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As the boss, it’s natural for you to feel a bit of a division between yourself and your employees. When you pass in the hall, you’re polite and even friendly to each other, but have you ever considered the benefits of really getting to know them – as the unique individuals they are, rather than just part of your headcount?

The 80/20 Rule

Experts suggest following the 80/20 rule when it comes to building stronger, healthier relationships with your employees. This means devoting 20 percent of your time to this purpose.

  • With only so many hours in a day, this concept may seem unrealistic. But, investing this relatively small amount of time has significant benefits that pay off in the long run. And as noted by Hollie Delaney, lead link of people at Zappos, the 20 percent guideline is “less literal and more of a guiding principle. It’s the encouragement to get to know your employees in not only how they work, but who they are as people, and strengthening the emotional connection within these groups.”

The Benefits

When people feel like they’re working with friends, they are naturally more accountable to each other.

  • You can find an opportunity in every encounter. It can be easy for everyone to get into the zone and miss what’s going on with each other. Grabbing a coffee and connecting with an employee is a welcome break from the daily grind.
  • The work becomes more efficient. You may already know a person’s strengths, but learning what their passions are can add new meaning and drive.
  • When you get to know each other on a personal level, mutual respect grows. Knowing someone’s triggers, as well as their strengths, can also improve communication.
  • You become a more effective coach, as you learn best how different people receive feedback.

How to Make it Happen

While you make the 80/20 rule your guiding principle, follow these tips to get to know your employees better:

  • Have an open-door policy. Managers who show high levels of accessibility are more likely to have employees stopping by for a quick chat or to bring difficult issues, situations or ideas to the attention of their manager. This gives you a better pulse on what’s happening among your workforce.
  • Spend time together outside work. Host and attend team social events and less professional gatherings. Go to a ball game, meet for Happy Hour, or volunteer as a group to support a charity that an employee is passionate about.
  • Work alongside them. Roll up your sleeves and work side by side. Most employees enjoy sharing what they do and the pride they have in their jobs. Plus, you can work together to improve processes, develop new ideas, and solve problems.

For additional resources as you develop your winning workforce, contact the PrideStaff Modesto team today. In addition to temporary, contract, temp-to-hire, and direct hire recruitment, we can assist in meeting your staff development goals and building your employer brand so you stay ahead in today’s increasingly competitive talent war.

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