10 Ways to Let Them Know You Care!

empathy employee experience
Let them know you care

When it comes to the many challenges the past few years have presented to leaders in the workplace, there are many factors that are out of your control.

You can't control the virus. 

You can't control the shortage of workers.

You can't control the decisions people make regarding their employment. 

The good news is that there are a couple of factors under your control! First, you can control your reaction to The Great Resignation (or Great Reassessment) and start working on creating a culture where people want to work. See last week's blog post for some quality questions to kickstart that discussion. 

The others factor under your control are the actions you're taking on a daily basis to make sure your team members feel seen, heard, and cared about. In fact, the number one thing you can do to "close the back door" and keep your current employees is to show them you care. 

Last week, I suggested the following to a group of leaders and I thought I'd share it as an "assignment" for you as well. During your weekly leadership meeting, issue a challenge to all in a management position. Create a different challenge every week related to getting to know the people who work with you and report your results the following week. 

Here are ten ideas to get you started:

Week One:  Get to know an employee better. Learn and remember their name and spend a little time in conversation just getting to know them better. Report back next week what you learned. 

Week Two: Walk around and find someone doing something positive for your customers, their co-workers, or the organization. Go up to them and offer praise, specifically sharing what you noticed them doing well. 

Week Three: Invite three employees to have lunch with you. Ask them about their long-term goals and what the company (or you as their leader) can do to help them get there. 

Week Four: "Just check in" with five employees, letting them know you know how difficult this time has been and see how they're doing with it all. Ask what you can do to help. 

Week Five: Pull a group of employees together. Tell them you want to create a place where people WANT To work and you value their input. Ask them what you should STOP doing, START doing, and CONTINUE doing. Take heed of their advice and discuss making changes with the rest of the leadership team. 

Week Six: Spend some time in your leadership meeting writing handwritten thank you notes to at least three employees each. Keep it as your personal tradition weekly. In one year's time one leader will have written over 150 notes! 

Week Seven: Get to know the names of two more employees and spend some time learning about them. Honestly, if this was all you did every week you would have an amazing impact on your team. 

Week Eight: Spend one hour or more helping your employees on the floor. ASK them what you can do and jump in to help!  

Week Nine: Create an opportunity for an employee sending them to a seminar, or involving them in a project. 

Week Ten: Spend an hour on the floor asking employees this question: What energizes you?  Brainstorm with your leadership team how you might incorporate some of those strategies in the workday. 

Bottom line: Get to know your employees as individual people. You don't have time NOT to. Getting to know people and showing them you care is the number one thing you can do right now to keep people working with you! 

If you take this challenge on, let me know how it goes. Comment below and let me know what you would add to this list. I look forward to hearing from you! 

Donna Cutting is the author of Employees First! Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the HEART of Your Organization. (Career Press, April 2022) 

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