How to Connect With Employees Appropriately

“One of the difficulties that many managers face is balancing the level of trust and respect that your employees hold you in. Whilst you want to be respected and looked up to, at the same time you cannot afford to isolate yourself from your employees. One of the most underappreciated aspects of the work environment is your relationship with your employees. Whilst making early morning small talk may seem pointless, there is actually a lot of benefits that your business can reap from connecting with your employees. Therefore, we at Office Chairs UK have put together not only a list of benefits you can gain from forming good relations with your employees but our top ten ways for how to establish these working relationships.

The benefits of connecting with your employees
There are countless benefits to forming meaningful relationships with your employees. Here are just a few:

By increasing your engagement with your staff, they are more likely to be motivated as they will feel more settled and a part of the team.
By breaking down the office hierarchy though connecting with your employees, you are able to build mutual trust and respect enabling them to feel like they can speak to you openly, which allows for quickly solving conflicts should they arrive.
Your employees will feel able to take risks and less afraid of failure because they will feel supported by you.

Now you understand this importance of getting to know your employees, here are our favourite ways to connect with our employees:

When there’s someone new in the office…
… help them get to know everyone. Whether it is through icebreakers, a welcome social night or at the next team meeting, allowing new members of the team to introduce themselves and get to know other people so they settle is an imperative part of building a strong team. If you can be a helping hand in allowing them to get to know the office, for instance introducing them to people you think they will get on well with, they will know from the off that you are someone who is looking out for them. Equally, when you start a new job in a managerial position, be sure to introduce yourself to everyone, to immediately break down barriers that can form between the management and the rest of the company. For instance, at your first team meeting make sure to introduce yourself properly, including things you’re interested in outside of work to bring you down to a more human level.
Never stop interacting
Once you are settled in, or the new member no longer feels new, don’t stop checking in with your staff. Whether that be through one-to-one catch-ups or simply walking around the office and asking how people are. This makes your interest seem more sincere than it simply being a nicety when you first join.
Be Transparent
Whilst you may be wary about spilling company secrets, by being open about the goings on within your company you will be able to gain the trust of your employees, who will appreciate being told what is going on. The information given is up to your discretion but may include recent decisions, changes that have been made and their outcomes and issues that the company is facing.
Give employees a voice
By making the employees more involved within the company, they will be more motivated to see the company succeed. This could include giving them a vote on company issues or decisions. However, you can, of course, keep a final say to make adjustments as long as you explain why.
Ask for feedback and suggestions
Make sure that your employees know that they are able to make suggestions and give feedback. This could be through publicising your open-door policy or by having an anonymous comments system. You may also want to consider keeping the person who made the suggestion up-to-date with changes you make following their feedback, so they can see the difference they are making to the company.
Give them space to express themselves
Following on from this, try to ask more open-ended questions to allow your employees to express any ideas they may have and explore them fully.
Give praise when praise is due
Make an effort to recognise your employee’s successes. This could be through a general email at the end of a big project or the year. You could also give out individual praise at private meetings or in individual emails. However…
… don’t give preferential treatment
Whilst you are good to chat to your work BFF during the day, don’t allow this to cause resentment in others. Make sure to hand out praise equally, especially during group meetings, and don’t leave anyone on the sidelines. Everyone has the right to feel needed and wanted at work.
Allow them to grow
Don’t restrict your employees from developing their position. Whether this is through training or by allowing them to explore other types of work within the company, they will appreciate the freedom to explore and develop their career.
Connecting with your employees is a necessary part of office morale but is not as hard as it looks. Hopefully, with these pieces of advice under your belt, you will now be able to improve your relations with your team and see positive results in return.”