Despite the craziness currently going on around us, there are still joys in this life. A personal joy for me is spending time with my family.
On this particular weekend, it was near the end of the day and I was sitting and reading to my 3-year-old son. Without prompting, he stood up on the couch, put his cubby little hands on my face and said, “I love spending all day with you.”
Talk about a heart swell. I thought in moment I was completely satisfied.
While this concept may not translate to everything in the workplace, leaders can feel the same level of satisfaction, not only personally, but also professionally, by spending time.
Let’s look at the healthcare profession as an example. The likelihood for physicians to be named in a law suit at least once in their career is high (https://www.todayshospitalist.com/Chances-are-youll-be-sued/).
Because the probability of litigation is a constant reality, researchers began studying the characteristics of physicians who had not been sued (or sued less than their colleagues).
If you do a quick Google search for how physicians avoid litigation, you will find answers like smiling more, spending more time talking with the patient, sitting down while visiting the patient, writing things down for the patient to take with them, and more.
The crux of the issue isn’t necessarily all of those specific characteristics, but rather the reality that physicians who are trusted are sued less. And what builds trust?
This also translates to the workplace, regardless of industry.
Leaders who schedule time and engage their followers are less likely to experience turnover and more likely to feel satisfaction in the workplace (https://abetterleader.com/how-employee-engagement-can-lower-employee-turnover/).
Leaders have everything to do with why employees leave or stay.
So, how can leaders ensure their employees are more likely to stay?
By spending time.
Spending time can happen in the following situations:
On-boarding: Time spent at the beginning of an employee’s tenure establishes the tone for the duration of their experience. Schedule one-on-one meetings with new employees to not only explain the office values and expectations, but to also learn about the person who has joined your office family. What makes him/her tick? How do they learn? What do they enjoy? Establish a foundational relationship early to ensure the greatest longevity.
Training: Which would you prefer as a new employee? Being proverbially slapped on the back with a “go get ‘em!” and handed a training manual or receiving dedicated one-on-one training sessions for the first few months of your new job? Even for those of us who are introverts, the second option will likely win every time.
Bonding exercises: This is especially important if working remotely, but also important even when occupying a shared physical location. People work better when they feel comfortable and supported - both of these are accomplished through intentional bonding opportunities. A quick Google search will provide many sites with virtual activities for remote teams. Here’s just one example with simple group bonding ideas: https://www.thecouchmanager.com/3-fun-and-easy-virtual-team-building-activities/
Consistent individual interaction: Time is a funny thing - it keeps on going. This means you need to be intentional about connecting with your people consistently in order to maintain and grow relationships, which is at the foundation of trust. Set up recurring quarterly one-on-one meetings so even if you get busy, you still have the time saved for your people.