We work. A lot. And we’re surrounded by our coworkers for the majority of the day (for better or for worse). But let’s look at the glass as half full, shall we? Although you may consider these people simply your employees, we’re here to tell you that it’s important to get to know them more personally.
Why? Getting to know the people you work with has many added benefits. Including increased engagement levels. Finding out what makes them tick — discovering what their interests and hobbies are, or what activities they participate in outside of the office — can help you create a community culture that fosters these additional talents and skills. For example, if you’re team has a lot of athletes, you could join a company softball league. Or if you have a company of readers, schedule a book club once a week. By engaging with employees outside of work, you show that you are invested in them beyond the time they put in on the clock. And as we’ve said before, an employee that feels valued is a more engaged worker.
In addition, talking with your employees — whether it’s a quick chat walking by their desk or taking them out for coffee – also improves cooperation and communication. Being able to speak about events or activities going on in our personal lives creates an open dialogue and rapport between coworkers, managers, and employees. Now we’re not talking about telling your team about your crazy Saturday night. Use your judgment here. But giving a little glimpse into each other’s lives cultivates a sense of trust and also fosters a stronger team bond. A team that cares for one another is more willing to resolve problems before they become a serious issue.
And while we’re on the topic of communication, taking your employees out for a cup of coffee can also help you become a better manager and business person. You’ll learn by asking about their lives — and in an environment outside of the office — how your coworkers like to spend their time. Which will also help you understand what motivates them intrinsically. For example, you may find out that your employee was an All-American high school soccer player and their claim to fame was scoring the most goals in one season. You can then use this information to better manage this person. In this instance, you could give this employee several small goal-oriented tasks that lead up to a larger, final project. Remember, knowing what works for each individual will set your team and business up for greater success.
To sum it up, spend some time learning about the people you work with. As a part-time CFO services company, we understand how difficult it can be to steal some time away from the office. But trust us. Knowing what your employees like to do outside of the office setting will help you, your team, and your business grow in the long run.