Getting to know your Staff
Knowing your staff is an important part of a successful organization. By getting to know your employees, you have the benefit of understanding each individual’s talents, needs, and motivators. You also help establish a respectful environment that boosts morale, confidence, and establishes an overall feeling of support.
Why Is It Important?
As you get to know your employees you will:
• Become aware of each individual’s learning style. You can use this to better describe techniques, job duties, and other processes to the staff member so that they can be more effective.
• Become more aware of each individual’s communication style. This will make you better able to understand their behavior, leadership potential, and management style.
• Know what they like to do and what they don’t like to do. Use this information to delegate job duties and tasks. Or perhaps, challenge them to face the tasks that are challenging to them in order to learn new skills and grow as a professional.
• See what motivates them. Some workers are motivated by bonuses, others by receiving praise.
• Gain the trust of your employees.
• Understand what kind of feedback they best respond to, and find out the best way to give them feedback.
• Discover that your staff is more effective and productive when they work in an environment where they feel honored as individuals.
Get to Know Your Employees
A great first step is to focus on your own self-awareness. Make sure you are personable and approachable. Create opportunities to talk both inside and outside of work, if needed. Occasionally, talk about your family, hobbies, or other outside-of-work topics. Allow your employees to see you as not just a boss, but someone they can talk with and trust. Secondly, focus on listening to your employees. Developing your skills and learning to be an effective listener will help you with your staff as well as in your personal life. Ask sincere questions about things that are important to your employees, like how their families are, how their day is going, etc. Avoid getting too personal, but genuinely get to know them. If an employee does not open up to you, don’t take it personally, they may prefer to keep their personal lives and work lives separate. Develop the relationship slowly by focusing on work and task-related conversation. Be friendly and open and let the communication evolve according to their comfort level.
To further get to know who you work with, put together outside-of-work functions or team-building activities. Pick activities
that build trust or build team unity.