What is Employee connection? It is when employees find their daily job more purposeful and therefore they develop a stronger desire to do what it takes to get it done. For example, the people who always stay behind to work late until the job is finished. Such employees strive to get the desired outcome because they feel connected to their jobs and managers.
Managing people requires trust and understanding between the manager and the employees. But building that important trust when a manager is new in the job is not an easy task. The new environment makes it harder to get employees connect with the manager right from the beginning.
The Importance of Employee Connection
There are many hurdles you have to clear from the beginning. You are going to have a new team, unusual stakeholders, and work in an unfamiliar environment. It will require to learn a lot of things, including the new culture.
Many managers feel anxiety during the first days of work. They become unease and start wondering what people think of them.
You must manage the jitters you might feel in the early days. Be yourself, but find the right approach to suit your new work environment.
The key is to reach out to your employees as soon as you can because that is when the process of building the relationship with them begins.
11 Actions for Managers to Achieve Employee Connection
1. Know Your Team
Your first team meeting will provide an excellent opportunity to know your team. Use the first meeting as a platform to introduce yourself and to learn about your team. Ask for their names and how long they have been in their current posts.
Get to know what they want and what they expect from you. Find out the things that interest them most. That will help you connect with your employees faster.
2. Engage Employees
The relationship becomes stronger when you get to know your employees on a personal level. So right after the team meeting, go to meet each employee at their work stations.
Introduce yourself again to your team members. Find out who they are, how they are doing and what they do. Then ask them about what they want, what their interests are, or where they like to go. Questions like these from a new manager will make them feel valued.
3. Schedule One-on-One Meetings
Your first day at work is perfect to start arranging one on one conversations to understand how you can work together. By doing so, you are proving to the employees that you care and want to support them.
The benefits will be many. You will know the work challenges and more about their individual needs and interests.
4. Show the Big Picture
Do not make motivational speeches the first time you meet your employees. If you do that, it will make them suspicious about your intentions. That will not do much to get your employees to connect with you.
What you need at this time is to get their attention and then show them a big picture of how life will look like under your leadership. Once they take an interest, explain the reasons and benefits of focussing on that big picture.
For example, it will give them more autonomy, career growth, and personal growth. Use every opportunity you get to talk about the big picture and how it will bring benefits to you all. Say what you are going to do, and how it will work to benefit them all.
5. Mutual Benefits
The manager relationship with employees is a two-way thing that can succeed or fail. It will be great when everyone benefits. It will fail if you keep asking your employees to do things for you, but you do not give them anything back. That is a one-way relationship that no employee wants to be in.
6. Create Employee Connection Channels
Establish communication lines where it is easy to share new ideas and collaboration. Most employees nowadays are active on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
It is worth checking out early what social media channel they want to use. Then create a platform and encourage all your employees to join.
Start a work discussion thread and ask for everyone’s input. Post answers to their issues, and ask them questions. You aim to get your team members talking to each other and sharing information.
7. Have a Open Door Policy
Let your employees know from day one that you have an open-door policy. If you do that, team members will feel free to come into your office for a quick discussion about anything. And that will allow you to get regular information about what is happening in their work environment.
You do not want your team members to label you a secretive manager. So, the open-door policy will prove you want to build a culture of openness and engagement.
8. Surprise Employees
The smallest gestures by a manager can translate into healthy relationships with employees. Making tea or coffee for your team members is one of the simplest ways to let employees know that you value them. It is things that seem very small that can cause the most significant employee connection and boost morale.
9. Be Open
Be transparent, and do not be scared to acknowledge your lack of knowledge about certain technical things. Just work with your employees and do not treat them as subordinates.
In time they will be happy to work with you and support you. In the end, you will learn and improve your skills further.
10. Be Authentic
It is nice to be liked, but it is more important as a manager to be respected. Respect takes time to earn. And to win it depends on your actions and behaviours towards your employees.
Do not do things because you want team members to like you. If you are going to start chasing popularity, then you will risk doing only what others want. You have to remain yourself because your integrity will earn you the respect, support and trust from your employees in the end.
11. Manage Expectations
Managing people expectations is critical. As a new manager, your employees will be expecting too much from you. It is so vital that you play down the high hopes to manage people’s expectations. Do not promise to do things unless you can deliver them.
You lose your credibility if you fail to live up to the expectations you have set. Yes, things always do not go to plan, but the new manager must be reliable and credible.
To conclude, many other ways can help employees connect with their new manager. But the manager needs to be proactive and engage team members on the frontline. One of the quickest ways to build a relationship with employees and make them feel valued is to listen. Opening your ears to your team members to understand what is going on is very helpful. So, make it clear you want to connect with employees and that you are listening. And try to establish trust with them right from the beginning.
Do you know other effective ways to connect with employees? Please leave your thought in the comment box below