Author: Katie Carpintero (LeaderImpact Global Team)
As a leader, it's easy to get tied down in the day-to-day responsibilities that your career (and life) will throw at you. Leaders are notoriously busy people who have to make constant choices as to where to focus their time and efforts. While it’s often easy to assume your employees are happy to not engage with you and continue on in their status quo, I would advocate that having a consistent and REAL relationship with your team members is vital to having a healthy and thriving work environment. So, what does that look like in today's post-pandemic world with many of our jobs now remote and several team members in various locations; what does it REALLY look like to have a good relationship with your team?
Being a leader means that you aren’t solely thinking about your own contributions to the company but also those of the people you work with. An unhappy or disgruntled employee will inevitably have an effect on your company's output. When you think back to the leaders you have worked with that led well, what was it about their leadership style that you liked? Did they make you feel valued, were they the type of leader who took a genuine interest in what you were doing and how YOU were feeling? I would argue that your employees are your most valuable assets. These are the people who are going to get you where you want to go, having a good solid working relationship with these individuals is key to being a successful leader.
Not only do employees want to work for a leader they respect and admire, but they will also work harder for a leader who genuinely cares about who they are. From my own personal experience, I can recall leaders who took time out of their busy schedules to make time for me. In one particular instance, when I was dealing with the loss of a loved one, one of the leaders I worked for took time out to check in on me and my well-being, he made me feel seen, and in turn, I felt respected and appreciated.
At the 2020 LeaderImpact Summit we heard from Marcus Buckingham the author of the Standout Assessment who stressed the importance of check in’s with your employees. Buckingham suggests taking 10 minutes each week to check in and ask two important questions; what are you working on and how can I help? Buckingham states,” It’s that easy. But the solution to making your team members feel like you know what is expected of them, and what their strengths are, simply lies in asking each person those two questions, once a week.” Not only does this send the message that you want to make sure work is being done, but also that as a leader you are here to help if needed. Taking the time out of your busy schedule to let someone else know that they’re important is essential.
We live in a new day and age where employees have a plethora of opportunities for who they work for and they want to work for someone who thinks of them as more than just a number on a spreadsheet. In the Forbes article, “In Leadership, Relationships Matter Most,” Molinaro states, “Without relationship, there is no trust. Without a relationship, there is no extra effort. Day after day, people do not come to work for a time clock. They come to work for a person. And for them to give anything other than the minimum, they must have relationships with that person.”
Ask yourself this question, “have I recently checked in on my employees? If someone was to ask you today if you have checked in on those that report to you, what would you say? Could you give me a small detail of how they are doing and what’s going on in their life? I’m not asking you to become your employee's best friend, but rather invest the time in your most valuable assets, after all, they are with your company for a reason, they chose to be there and they chose to work for you.
At Leaderimpact we want to help come alongside our leaders and help them grow personally, professionally, and spiritually. If you’re a leader looking to strengthen your relationships, why not check out a local LeaderImpact group where you can meet other leaders also looking to grow in their leadership journey (for more information click here).
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