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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!