The new work order has changed and people are no longer trading in job security for job loyalty. More and more research is reporting that employees want to work for an organization that is a cultural and lifestyle fit. They want to work for an organization where they feel recognized and rewarded, engaged and enabled with learning and development opportunities.
That is why it is important for leaders to really know their team beyond just the jobs they do. It’s really important to take the time to build rapport with your employees — to learn about their families, hobbies, goals and ambitions. This allows you to understand what motivates and drives them and to personalize their employee experience.
When leaders prioritize really getting to know their employees, they can acknowledge and recognize them in a personalized way, which will make them feel visible and valued. Recognition can be as simple as looking them in the eye, saying their name, and giving them an authentic, personalized “thank you”.
When you really get to know your team, you can remove obstacles that get in the way of exceptional performance. This might include seeing if there is an opportunity to better align their personal and professional lives with outdated policies and procedures such as dress code, flex-time, comp-time or remote work options.
When you take the time to learn about your employees beyond the job they do (e.g. their caring for elderly parents, having a spouse or child with health issues, etc.), accommodations for them can suddenly become opportunities for you. Because when your employees feel valued and appreciated – they will thank you with their accelerated effort, increased productivity, higher morale and positive behaviors that will improve employee-to-employee and employee-to-customer interactions.
The best part about really getting to know your employees is that you will feel good about being a leader and mentor for them by giving them the coaching, skills and competencies to be the best that they can be.
When you foster this type of culture and relationship with your employees, you will be able to give them more freedom and autonomy to make smart decisions, and support their mistakes when they happen. When you have these kind of relationships built on trust and caring, it will make you a stronger team, and a better organization for your customers.