Today’s employee-driven market brings abundant professional opportunities for novice job seekers and experienced professionals planning to change jobs. However, companies seeking talent to fill vacant posts or recruit candidates for new positions are increasingly finding it challenging to hire and retain people. Since there’s tough competition to lure the right talent, it’s no longer enough to offer an excellent financial and benefits package. Companies need to offer something more and focus on building and strengthening relationships – both professionals and personal, to keep their employees happy so they will stay in the long run. This is where the company culture comes into the picture.
People are inclined to work for companies with a strong culture and positive professional relationships. It’s basic human nature to feel part of something grand and work in a company whose vision, mission, core values, and goals align with their own. At the same time, people prefer a congenial work atmosphere with positive-minded people where one gets ample opportunities to grow professionally and even find mentors or guides to get advice, tips, and tricks to climb the ranks faster.
As a business owner or someone in the management ranks in charge of running a company, you can use various ways to build better professional and personal relationships with your employees to keep them happy, motivated, and working for you. Here are the top four ways to do it.
1. Get to Know Your People
Despite being in a professional work setting, you need to remember that your employees have lives beyond the office. To get to know them better, you should have personal conversations about various things, from likes and dislikes to hobbies, which can help strengthen relationships on a personal level. If you aren’t sure why you need to build strong personal relationships, know that it boosts the inclination to collaborate and trust, which will have a direct and significant effect on professional relationships too.
To fortify professional relationships, you can consider starting common-interest clubs like book clubs, hiking clubs, sports clubs, wine clubs, etc.
2. Ask, Listen, and Act on the Feedback You Receive
To know what your employees think about the work environment, company culture, the tasks they are assigned, and the way their managers treat them, you need to seek feedback. In-person meetings, anonymous feedback drop boxes or surveys, or emails are different ways you can use to seek your employees’ feedback. Listen to or take note of their feedback, thus showing your respect for their views and opinions. This will prove you to be a supportive leader who cares about their professional lives, which will fortify your relationship with them.
Lastly, act on the feedback you receive. This will show your employees their feedback matters, and they can play a role in decision-making, albeit indirectly, and trigger changes. This will build trust, encourage high engagement, and help retain talent at the workplace.
3. Support and Encourage Your Employees’ Growth and Development
You need to continuously encourage the growth and development of your people to show you want them to succeed professionally. You can periodically have one-on-one meetings with your employees to learn what resources or training they need to do their jobs better. This will not just establish you as a caring leader who’s invested in the future of your employees but even help you decide how you can help them in their professional journey to grow and be better.
Encouraging your employees’ professional growth and development is integral to retaining talent but so is the support and encouragement you extend to help them achieve their personal goals. Since a complete human being is made of personal and professional goals, you need to take care of them both and implement initiatives that offer perks beyond work.
4. Focus on Team Building Efforts
With several people working remotely or in a hybrid work environment, it has become quite difficult to know your employees personally. As the organisation’s leader, you need to create occasions to bring together your old and new employees to help them connect and build relationships within and outside the office.
Your team-building efforts or events need not be boring, expensive, or long-drawn. For instance, every fortnight or once a week, you can go for a team lunch or after-work drinks. If you have more resources and funds to splurge, you may even take your employees on a one- or two-day vacation to help them connect in an informal and relaxed setting. Whatever team-building event you plan and host, you should ensure everyone gets an equal and fair chance to participate.
Strong relationships are an integral part of great company culture. By building and strengthening your relationships with your employees, you can boost their commitment and engagement, which will help retain them. You shouldn’t shy away from asking and listening to your employees because they will let you gather the requisite information you need to care for them and encourage their professional growth and development. What other ways will you implement to strengthen your employer-employee relationships?