It’s not always easy for leaders to figure out their employees’ needs, wants, or struggles. If you fail to crack the code, you could lose top talent, allow toxic attitudes to fester, or even imperil your entire business. Having a bulletproof way to connect with employees is vital. Here’s how business leaders can forge world-class connections with their teams.
Align Employees around Your Vision and Mission
It’s not possible to create a connected workforce if some employees are working towards one thing while others are working towards another. As a leader, you need to ensure that your employees’ contribution supports the company’s overall vision as well as its mission. Your sales team will have different roles than the tech team – and then the marketing team will have its own set of responsibilities, but each individual needs to be aware of how their share of work is impacting the bigger picture.
Based on a Robert Half Management Resources survey, which found that only 47% of workers are able to make the connection between their day-to-day duties and how they impact the company’s financials. It is your responsibility as a leader to look for ways to help the team members connect their activities to the company’s bottom line.
Create Golden Opportunities for Personal Growth
Owners have an inherent interest in ensuring that their organizations get the biggest bang for their buck, that is, that revenue is maximized, expenses are minimized, and customers are consistently delighted with the products and services they receive. The granting of stock and other financial incentives is one way to develop a sense of ownership in employees. But there are many other nonfinancial ways that leaders can instill an owner’s mentality in the workplace, including giving employees real responsibility and authority to make decisions that affect their jobs and their work.
Create a Two-Way Connection
If you have a global workforce, meeting face-to-face on a regular basis isn’t practical. However, with technologies like enterprise social networks, and the ability to communicate across multiple channels, you can update employees on major initiatives, gather real-time employee feedback and address concerns that might be keeping employees from doing their best work.
For example, in order to communicate their vision of a growth mindset to 110,000 global employees, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and his leadership hold a monthly live Q&A session which includes a company update to all employees via the organization’s enterprise social network. Questions are collected before the monthly meeting so they can be addressed during the discussion, and live questions are also answered.
Part of developing two-way communication in the workplace is meeting employees where they are. So, while some employees prefer to attend town hall meetings and other events in person, others might want the option to attend virtually, view a recording or listen to audio after the meeting occurs — either at their desk, or on their commute home from work. That’s why it’s important to know which channels your employees use, and then make sure you communicate using those channels.