As an employer, being too closed-off with your employees can backfire in incredibly sad ways. Being completely unapproachable or avoiding a personal connection with your employees is a big mistake. Companies that have employees who would give an arm and a leg for them company do so only because they treat their employees well. So how do you develop this connection with your employees?
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Do more than what is expected as an employer
For instance, an employee might be going through a personal crisis. If they are ready to open up about such matters, make sure you give a lending ear. If they have specific issues which might need you to go out of your way to deal with, pick up the phone and help them. This way, you would have earned their loyalty.
Treat them as your peers
If your work culture is such that subordinates are treated with disdain, you can be rest assured that your business will be sent packing as your employees leave for greener pastures. When you sense that an employee has a problem, think about a time when you might have encountered something similar in your life and offer your valuable advice. Employees tend to put you on a high pedestal and usually refrain from opening up, so show them you are vulnerable, too. This will make them friendlier towards you, and the trust will only grow.
Compliment them regularly
A simple “Good job” can go a long way in establishing an employee’s loyalty to the company. But when you give more specific compliments, it can work wonders. For instance, when my boss complimented me on my little improvisation at a speech during an event, I ran this incident over and over in my mind. Every time I hosted an event, I only grew more confident thanks to a few kind words. So be sure to compliment particular achievements and let them know how they benefited the organisation.
Let them know you have their back
Although the adage “Customer is King” is still used, to the point of becoming clichéd, it is not necessarily true in real life. Customers can sometimes be nasty, and an employee might be wrongly targeted. This is when your employees should know for a fact that you trust in their good judgement and give them the benefit of the doubt before you make a decision. Defend them when they need you if they have been wronged, regardless of the cost of losing a well-paying client. Your employees will work for you with unwavering loyalty.
Shower your employees with creative perks
If there is a budget constraint, you can always get creative with offering perks to your employees. Set up a play area in the office where people can play TT and other indoor games, allow them access to a masseuse to help employees relax, have flexible working hours and a liberal leave policy. These are perks that any employee would love to have. These show that you care about them as much as you care about the work they put in.
Any information about the company should be transparently available. Being transparent can lead to a lot of uncomfortable questions which most employers would hesitate to ask. When you care enough to be transparent, the employees will value it a lot. If an employee asks for feedback about their performance, be brutally honest and even offer suggestions on how they could improve their work performance. Shielding employees from the hard truth will only hurt in the long run. Always think for the long run.
The little things like remembering their birthdays, saying thank you, trusting them with social media access, allowing them to work with the browser of their choice, not banning personal cell phones, featuring all your staff on the company website, and allowing your them to listen to music at work will go a long way in helping the employees love the company back.