Almost every employee wants to know that their manager is genuinely and positively interested in them. They may not always give that impression by their demeanour but trust me – they want to know you care; they want acceptance from you.
If they know you care about them, then your relationship will be much more productive.
As well as getting to know the individual members of your team on a human or personal basis, you need to get to know them on a business basis.
How are they getting along with the job? And it’s not a matter of asking – ‘How’s the job going?’ If you ask that, then you may get a list of complaints or you may just get – ‘It’s all going fine.’
You need to be more specific in your questions and encourage descriptive answers.
One of the main benefits of spending time with your team is that it lets them know you’re there to help with problems. Of course, you’re not there necessarily to solve their problems but to coach them to solve their problems.
- They get to know you
Your team will want to know about you at both a personal and business level. Again, that doesn’t mean sharing your intimate thoughts, but it’s similar to the things you want to know about them.
Even although team members don’t ask you about yourself – tell them. Reveal bits and pieces about yourself over a period of time.
What you’re really saying is – ‘I’m human, I’m like you, and I experience the same situations.’
This is one of the most important things the successful manager can do. This is your opportunity to tell them the things that you do like about their performance and also the things you don’t like.
- They have the opportunity to give you feedback
Now this may make you feel a bit nervous, and it certainly can be scary when you’re not used to it, but it is very motivational.
If you create a healthy open environment in your team then they should feel comfortable giving feedback to you. It may not always be what you want to hear but it can certainly improve your relationship with them.
It’s often the case that members of your team have positive suggestions that will benefit the team, the business and you.
However, they may not always be willing to seek you out and tell you about them. Perhaps they may feel foolish or embarrassed in front of their colleagues.
If you’re spending time with them, then this is the ideal opportunity for them to give you their thoughts. Of course, you sometimes have to dig this out and encourage it.
When you spend time with each individual it gives you the opportunity to explain how the business is going and how the team is performing. This is often done at a team brief and that’s okay.
However in a one to one situation you can discuss in more depth and encourage ideas and feedback from them as described above.
Team leaders and managers, need to get up off their chair, or out of their office and spend time with their team.
That is, if they want motivated and engaged staff.
And if you want to know more, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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