Getting Personal Boosts Employee Engagement

A recent article from Talent‘s Mike Prokopeak, Vice President and Editorial Director at Talent Management magazine, discusses how to boost your employee engagement rates … by letting them get to know you. Sounds easy enough, right? Managers need to be able to show themselves to their employees, so that they become known among their workforce.

According to a BlessingWhite research survey of over 3,500 professionals in North America and Europe, employees who reported knowing their manager well as a person were consistently more engaged than those employees who don’t. Also, in North America, 87 percent of engaged employees reported having a positive working relationship compared to 30 percent for those who are disengaged.

Being known and getting personal are two different things. Sharing personal information about your family and your lifestyle can be powerful, and should be used carefully. Focus more on personal experiences that tie directly to your professional and company goals.

Instead of sharing personal details for the sake of sharing, Dasher recommended framing personal anecdotes and experiences around a manager’s values that are tied to professional or organizational goals. The intention is to be authentic and demonstrate passion.

Another aspect of being known is sharing your strengths and weaknesses, from the perspective that awareness of your abilities can inspire your employees. When your employees can see that you need them in order to get things done, they will be more willing to do a little extra for the company. This can help increase employee engagement and loyalty.

This type of connecting with your employees will enhance employee engagement, but knowing when and what to share is pivotal. You must maintain your role as a leader, which means not baring everything.

There are formal programs to help managers develop connections, and coaching can help, too. But however they’re developed, Dasher said leaders need to be able to practice connection skills before they actually deploy them, as it doesn’t come natural to many.

True connections with your employees will not form over night, it will take time. In the end, the connection will provide a more productive workforce. These connections will also make you a more effective manager. When your employees see you as a human being instead of just ‘the manager’, they will feel more connected to you, the organization, and the organization’s goals. To read more about how making personal connections in the workplace can help employee engagement, click here to read the full article.

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