In the world of business, it can sometimes be an innocent oversight for a manager or business owner to become so focused on finding ways to connect and meet the needs of their customers, that they forget to find ways to connect and meet the needs of their team.
Having creative ways to keep in touch with your staff not only helps make everyone feel needed and satisfied in their work (which in turn helps promote better job performance), but it also helps stimulate efficient and effective communication amongst your employees! When employees feel needed and communication is great, job satisfaction, performance and employee loyalty (retaining employees) also improve!
Here's some helpful tips on finding ways to communicate creatively with your staff.
Frequent Meetings (but not too frequent!): Having a short meeting once a week can be a great way for a manager or business owner to connect with their staff. Be sure the meeting is relatively short in order to maintain good attention. Topics to cover in a weekly meeting may include goals for the week, recognition of goals met from a prior week, and inspiring tips or short videos to help motivate employees. Bringing in a healthy snack once a month may also help motivate and increase loyalty. Use these meetings to motivate the whole team - but be wary of singling anyone out in front of their peers as it may foster resentment and / or jealousy.
Utilize a Bulletin Board: A Bulletin Board may be a nice way for employees to post fun photos or area events that they may think their co-workers would enjoy. It can also be a good place for management to share upcoming events on a calendar, as well as important reminders. Other ideas might include postivie customer feedback, industry news, upcoming birthdays, work anniversaries, etc.
Create a Newsletter: Creating a monthly newsletter either through e-mail or website can be a great way to share fun tips and upcoming events that employees may want to know about. It's important to have some fun here as well, or else staff may not pay attention to it. Ideas include a "classifieds" section, an employee profile (with their favorite movies, books, etc), funny events that have happened in the office, recipes, birthdays, work anniversaries, photos of employees having fun, etc.
Be Approachable: Be mindful of how you interact and respond to employees. The tone of your voice and the posture or body language you use in interactions may communicate that of being unapproachable. Sometimes all it can take is one unpleasant encounter for an employee to not want to bring questions or concerns to a manager. Also, find ways to engage with your staff through taking the time to get to know them, and appreciate them through finding ways to thank them periodically for their work (a hand-written note, a verbal thank-you, or taking the team out for lunch for a special occassion).
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