This post in my ongoing series examining employee motivation and leadership behaviours (based on the work of Deci and Ryan) takes us this week to a topic many (but happily not all) leaders seem to struggle with: Showing genuine interest in each employee. I've tried to distill this into a number of areas
Show you care about their personal life. How well do you know them? Do they read? What's their go to Netflix binge? Red or white wine or tea total? Where did they last go on holiday? If you don't know then you have some work to do... this links to the next suggestion too.
Show interest in their significant others / family Where does their partner work? Where do their kids go to school (grade? passions?) or do they have a feline or canine fur baby? Knowing names and stages takes little effort but shows you care. And when you learn the above, use it to build the relationship by asking about how their partner, kids, pets are doing
At work how can you create opportunities for new experiences? Pay attention and accommodate when an employee shows interest in different aspects of the business: Are there classes they can take that (they are interested in) will develop them? Or maybe there is a coveted project or stretch assignment you can offer?
Be real with them No fluffy feedback, be straight and honest, but be sensitive - your word choices can have a big impact on how your feedback lands.
Make time for them Yes you have 1-1s, but when they come to you how often are you too busy to speak right now? If you genuinely are busy, make note and follow up with them (rather than them having to ask you again) . Or you can say, "I have a few minutes now, how can I help?"
Celebrate the wins, commiserate the challenges You don't have to be a cheer leader, but when they win (a good meeting, a closed sale, a great presentation) celebrate with them - tell them what you observed, describe the impact the win has on their team / the organization. say "thank you"