The People Connections – Making for a Happy Workplace

The People Connections – Making for a Happy Workplace

I have made it a priority this year to work on the connections I have with my people on a daily basis. Not just in regards to work but also their personal lives. Making connections with the people we manage on a professional and personal level creates a positive workplace. Not only does it make for happier employees, but it will make you feel happier and more energized.

Connecting Shows You Care

How often do you talk to your people? Not just saying hi, how are you, but really talking and making connections. Do you know what your people like to do in their free time? How about the hobbies they enjoy? Have you ever asked about their family?

While our number one job is to stay focused on our work goals and priorities it is also important to not lose focus of the people. Our employees have lives outside of work. They have other things that are important to them. Getting to know the things that are important to them outside of work demonstrates a concern for the individual. It shows that you understand the human element in the workplace.

Not only does seeking to find out about your employees on a personal level create a more connected and caring workplace, it also helps you to understand the employees’ motivations. People work for a number of reasons – personal fulfillment, a sense of achievement, a feeling of purpose. They also work so they can provide for their families and have the resources to participate in activities they enjoy.

Understand What the Real Motivations Are

If you understand something about a person’s interests you understand what motivates them. You need to know whether they have a family, if they are single, if they have any hobbies, or if they value free time or money more. These driving factors can help you understand how to deal with your people to cater for their needs and get the best out of them.

Talking to people about their interests can create a sense of unity and compassion. It lets people know that you care about them. Focusing on others also shows that you value them and care about their interests. If your people believe you care about them on a personal level they will be more dedicated and willing to compromise.

Connecting Requires Listening

In order to get to know people, you have to practice active listening. This takes practice and requires us to put aside our own motivations. It is about really caring about other people. Taking the time to actively listen can be tough when we have so much to do and are getting pulled in so many directions. But if you want to connect with people you have to make the time.

Here is a great article from Forbes on how to practice active listening – 10 Steps to Effective Listening. Read it and practice it.

A Positive Workplace Flows from the Connections

Humans beings are social creatures. We need and desire social connections. As a manager, it can often feel like we are on an island by ourselves caught between upper management and the employees. This doesn’t have to be the case. Often our stress and anxiety come from these feelings of separation. By making connections with your employees, and engaging them you will find that you aren’t alone. You can have a positive relationship with the people you manage without getting overly involved in their personal struggles. It isn’t about involving yourself in every detail of their lives. It is about understanding them and showing compassion.

In connecting with your employees you allow yourself to step outside your own concerns. There is a real power in this. When we put others first it puts our own problems into perspective. It also allows us to feel part of something bigger and put our attention on ourselves. Your vision will become bigger and you will see that you aren’t so alone. I assure you that by taking the time to more deeply connect with your people and making it a daily priority, you will leave work more positive and happy.

Putting People First

Put people first. Make it a daily routine. Get yourself out from behind your desk and spend time every day talking and listening to people. When you make yourself physically and mentally available it will bring a positive and engaged attitude to your workplace. People will open up. You will smile more. They will smile more. You will enjoy coming to work and you will notice a difference in the attitude of your team.

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