There are two truths about employees that everyone in a leadership or management role should know. When you know these two truths, which get to the heart of what makes people tick, talking with employees becomes easier—and more effective:
- People want to work for a company they believe cares about them as individuals. If they do, they will work hard; if not, they’ll be on Facebook, scanning job boards or goofing off.
- Employees need to believe that the work they’re doing matters—that their individual contributions are helping the company achieve its goals.
If you get these two elements of your messages right, employees will stay engaged and productive.
So, how do you engrain these truths in your workplace?
- Personalize it. Get to know your team. Take time to ask them how they’re doing. And listen! For instance: When you see a poster or photograph in their workspace ask them to tell you about it. Inquire about their weekend or comment about their new car.
- Provide feedback. It should be immediate and frequent. Reinforce how the work people are doing contributes to the company’s success.
- Be specific. Instead of saying, “Thanks for the hard work,” say, “Thank you for staying late last night to get that shipment in the mail. You made it possible for us to get one step closer to this month’s goal of 1,000 units delivered.”
The extra effort you make to relate to employees on a personal level goes a long way in getting them to hunker down in the trenches with you.
It’s that simple. What makes employees tick is to know that you care about them and that what they do matters.
Before you act . . .
Partner with supervisors, human resources and an experienced communication consultant to build a cohesive, actionable engagement strategy. Use it as a foundation for consistent messaging aligned with your company’s mission, vision and core values. And be sure to include a feedback process.
Comment below to share your perspective or ideas about how to effectively build employer/employee relationships through communication.