When you are at the helm of a thriving business, you could have a huge amount on your plate. That can include monitoring how particular products are selling and the financial health of the company, interviewing potential recruits and managing projects. So, what about your staff?
“What about them?” you may ask. Well, exactly – you could be so hard-pressed for time that you know little about your people and, therefore, their problems possibly bubbling under the surface.
Set aside time to shadow your employees
As a senior member of the business, you risk losing sight of the little things your staff are doing “on the ground”; think running errands, conversing with customers and, perhaps, handling kitchen duties. However, by spending a few hours working alongside your staff, you can gain greater clarity.
Start Up Donut explains that it can also help you to understand your employees’ daily processes, individual personalities and team dynamics. You can also make yourself look more accountable.
Regularly meet up with staff one-on-one
These meetings should be scheduled in advance, giving you time to discern what upcoming tasks and projects should be on the agenda for discussion. However, it shouldn’t just be about what you need from the employee but also what exactly they need from you.
Consider asking your staff what aspects of work make them happy or stressed, how that worker likes to be praised or constructively criticised and what they like to do after work.
Keep your door open – both metaphorically and literally
You’re probably more than familiar with the term “open door policy”, but it entails a lot more than simply leaving your office door literally open. It’s about creating a welcoming atmosphere where each staffer feels free to come into your office and tell you truthfully what is on their mind.
Some people might still feel reluctant to discuss very personal issues, like depression, with you. However, that’s where, say, employee wellbeing solutions from LifeWorks can help pick up the slack.
Get the whole “gang” together for some fun
The phrase “team-building events” probably makes you picture staff being sent away to conference centres where they try to come up with the next big thing for your business. However, don’t forget to allow your staff to partake in some more leisurely pursuits together, too.
Those pursuits could include playing football, going bowling, competing in a quiz… the list goes on. Relaxed staff can feel more inclined to vocalise about what they are thinking.
Spend time with your employees outside of work
You might have occasionally bumped into employees when out and about on weekends, but do you engage in sustained activities with these workers? Small Business Trends suggests forming a sports team, going whale watching or even building a house with your workers.
Those are just three of hundreds of ways you could, outside of a professional context, establish healthier and more trusting relationships with your staff. You could find that these employees then become more open with you about their concerns.
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