Knowing your employees can spell a lot of difference, particularly if you are aiming to improve yourself as an employer. If you truly understand their needs, wants, and expectations, then, you can readily help out in improving their productivity, in enhancing their skills and abilities, and in letting them overcome their weaknesses.
Understand that knowing your employees is not just limited in learning about their likes and dislikes, their habits and lifestyles, their fashion sensibilities and their food preferences. Here are some measures on how you can properly get acquainted with your dear employees:
- If you have a larger group. Aside from the things that you can readily note when you meet your staff every day, you also need to hear from them. You can’t allow yourself to just keep assuming things about them. If mounting a team building session is tedious and time-consuming, your next best alternative is “a pizza party”. No, this is not the usual pizza party where pizza is served and everybody takes his or her share and then, the pizza party is over. This is a pizza party with a twist. Order pizza for everybody. Have the pizza delivered during snack time or after office hours. Gather your group and entice them to stick around for the pizza. Then, introduce a getting-to-know-you game. Instead of playing it the usual way, copy the format of “The Newlywed Game” and then, name it as the “The Officemate Game”. Of course, this requires preparation. You should have already prepared a good list of fun questions. The questions should not be too personal. See how much your group knows each other. In the process, you also get to know them more. Make it more exciting by awarding a prize to the employee who can give the most number of correct answers. The prize can be a gift certificate or a day off – with pay!
- If you have a smaller group. This is simpler to do. Just write down some questions. Then, distribute them to everybody. Your questions can be direct. You can ask them about the things they like best about their job, their career goals, their long- and short-term plans, etc. You can also give them some choices if you wish to get to know them better. For example, if you want to know their preferred leisure activities, you may enumerate some of the popular undertakings that you are familiar with and then, encouraging them to list more if none of the your choices match your suggestions. Collate their answers and discover new things about your employees.
Knowing your employees doesn’t happen overnight. You have to take time in getting to be accustomed to their personalities, individualities, and eccentricities. Empower yourself with the things that you have learned about them. You can use your “information” in motivating them to perform their best, in pushing them to improve their skills and abilities, and in making them feel good about themselves. You can also befriend them. However, bear in mind the saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt”. Set your limits. You can be friends but when work is concerned, everybody is expected to act professionally as possible.