Keeping things strictly professional in the workplace sounds good in theory, but the fact remains: you’re managing actual individual people with unique personalities, backgrounds, and perspectives. To be the most effective leader possible, you need to understand your employees. Learn more about why you should know the people you manage:
1. It Helps Improve Your Ability to Motivate Them
While there are certainly overall best practices for coaching your employees to meet performance expectations, everyone has their own specific motivators, so it’s important to be able to tailor your strategies accordingly. Getting to know your employees as individuals will help improve your ability to motivate them to reach their potential. For example, some employees may be motivated by opportunities to build their resumes because they have lofty goals of advancement, while others are motivated by having a sense of purpose and hearing about how their efforts help others or play a role in the company achieving its mission.
2. It Builds a Trustworthy Relationship
When employees and leadership have a mutually trustworthy relationship, it greatly improves productivity and morale, leading to job satisfaction and retention. The simple gesture of showing interest in your employees will help assure them that you care about them as individuals, making them less likely to view your intentions with suspicion. When your employees trust you, they will want to work hard because they don’t want to let you down. Having a trustworthy relationship also means your team will be more inclined to have candid conversations with you to have the information you need to problem solve and make decisions.
3. It Boosts Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is when your team members strive to go above and beyond in their job duties simply because they truly want to contribute. When workers aren’t engaged, they tend to be cynical and only do the bare minimum to be considered “good enough” since they don’t see the point of doing anything extra if they aren’t even acknowledged. Getting to know your employees can make them feel more valued and appreciated, making them more internally motivated to perform at the highest level possible.
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