In recent years, best performing companies have embraced the idea of building emotional bonds with employees. These companies develop managers who not only treat a person as an employee or a worker, but also as a mother, friend, daughter, and caregiver. These managers motivate people by showing a level of respect to employees that values them on the basis of who they are not just on what they produce. This valuation produces an emotional bond between manager and employee that facilitates a higher level of company loyalty, motivation and engagement.
Managers can increase emotional bonds with employees by integrating the following 3 behaviors into their management practices.
1. Connect with each person often, focusing on the whole person. This is about relationship building and taking the time to focus on more than work. Get to know each employee’s likes and dislikes, what they enjoy doing outside of work, and know what they value most. Genuinely be interested in their lives outside of work.
2. Use words that show respect and appreciation. The words you use speak volumes about the level of respect you have for others, including your employees. Assess your words and statements to determine the level of positivity and appreciation. The more positive, affirming, and appreciative your words, the more motivational and engaging you will be.
3. Develop each person for the future. Great managers also take the time to develop their employees. It’s often hard to find time to sit down with an employee and discuss his/her development needs and desires, but it is crucial for creating an emotional connection. Each manager should have multiple development conversations throughout the year focusing on the employee’s career goals and personal vision. This is one of the best ways to support your employee, coach skill development, and build the human capital of your company.
As we enter a new era of work, it is overwhelmingly evident that employees desire an emotional connection with what they do and who they work for. If it’s absent, engagement is low and performance is hindered. Great managers intentionally build emotional connections that leads to respect, camaraderie, heightened collaboration, and high performance. Emotional connection is the doorway to unleashing human potential.
What are you doing to build emotional connections with your employees?