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Cisco Studied More Than 15,000 Teams and Found One Simple Practice Consistently Improves Engagement

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Teams that run the right meetings at the right times outperform other teams. As CEO of a company dedicated to helping teams run successful meetings, I know this to be true from personal experience, from copious academic research, and from mountains of anecdotal evidence. Large scale data, however, has been thin on the ground. 

That’s why I was thrilled to learn about research at Cisco highlighted in the new book Nine Lies About Work by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall. In it, the authors claim that a weekly check-in between the team leader and team members made a significant difference in a team’s collective engagement scores. 

This matters, because engagement scores are highly correlated with performance. People who say their work is meaningful, appropriately challenging, and appreciated do better work and stick around longer. 

In short, engaged teams create more value at a lower cost. Working as part of an engaged team is also way more fun. That’s winning all around. I spoke with Goodall, currently SVP of Leadership and Team Intelligence at Cisco, about exactly how they achieved this result. Here’s what they found.

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