By Vicki Hess
As humans, we need to connect. This is a critical part of the leader’s role in engaging employees.
But the news is bleak when it comes to connecting…here are a just few of the findings from a survey which Cigna conducted of 20K+ U.S. adults:
What are you doing in your role to promote positive connections?
When I talk to leaders about Creating Connections, I hear about two types:
Chance Connections are those that are reactive in one way or another. Having an Open-Door Policy is an example. It’s good but doesn’t set a very high bar. Have you ever heard of an organization with a “Closed Door Policy”?
Here’s what usually happens…you open your door and sit and wait (and mostly hope that no one stops by so that you can get your “real work” done uninterrupted – haha). It’s important to be accessible. So, keep your door open and understand that you are leaving the connection to chance.
The second type of Chance Connection is rounding. In this case, you are the interruption to the staff member. Staff are in the middle of their “real work” and you’re stopping by might be a welcome break or an annoying inconvenience.
Don’t get me wrong, rounding is very important because not only do you make connections, you also get a visual of how things are going. Keep rounding with staff, just know that you are still leaving the connection to chance.
The most powerful kind of connection is a Conscious Connection – where both you and the team member are proactive and prepared. This happens in a One-on-One (1:1) Meeting (either virtually or in-person).
One question I routinely ask leaders in my client needs assessment is “What do you know you should be doing related to engagement and aren’t and why? I’ve asked this question to thousands of leaders and the number one thing they aren’t doing is meeting one-on-one with team members.
Many leaders struggle with making Conscious Connections.
The number one reason why they aren’t doing it is that “there isn’t enough time.” In follow up conversations, I hear the second reason it’s not happening is that there’s a perception that it’s not worth the time.
Of course, these two challenges go hand in hand. If you don’t think something is worth your time, then you aren’t going to make time for it.
Make Time for Meetings
Here’s one thing I know. Your actions and behaviors reflect your beliefs and mindsets. If you believe that meeting 1:1 with your direct reports is important – you will make the time.
Try these ideas:
Make the Meetings Worthwhile
What makes a 1:1 meeting so powerful is that both you and your direct report are prepared for the conversation. It’s a Conscious Connection. That alone adds to the value.
Try these ideas:
Now is the time to create Conscious Connections and positively impact engagement – yours and your team’s. Enjoy!
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