Eliminating Awkwardness – How to Build Real Relationships with Employees
Employee retention often comes down to how well a team member meshes with the rest of your staff. A lot of discussion lately has revolved around the idea of introverts versus extroverts in the workplace. We’ve all had that person in our office who struggles to coalesce. You can’t force him to blend in, but you can create situations where his guard goes down and he relaxes. Maybe having lunch or a few drinks together is all it takes.
Until you get to the point where you’re knocking back a few brews during happy hour, you can apply retention strategies in the workplace to eliminate some of the awkwardness and strengthen relationships with those types of employees.
- Express Your Appreciation – Perhaps the simplest way to get your employee to slough off some discomfort is to frequently espouse your appreciation for them. Positive reinforcement will help your employee relax and, hopefully, open up some. Just remember to appreciate your whole team—don’t make an example of the person you are actually focusing on.
- Provide Reward – Whether it’s money, public recognition, extra time off, or some other unexpected benefit, when you reward an employee, you’re strengthening your relationship. You get to know her as a person – and vice versa – and that creates motivation. Watch their body language. You’ll see your awkward employees begin to relax. Again, keep it fair, or you risk causing new troubles.
- Be Real – You were probably an employee once, so you can remember the days when you and your co-workers would talk about the boss during lunch or after work. You may not have voiced it so explicitly, but you wanted to know your manager was in tune with the needs of the people working for her. Now that you’re in control, show your staff that’s true. Have a company softball team? Try to play now and again. Strike up a conversation about your favorite movies. You’re bound to have some mutual interests. Sure, there’s a gray line between being professional and being personable, but it’s okay to appear human!
Have you struggled to connect with quiet or introverted employees? Getting to know them and earning their trust could open doors to unexpected successes—and help enormously with employee retention.
Want to learn additional strategies? Contact us today to find out more.