Face-time is what most of our employees want. You may not believe it but if we aren’t present to our employees it shows a lack of concern. Our employees want to know that we care. They want us to be available to offer support for the problems they face.
When you hide out in your office you aren’t involved with their problems and concerns. On the other hand, being visible and present shows that you are interested in the problems your people are dealing with.
Engage Your People by Getting in Front of Them
But its more than just being visible. Face-time also means that you are taking time to engage your people.
If they see you walking around watching but you never talk to them they will assume that you are stalking. Taking the time to engage them shows concern and puts them at ease. By taking the time to talk to them you ensure them that you do not have ulterior motives.
Nobody likes a micro-manager. So, be sure that when you are getting face-time you are also talking to people. Have a conversation with your people. It doesn’t take much. Ask them how things are going at home or what kind of hobbies they are involved in.
Taking time to get to know the people we manage serves many purposes:
- It shows that we care about the person, not just the employee
- It allows you to find out what their interests are, so you can find areas of common interest that will allow you to connect
- Finding out a person’s interest can give you an idea of what motivates them
- A conversation builds relationships and trust
Other Benefits of Getting in Front of Your Team
Face-time also allows you to get a look at what kinds of obstacles and struggles your people are facing. If you are always in our office, you can’t know what the day-to-day problems are that are challenging your team.
A manager who is disconnected from the realities of the team is set up to fail.
You must be engaged with the work that your people are doing. This doesn’t mean you need to do the work, you only need to have knowledge of the challenges, so you can help implement plans to overcome them.
So how do you ensure that you are getting face-time?
Set a timer or a schedule reminder on your calendar. This way even if you get caught up in something it will remind you to take a break and get involved with your team.
Have a trusted team member give you reminders to take a break. If you have a strong team member you trust you can have them ensure that you are getting the right amount of face-time. They can also let you know where your attention is most needed. Make sure this person is somebody who has a good working relationship with the rest of the team.
Anytime you are between projects or meetings make a round through the work area. Stop and visit with different people each time you go through. Look for positive things your people are doing and comment on it. When you see someone struggling with something inquire as to what the problem is and what you can do to help.
Make sure that you are getting out among your people often enough to engage them. Just don’t overdo it – you don’t want to smother them. Be present, don’t be overbearing.
Be a Manager People Want to Engage With
If you are managing correctly then your people want face-time with you. They want you to be engaged with them. Engaging your people is essential to building a team environment. It builds trust and relationships. The conversations that come out of this face-time will give you insights into what struggles your people face and what things motivate them.
Don’t be a manager who hides in their office and only comes out when things are going wrong. Get out where the action is and be a part of what your team is doing. Be the face of your team by getting in front of your team.
For more team building skills sign up for my free coaching offer here.