People don’t quit companies, they quit leaders. Without great leadership, your company is at risk of losing your most talented individuals. In today’s workplace, employees desire to be more than just a number, they want to feel valued. But how do you create valuable relationships with your team members? Here are three ways to create meaningful relationships with your employees.
Commit to weekly 1-on-1s
Communication is key to any successful relationship. At work, most of our communication comes “at us” through our inbox or meetings. One unique way to create an open dialogue with our team members is through weekly 1-on-1s.
1-on-1s are a dedicated time between a manager and their employee to connect on everything from workload to professional development to informal conversation. Employees desire this connection as a way to provide feedback and ask questions on a regular basis. The article “1-On-1s For Engaged Employees: How Good Managers Run Them” touches on the importance of a 1-on-1 mindset, recurring schedule, and agenda. Ideally, you create space to meet with each of your team members once a week. Although time-consuming, this opportunity to practice open and real communication with leaders helps team members feel connected to their roles and their purpose in the company.
In other words, weekly 1-on-1s create engagement. When employees become engaged, they speak up in meetings and participate in projects. Weekly 1-on-1s also give engaged employees a chance to establish trust with you, boost self-confidence, and make their work more productive and their solutions more effective.
Disengaged employees quit companies; engaged employees raise companies up. Your #1 engagement tool is a weekly 1-on-1.
Be a Dream Manager
Here at Infusionsoft one of our core values is “We Believe in People and Their Dreams.” The beauty behind this core value is its foundation in care for our employees beyond just their performance metrics or daily utilization. This shows up in our company by having our leaders trained as Dream Managers. A Dream Manager acts as a cheerleader or accountability partner to their team members and encourages them to pursue their dreams. In the article, “Why Every Company Needs a Dream Manager”, Matt Mayberry says, “The absolute best way to transform a company is to transform the people within that company.” So as part of your weekly 1-on-1s, make it a point to uncover your employee’s dreams and help them design, declare, and do those dreams. For more insight on how to become a Dream Manager, make sure to read Matthew Kelly’s book, “The Dream Manager.”
One of the most important ways to create a meaningful relationship is to create trust with your team. So often we assume that our definition of trust is the same as the person next to us. But by taking the time to sit down and have an entire session with your team based on defining trust, you will find your team members see trust differently.
An absolutely incredible resource for all leaders is a talk by Brenee Brown, entitled “The Anatomy of Trust.” Brown powerfully defines trust by diving into concepts such as reliability and accountability and how as teams we can leverage these strengths in each other. As Brown puts it, “Trust is built in very small moments.” Taking the time to define trust as a team builds confidence and belief amongst team members, and that is exactly the kind of environment that creates engaged employees.
People often ask me what the secret is to creating a high-performing, engaged team. I tell them it’s no secret, it’s care—care for each of my team members and the amazing company I work for. By taking the time to invest in my people, they, in turn, invest in our customers. As a result, we create a successful future for our business. As a frontline manager, the most important aspect of my job is to connect and engage my employees. Invest in your employees, and you will have the necessary foundation to create an active, engaged, and committed workforce.
Yanira Sesniak is an Infusionsoft Getting Started Manager and small business raving fan. With more than a decade in work committed to stellar customer service, she enjoys coaching small businesses and leaders on how to create memorable moments for customers. She is a mother of four to a toddler, two furry kids, and a baby on the way.