This is a question I ask myself every day when I observe others at work. I wonder how people become disengaged, moody, and bitter in their work environments.
Caring about people is above and beyond employer/employee relationship. Get it, or don’t.
All people have lives outside of work, some good, some not so good. The moment our employees come into work they carry what happened with them from their morning or the night before. As managers, before the day starts we should check in with our team members, they usually just need a sounding board that lasts 5 minutes or less. I have noticed I get the most productivity out of my employees when I attentively listen to them about whatever is going on in their lives inside or outside of work. I myself need someone to talk too as well. Even if it’s my husband, friend/colleague or just my journal…I need to get out what’s on my mind to be able to move on.
From my observation most employees haven’t honed the skill to know how to diffuse the emotions that arise at work. Emotions vs. Facts. It’s our job to let them know we care, but at the same time let them know what they need to work on to move themselves ahead in their career.
The challenge as managers is we still have to relate to those who have not developed this skill. It’s a very important recipe to get right if you want to run a productive team. It’s the soft skills that come into play here. It’s the active listening and truly caring about people. People want to know you care about them as a person, not just an employee. If you don’t, you will never be a leader. It’s your employees that choose you as their leader afterall.
If you can get this right, it builds trust, loyalty and a winning team. You then become a leader.
My favorite quote about people:
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”
John C. Maxwell
Dictator generation is over. Cultivate a “people” culture. Its hard work, but worth the effort.