As an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer, I am a huge advocate of getting out of your office and talking to your people as part of your employee retention strategies. This is particularly important if you are a new manager or a young manager. I have counseled numerous millennial managers who are leading millennials that they can’t just sit in their office and fire off e mails or texts to their people. Even though the millennials love Facebook, all the social media and the technology, they still love to get face-to-face. They, along with other generations like that personal touch. And to get that personal touch there is nothing like getting face-to-face.
The key is to get out of your office routinely. Make it a point to go out first thing in the morning and before people head home at the end of their day. I used to make it a point as an HR leader to put it on my calendar like it was an appointment. That technique worked. Be visible. It creates the opportunity for people to stop you to ask questions they may have. People complain about too many e mails. If you are more visible and seeing people, they will ask you questions instead of shooting off an e mail for every little thing. It also gives you the opportunity to chit chat and talk about non-work things. Is that productive…you bet it is! Part of your role as a leader is to retain your employees and getting to know your employees isn’t going to happen if all you do is sit in your office.
Chatting with people about what they are going to do that evening or over the weekend gives you a chance to get to know people and what is important to them. You get to know what they like and don’t like. Many of those things are the same things you like or don’t like. It helps to develop common ground and a bond with your people. That bond is one of the many things that helps to build loyalty. You also start to see your employees as people and that helps to develop empathy for the things that go on in their lives. That empathy is important when they have issues. It makes you a real person and that’s important. People don’t want to be led by a robot.
Getting to know your people isn’t hard. The hardest part is getting in the routine of getting out of your office every morning and every afternoon. Once you do, you will be amazed at the positives that result.