Business Owners, especially Small Business Owners, wear many hats: Owner, Manager, Human Resources, CFO, Bookkeeping, Sales, Recruitment, and more. Finding the time to connect with employees is tough, especially in businesses that are “Essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic like Contruction & Trades, Veterinary, and more. These busy Business Owners are going through similar challenges right now: connecting with employees, and taking the time to do so.

Why should you connect personally with your employees? It is critical to the performance of your business. According to a Gallup study, businesses with high employee engagement have a 21% higher profit. They also have a 59% lower turnover, which we know can get very costly. Would you like to have a 21% higher profit? We would too. Besides the financial implications, Business Owners who take the time to slow down in order to speed up are the ones that are the happiest overall with their role.

Here’s 3 easy steps that you can take to increase your connection with your employees:

SAY HELLO

The simplest step is to make the time to say hello. Sounds easy, right? Often times though, there are a million factors that contribute to the Business Owner just not making the time to do this simple act. Ask how their day is going. And mean it. Genuine care for employees is one of the 3 keys to building trust. Earned trust ensures that employees will do the right thing for the company, for the owner, and for themselves without being asked.

Keep your own personality profile in mind. If you are a natural introvert, particularly the high “C” on the DISC behavior profile, relationships and connection with people is not something that happens easily, nor is it generally a priority to you. But not everyone on your team is a high “C”. Utilize the Platinum Rule: treat people how they want to be treated.

Take the long way to your office each morning and when you go to lunch. Take the time to walk through every department daily, if not multiple times a day. Be a visible leader that people want to work for.

SCHEDULE CONNECTION TIME

Put the time to connect with your employees on the calendar. During this time that is scheduled, whether it’s with one person at a time, or a small group of 3-4, don’t have a business-related agenda. This might be a lunch, drinks for happy hour, or just a coffee. Treat your employee to a time where they can talk about what is going on in their lives outside of work. Ask about their family, children, or pets. Find some common ground. Make a goal to connect with one employee or small group per week, or 52 in a year. It will make a huge difference in your employee engagement. Have less than 52 employees? Take each of them to lunch twice!

WRITE A DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Get to know each employee’s hopes and dreams for their career. In a larger business, the supervisors can take on the Development Plan, but an overall picture of the talent that is in the organization is a great way to grow. Do you have employees who would like to be supervisors? Those people would be great candidates for leadership coaching, even before there is a role for them. Be constantly hiring to be able to grow quickly.

Don’t be quick to judge or discount someone who wants to stay in their current role. Someone who is happy in their current role may want to improve a skill, get better at an aspect of their current role, or learn entirely new skills as the business grows and innovates. An employee who is unwilling to learn and grow, however, may not be a great fit for an organization that is on the move.

Write down their development plan. Spell out what skills the employee needs to learn in order to reach their goals. Do they need to be a better estimator in order to be a project manager? Are they interested in design and are lacking the training? Are they interested in moving from a receptionist to a veterinary technician? These are all things to discuss and know about your team.

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A healthy relationship with the leadership in your company can make or break not only the employee engagement, but can hit your bottom line. It doesn’t have to be this way. Taking just a few minutes every day, one lunch a week, and an annual development meeting can be the game changer.

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Need help developing a plan for your team culture? Want to have a 21% increase in profits? Schedule your no-cost, no-obligation business analysis today.

About the author,

Director of Marketing, ActionCOACH Columbus

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