When you walk into your office tomorrow, take a good look at all the people who have been there since God knows when, working on building your business and believing in your ideas. All of them have constraints at home—some may have young kids, some may have to travel very far, but they’re all there, working alongside you. Having a healthy, humane relationship with your employees results in increased productivity levels and builds loyalty in them. How, then, do you build a great relationship with your employees?
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It could be an evening out with the rest of the team or a table decked up for them to occupy. The moment new employees step into your office, make them feel like they truly belong there. You can also use these tips to make onboarding fun and effective.
While most leaders prefer to address all the new folk in a joint meeting, it helps to have a one-on-one chat with them. Doing this gives you an opportunity to talk about your expectations while understanding theirs. It also helps to let them know that you’ve hired them for a purpose and that you will stay by their side. Companies like Snapdeal have faced the ire of their employees for hiring without a vision.
This doesn’t have to mean celebrating their birthdays. Let them leave early on days that matter to them. Encourage them to bring their kids to work once in a while. Let them know that their personal emergencies will be handled as a team. A CEO I know and admire recently helped his staff member with a month’s salary because he had been scammed out of it by a hoax call. When you go out of your way, people will remember and value it.
Authoritarian companies may have done brilliantly a few years ago, but millennials expect a sense of mutual respect. You’ve hired someone because they’re talented or because they have a skill you need, so respect that. Don’t expect to know everything and don’t undermine the knowledge of those who do, especially when they’re your employees.
This applies to their personalities as well. When you tell them what you expect of them, both in terms of work and how they interact with fellow workers, you’re giving them the chance to be the best that they can be. There’s no temptation to slack off or misbehave, because they’re clearly aware of what their organisation wants.
Every employee is a different person, which is why you cannot outsource the process of building a great culture. It has to come from you, however hard and time-consuming that may be. Once your company has grown to a point where you need an HR manager, consider what qualities you’d look for in them.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)