Employees who feel connected to their employer, supervisors, and co-workers perform better than those who don’t. Here’s how to help them feel connected:
- Be present. This means interacting with employees face-to-face as well as focusing all of your attention on them during these interactions instead of your computer or phone.
- Be honest. People can’t connect with others who aren’t authentic. This includes telling employees when they have not met your expectations and what they should do to meet them.
- Be tactful. Say what needs to be said in a way that does not destroy people.
- Be personable. Let employees get to know you and get to know them. I’m not suggesting getting involved in each other’s personal lives; I am suggesting a conversation now and then about something other than work.
- Resolve conflicts. Avoiding conflicts actually creates more barriers to connection.
- Say, “I’m sorry” when you’ve made a mistake. Sounds obvious, but people in positions of authority often have the misguided notion that they always have to be right.
- Keep people in the loop. Provide monthly or at least quarterly updates on finances, new clients, operational changes, etc.
- Provide social opportunities. You don’t have to foot the bill for a lavish party; just bring in cookies or a pizza that employees can munch on while chatting.
- Celebrate successes. Employers and supervisors who think that people are supposed to do a good job and therefore shouldn’t have to be thanked for doing so need to think again.
Taking these actions isn’t just for the benefit of employees. Indeed, moments of connection positively impact everyone who is sharing them.
Mother Teresa said, “Work without love is slavery.” If you’ve ever had a job that you hated then you know what she meant. Help your employees love their work by taking deliberate steps to connect with them. You’ll love the effect it has on your employees, yourself, and your business.