As leaders, we spend a great deal of time and effort setting business goals, developing plans to achieve those goals and helping ensure employees understand how they fit in.
With so much going on, it’s all too easy to get lost in the work and detach yourself from the human element of the workplace.
Similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, employees have eight key questions on their minds – the answers to which will move them from being focused on themselves to being focused on the organization. The end goal is engagement – getting that discretionary effort all of us want and need from our people.
As a leader, you want employees interested in the all-important “we-focused” questions (such as “what is our business strategy?”). But first, you need to answer their “me-focused” questions – one of which is “does anyone care about me?”
Leadership is personal – employees follow leaders because of how leaders make them feel.
Here are five simple yet powerful steps to show your employees you care about them:
- Find out and remember what they are passionate about
- How would they spend a Saturday? At a museum? A concert? Do they golf? Do they have a favorite sports team?
- Demonstrate you know the little things that matter to them
- Do they have a TV show they watch regularly? What might be on their minds as they come to work?
- Remember their birthdays
- Consider putting these dates in your calendar as a reminder
- Interact with them as people, not just your employees
- Say hi. Ask them how their weekend went – and demonstrate active listening
- Say thank you and share specific appreciative feedback
Done in a genuine way, these steps demonstrate you care, and open the possibility of changing how you see your employees, as well as yourself.
How can you show your employees you care?
-- David Grossman