If a person doesn’t feel like they are known by the people they work for, and I mean known on a personal level, in terms of their dreams, their aspirations, what’s going on in their lives, they cannot, absolutely cannot, be fulfilled in their work. – Patrick Lencioni at Catalyst University 2015
Today, we’re talking about how important it is to KNOW your people. What does this mean for you as a leader and why is it important?
Our team at Southwest Michigan First recently read Patrick Lencioni’s book, The 3 Signs of a Miserable Job, for book club. One of the signs he warns against in the book is the feeling of anonymity.
If people feel anonymous or unimportant in their jobs, they will be miserable. Miserable team members are disengaged team members, and we know from Gallup data and studies that disengaged employees are significantly less productive and even work against the organization in some cases.
So, on the podcast today, Amanda and I discuss practical ways that leaders can get to know their teams – from the beginning stages to more advanced ideas. We break down some of the techniques that have worked for us at Southwest Michigan First, like:
- Personality assessments to understand how we’re hard-wired
- Regular goal setting check-ins, both professional and personal
- Sharing meals together (with a last name like Kitchens…)
- Understanding different communication styles
- Celebrating and thanking families
- Spending time together outside of the office
Getting to know your people is critical to your leadership. This feels like a “soft” thing, but it’s not. Knowing your people directly impacts how successful your team and organization will be. It also directly impacts employee retention – which is especially important in the war on talent we face today.
If you think this is unimportant, you are wrong. I hope you’ll listen in and begin taking small steps toward getting to know your teams better today.
Question: What kinds of engagement strategies do you practice to get to know your teams?