Nearly Half of Employees Rarely or Never Meet with Managers. 3 Tips to Build Relationships with Your Team

Nearly Half of Employees Rarely or Never Meet with Managers. 3 Tips to Build Relationships with Your Team

Each time your team has an open role, productivity takes a hit. Because of this, not only is it important to quickly fill your open roles with q

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Each time your team has an open role, productivity takes a hit. Because of this, not only is it important to quickly fill your open roles with qualified talent, but it’s just as important — if not more so — to keep the employees you already have engaged. Unfortunately, many organizations fall short when it comes to making their employees feel valued and motivated to do great work.

According to the Employee Engagement Trends 2020 study from Exemplify, an employee engagement survey company, 35.3 percent of employees meet with their managers one-on-one only once a month or less, while an additional 12.2 percent of respondents almost never meet with their managers. For the study, Emplify surveyed 1,000 employed individuals from across the U.S. 

As the common saying goes, “Employees leave managers, not companies.” If managers at your organization don’t put in the effort to build relationships with their direct reports, employee engagement will likely decline — and your top employees might even start looking for jobs elsewhere. In fact, the Exemplify study also found that 73 percent of employees surveyed are currently open to new career opportunities.

What can your team do to ensure managers are building rapport employees — and boosting productivity as a result? I’ve outlined a few steps you can take as a result.   

1. Set expectations and goals from the start.

The last thing any employee wants is to start in a new role and not have an understanding of what it will take to succeed in the role. To set new employees up for success, it’s important for your managers to meet with each new hire during his or her first week to set day-to-day and long term goals. 

For example, if you have a new sales hire, the day-to-day goal might be to make a certain number of calls. When it comes to bigger picture goals, he or she might need to reach a certain quota to get promoted to the next level. By ensuring each new hire has an understanding of these goals from the beginning, your employees will be motivated to reach and exceed these goals, which will not only help them grow but will also contribute to your overall business success. 

2. Prioritize recurring one-on-one meetings. 

As highlighted in the Exemplify study, “Nothing sends a louder message to employees that their needs aren’t valued than their time constantly getting shuffled around on their manager’s calendar.” It’s one thing for your people managers to promise a weekly or biweekly one-on-one to employees during initial onboarding, but if these meetings are constantly canceled or rescheduled, employees will soon become disengaged. 

The Exemplify study also found that 62.2 percent of employees report experiencing burnout at work. By meeting with employees regularly, your people managers can get a better pulse on their workloads and take action to ensure employees don’t reach a point of burnout. Ultimately, this can help your team stay engaged and drive productivity across your organization. 

Outside of weekly one-on-ones, you can set meetings quarterly, twice a year or annually for more formal performance reviews. During these meetings, managers and their direct reports can review the bigger picture goals that were set earlier in the year and discuss key successes and opportunities for improvement.

3. Act as a coach or mentor, rather than a micromanager.

While employees tend to be more engaged when they meet with their managers on a regular basis, it’s also important not to cross the fine line into micromanagement. 

Today’s most driven employees want autonomy and to feel as though their managers trust them to do great work. At my company of about 200 employees, some of our core values empower employees to have a sense of autonomy. 

One of our core values is, “Own the result,” which means employees take responsibility for the results that we as individuals achieve, whether it’s a good result or a bad result. This means we’re not afraid to make mistakes, we own when we make mistakes and see these missteps as learning opportunities. Overall, core values like these help ensure we create a work environment that supports autonomy instead of micromanagement. 

Your employees are your organization’s most valuable asset and employee engagement is critical to the success of your business. By holding your managers accountable to building strong relationships with their team members, you can boost productivity and profitability at your organization for the long run.

Published on: Feb 13, 2020

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

This article is from Inc.com

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