8 Ways for Managers to Connect with Employees

The days when managers would hide away in their ivory towers are long gone, or should be. Managers play an essential role in boosting employee engagement, creating an environment where every individual in their team feels comfortable, valued and motivated. And great managers know that the key to success lies in communicating and connecting with their people. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Offer employees a welcoming and safe workplace, free from bullying, harassment and discrimination. By creating and maintaining a positive working environment, employees will be happy to come and work with you – and the business – every day.
  2. Be a good role model. Be responsible, positive and consistent in your decisions and actions. Make time for your employees, motivate them and inspire them to be the best they can be.
  3. Schedule regular team events where individuals can share ideas, work in progress, and voice any concerns. Rather than a weekly meeting in the office, have lunch together in the canteen or head out to a local café for a cappuccino and a chat. You’re not just connecting with your employees, you’re creating a team that everyone is happy to be part of.
  4. Act on employee suggestions. There is no point in individuals having a voice if their messages just vanish into thin air. By including employees’ feedback in decisions and processes, you are showing that you value their say. And the chances are they’ll engage more with you and the business going forward.
  5. Keep your people in the loop. If there’s something big on the horizon, let your employees know before it’s looming ominously large. Open communication is key to building trust and respect.
  6. Wander around randomly on a regular basis and check in on your team. Management by walking around (MBWA) was big back in the 1980s when it was pioneered by HP’s Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. It’s a great way to see what’s going on, listen to your employees, and provide on-the-spot assistance if necessary.
  7. Recognise and reward your employees for a job well done. Everyone likes to feel they’ve made a difference. Forget the fancy team competitions, score boards and expensive prizes; sometimes a simple ‘well done’ is all it takes.
  8. Invest in your people. Spend time with them, support them, encourage them and coach them as they work towards their personal and professional goals. Show them you are committed to a long-term working relationship by offering them training and development programs and opportunities for advancement.

Communicate, connect and create an environment where your employees, you, and the business will thrive!

At Optimal Recruitment, we would love to communicate and connect with you. Please contact us on 02 8416 4181 or info@optimalrecruitment.com.au

Last year, a recruitment video for the Australian Department of Finance Graduate Program went viral for all the wrong reasons. Designed to showcase the “the variety of work, cultural and social experience [graduates] can expect when joining the department”, the video came in for heavy criticism by marketing experts. Dee Madigan, creative director of agency Campaign Edge, who has worked on a number of marketing campaigns for the Labor party, rated it as “probably one of the worst recruitment videos I’ve ever seen.”

So how do you get it right?

There is no magic formula for making a successful recruitment video, but here are a few recommendations:

  • Keep it short: very few viewers want to watch a 30-minute mini-documentary
  • Present your company culture in an honest and attractive way to help prospective applicants self-select
  • Provide insights into the type of work employees do and the perks they benefit from
  • Show a diverse range of employees to appeal to a broad target audience
  • Include humour and fun for maximum entertainment value.

The following videos, we think, work particularly well.

Notching up a huge number of views on YouTube – for the right reasons – is this recruitment video for the New Zealand Police. Aimed at 18-24-year-olds, it features frequent bursts of action, snippets of speech, and a good dollop of Kiwi humour. Well scripted and sharply filmed and edited, it is a great way to attract prospective applicants to a role in the NZ Police force.


Produced in 2014, “Working at Dropbox” is still one of the best recruitment videos out there. Classic employee lines, such as “It’s not only a place that I come to work; it’s a place that I come to grow” are injected with humour by replacing the people who voiced them with puppets. In just under 2.5 minutes, viewers gain an idea of Dropbox’s values, people and perks – and are entertained all the way.


Unlike Dropbox, HubSpot used real people to front their brand in this upbeat 2012 recruitment video. Prospective applicants are given a clear introduction to the company’s mission and values, as well as a privileged peek into the working environment. The video showcases a diverse range of employees who add their individual experiences to the bigger picture.

Do you have a favourite recruitment video? If yes, do share it in the comments. We’d love to hear your suggestions.

Thank you for watching!