The old cliche is true: a business is like a family. And, just as in any family, it’s important to take time in business to show that you care for and appreciate the people around you. These gestures don’t have to be elaborate or expensive; in fact, it’s easier than you think when you use these simple leadership tips:
1. Say hello when you enter the office.
Are you always on the phone when you walk into work? Do you go straight to your office and close the door? Acknowledging your team when you enter the office can make a huge difference in morale. A cheerful “Good morning!” or “How’s everyone doing today?” promotes camaraderie.
2. Ask for feedback from your team.
Getting input from the people who are doing the work can give you valuable insight into how to make everyone’s job easier and more enjoyable. It also sends the message that you intend to empower them.
3. End the week on a high note.
Sending an encouraging text or email to your team members at the end of a long, busy week is a small gesture that can go a long way in showing your appreciation. Acknowledge their efforts and thank them for their hard work.
4. Be social during break time.
Going for a coffee break? See if anyone wants to come with you. Ask about their families, their upcoming plans outside of work, or what they’ve been up to lately. This is a great way to bond more with your team and help them feel more comfortable to talk openly with you.
5. Bring sweets.
Everyone loves a tasty treat. Bring in donuts to share with the team on random workdays. Not only will it satisfy their cravings, but it can also create additional opportunities for genuine socialization beyond job tasks.
6. Recognize good work.
Make sure to give recognition to your team members when they do something well. Let them know that they represent the company’s values and that you’re proud to have them on your team.
7. Facilitate praise.
Giving your employees an opportunity to praise each other is a great way to build relationships and foster positive energy among the team. Encourage them to recognize each other’s achievements, and you may find that morale improves drastically.
8. Respect time off.
In the age of email, it’s far too easy to distract from someone’s personal time without meaning to do so. Try to respect your team members’ paid time off and enable, as well as encourage, them to unplug.
9. Minimize stress.
The holidays can be especially frantic for everyone and emotional for those who may be experiencing grief on top of the busyness. Do your best to reduce stress wherever possible. Encourage your team to take breaks when needed and offer flexible hours if feasible.
10. Have fun.
Plan team-building outings, throw a holiday party, or take everyone out for lunch. These kinds of activities let you create memories that will last long after the holidays are over, making your work “family” exactly that.
Relationships are everything in business, and successful relationships with customers stem from respectful relationships throughout your team. Do the little things. They make a big difference.