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How to Establish a Connection with Your Employees

The human brain is wired to connect. By nature, people are motivated by a drive for social connection, which applies at work and in their personal lives. Not everyone has to be best friends with their coworkers, but the better people get along with each other and upper management, the more beneficial business results and long-term success.

According to one Gallup poll, companies with the most engaged workers are 17 percent more productive, 21 percent more profitable, and make 20 percent more sales than others.

So, how do you get your team members enthused, passionate, motivated … and truly connected? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Make it personal.

To connect with someone, you have to get to know them first. Learn more than just your employees’ names and what they do for your company. Ask about their weekend, their interests, and what’s going on in their lives outside work. And encourage people to get to know their colleagues, too. If things haven’t opened up post-pandemic, try Zoom coffee or happy hours … hopefully, you can deliver the message that these get-togethers can soon become not only live but in person, again soon!

Make sure everyone feels heard – and understood.

Employees who feel their opinion is valued are more likely to be invested in their work and in their future with your company.

  • Foster ongoing two-way communication. Employee feedback can prove very valuable to continuous business improvements.
  • Practice active listening. Give people ample opportunity to communicate with you, share their ideas and suggestions … and know that you are not only hearing them but also getting the message. Listen without interrupting or advising unless asked. Paraphrase what an employee has told you, back to them, so they know you got it. And be sure people know they won’t be penalized for disagreeing at times. Sometimes the best communication strategy is to “agree to disagree” if necessary.
  • Virtual or not, keep your door open. Be accessible and share as much information as possible with employees. And always tie it in with the impact each person’s contributions have on whatever is going on. This builds a sense of pride, ownership, and loyalty.
  • Establish a culture of appreciation.

    Expressing appreciation for milestones reached and jobs well done works wonders in terms of building engagement and connection. Start or reenergize your employee recognition program; people need it now more than ever. As always, be sure recognition awards are appropriate and tailored to each recipient. Otherwise, they may backfire.

    For more than three decades, PrideStaff Modesto has been partnering with leading companies throughout the Central Valley and beyond to develop winning workforce development strategies, communication and recognition tools, and cultures. Let us help you with a plan custom-tailored to your company and its unique needs. Contact us today for more information.

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