Do you know what your employees think of you?
If you haven’t asked anyone or spent time with your team lately, you probably won’t.
Some leaders will say that they don’t care about liking, but I can tell you from personal experience that trying to win the hearts of your employees, gain their trust and make them happy can make a huge difference in your company.
I didn’t start with much. I have no fancy education or postgraduate degree. In fact, I didn’t get my honorary high school diploma until I was 54! Yet our company is successful, and our employees are happy. Without interacting with people and working to gain their trust, I would never have been able to do this.
Even with more than 6,400 employees scattered around the world, connecting with them is one of my top priorities. Let me tell you why.
If employees are happy, you will see results
The relationship between you and your people – And Their perception of that relationship – makes a huge difference between their productivity and the overall quality of their work. Studies show that happy employees are more productive, and that people who think they’re working for a better company (or as I say, “including”) work harder and stick around.
Building trust and respect has a huge impact. Fortunately, a little effort can go a long way. Here are some things that have helped me build trust and respect in our company:
1. Lead from the back.
This means putting the interests of your employees above your own needs and financial interests. Google recently responded to a request from a little girl for an official letter from the company to give her father a day off for her birthday and a full week off for the father. Showing such care has an immense effect.
2. Set an example.
If you set a high bar for yourself, people in your company will follow suit. I always try to get to the office first thing in the morning and last at night. I want the great people I work with to know that I am willing to work hard, just as I know they work hard every day of the year.
3. Get time to face with staff.
We organized town hall meetings, which were very successful. For these gatherings, I go to one office at a time to say hello to our family members at each location, to ask me questions and to give me a chance to learn about the current state of the company. Most importantly, these town hall meetings present a great opportunity for people to share their personal stories with me and their colleagues.
4. Do what you say.
If you say you will do something, do it! It’s that simple. Yet it is amazing how many people do not do what they say. If you have less time or you don’t want to do anything, don’t be afraid to say “no”. People will learn to respect you as someone who keeps his word.
5. Create a responsibility team.
If you are serious about doing what you say, form a team to hold you accountable. You set the standard for integrity in your company. If you take it seriously, others will too.
6. Limit the bureaucracy.
We try to limit how many levels of management our company has because it keeps our organization organized and minimizes miscommunication. We align our leadership with personality rather than logistics. For example, our regional manager who oversees some Midwestern states also manages some southern states because he works well with the managers and personalities there. Limited bureaucracy gives people quick and easy access to leadership, which shows them that the company cares.
7. Don’t forget the little things.
Saying “thank you”, sending birthday cards, or remembering details about people’s lives can go a long way. While an email or a phone call can make sense, for real connection you need to spend time with people – outside of work and with them at their jobs.
While you can’t force everyone to like you, you can make it clear that you care about the well-being of your employees. If you promise to see them as individuals with their lives, interests and needs – and ask your managers to do the same – I guarantee you will see a positive change in your company. Not only will your team be happier, they will work harder for you!
CEO of Sheldon Yellen Belfort, Global leader in asset recovery and disaster recovery. Belfort has more than 6,400 employees in 300 offices spread across 31 countries. Sheldon’s “Rage to the Rich” symbol symbolizes the “American Dream” story of overcoming adversity and persevering to succeed. Sheldon appeared on CBS’s primetime show, “The secret boss”And the episode got a Emmy-award Nominated for Outstanding Reality Program in 2011. His dedication to employees at every level of the company and his successful leadership style make him a very popular speaker and lead him to reappear in two “undercover boss” reunions: “Epic boss“And”Bossed boss”
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