Spending 20 minutes per month with each of your direct reports will uncover so much and will show your staff you really care about them as individuals. This time provides you with an opportunity to get to know each other better. Your staff should feel confident that what you discuss will remain confidential between the two of you and that it is a space where they can feel free to discuss work but, also what is going on in general in they world outside the work environment. As the lines between work and home lives blur more and more, we need to be mindful that we what as happened in our lives prior to walking through the “work” door doesn’t just stop. Being able to acknowledge and where possible provide some balance between these environments adds value not only to your business but to the lives of your staff.
Steve Brown, my mentor and advisor for over 35 years taught me the secret to true leadership is to “KNOW YOUR PEOPLE”. Small things like knowing the names of their family members, listening to their stories rather than telling them yours, gaining their perspectives and ideas on plans and issues impacting the organisation, provide opportunities for real authentic engagement. Strong relationships are reciprocal. It’s not a matter of you as manager ‘TAKING’ the information they provide so you know what they can do for you. You need to ensure that there are opportunities for contribution, and genuine acknowledgement of that contribution.