Relationships are built through a thousand little interactions. Each either strengthens or diminishes the bond between people or organizations. However, things move quickly. And there are often competing priorities—customers, competitors, investors, markets and life.
But it is your employees who are going to help you serve your customers, invent ways to displace competitors and create value for investors. Plus make those hours away from your family more enjoyable. Take a moment to consider if your actions are showing them that you care.
At CultureIQ, we have the privilege of working with great organizations and leaders and here are some of the things we’ve heard from leaders who create loyal and engaged teams.
Leaders who care about their teams:
Transparency consistently rates highly among employees when asked what they want from their leaders. However, openness requires a two-way transparency. Employees want to know that their leaders are not only communicating forthrightly and with context, but they want to know that they are being heard. If you have ever given feedback that was ignored, you know how frustrating it can be.
Ways to ensure you are remaining open:
• Take time to craft your message and think about how it may impact your employees from different vantage points (How might this decision impact remote employees? Those who travel frequently?).
• If possible, provide context for decisions. What were the trade-offs, who was involved, and most importantly, what problem you were trying to solve? Not only will this help people know the decisions were made in earnest, but they may have ideas that will help you continue to address challenges or goals in the future.
• When you are communicating something important, always leave ample time for discussion or questions. Often agendas are crafted based on content to be delivered. However, the discussion or question can be incredibly insightful to leaders about what is important to their people.
• Schedule some time with people who take the time to give you feedback to address it. Not only will it show them you are listening, it is a great opportunity to build a relationship and encourage engagement.