, so they feel known and important. 
  3. Immeasurability: If an employee has no way of telling that they’re doing a good job, they will start to move towards job misery.  Set up some targets and goals – they don’t have to be metric to be meaningful!

Key Takeouts:

  • All businesses can build a simple engagement plan, based on these 3 easy-to-understand points, without a huge investment in time or complexity;
  • Many businesses focus on measurement, but perhaps the other areas are lacking – how do you build understanding and capability in these areas? 

We hope you enjoyed this very brief summary of our learnings and the teachings of Patrick Lencioni! If you’d like to learn more or discuss with us specific to your business, we’d love to hear from you – please reach out at on (02) 49 67 6695. 

Leave a Comment