As an employer, it’s very easy to see that there is division between you and your team. They will smile as you walk past, and they will always answer the questions that you post to them, but they will always be more hesitant when it comes to building a personal relationship with you outside of work. As a boss, you should expect this – as they are not supposed to be your friend.
However, that doesn’t stop you from getting to know your employees in a way that ensures that you are all working together well. Developing deeper relationships can be done with things such as the interest inventory test, and psychometric testing to help you to learn about your employees on a deeper level. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can get to know your employees and encourage them to open up.
- Maintain an open door policy. There should never be a physical divide between the management and the team unless you’re in office to have a meeting. Leaving an open door policy across the office means that people feel that they can come to and from the office without hesitation. It can help you to have a better understanding and a pulse on what’s happening in the department of the company on a daily basis. It’s not just about physically leaving the door open. Employees have to feel like they can come into your office without guilt or obstruction. If you leave the door open but the employees don’t feel welcome then there’s something wrong that you have to fix.
- Make a point of spending time with people outside of work. When was the last time you ever spent time with employees outside of the business? You should be having regular lunches or meetings outside of the office so that people can turn down the invisible walls between management and employees. You can also get to know them in their taste when you ask them what they would like to do as a group. It doesn’t have to be cringey icebreaking stuff, but just simply having a meal.
- Recognise their achievements. How do you reward and recognise your team? If you don’t do it nearly enough, they’re going to feel underappreciated and they’re not going to want to get to know you. A simple thank you was good enough some of the time, but you do need formal recognition if you want your employees to feel appreciated and happy.
- Have their back. If you want to get to know your employees they need to be able to open up to you, and nobody wants to open up to a boss who sides with clients over stuff. You have to believe in your team and that means that you need to ensure that you’re supporting them when they go to battle for your company. They’re always putting themselves on the line for your reputation every single day and they need to know that you have their back because sometimes the client just really isn’t right.