How to Manage Social Interactions With Direct Reports

How to Manage Social Interactions With Direct Reports- Halley Bock Talent Management Article

This month, Fierce CEO, Halley Bock wrote an article for Talent Management providing insight on how managers can make interactions with their direct reports more personal while still remaining professional. To read this article on the Talent Management website click here.

Unlike the workplace of yesteryear, 21st century organizations have come to understand that taking care of the whole employee is good for business. No longer do employees expect to drop their personal lives at the door to become happy little cogs in the corporate machine, satisfied to take home a paycheck in exchange for their time.

Rather, they expect benefits that address their overall well-being — including daycare resources, wellness programs, sabbaticals, etc. What they also expect are genuine relationships with managers and colleagues that provide meaningful connections.

Here are five tips on how managers can make things personal while remaining professional.

Talk about leisure activities. Allow time in team meetings for everyone to share something personal, such as what they did over the weekend. This serves as a great connection point into each other’s lives without being invasive.

Schedule consistent one-on-ones with employees. If all employees know they have designated time with their leader, it will alleviate any potential fears of favoritism they may harbor when leaders appear to only meet with certain people and never find the time for others.

Express genuine interest in the significant events of your employees’ lives. Leaders can get to know their employees’ family, hobbies and personal aspirations. By supporting them in these aspects, it can improve their commitment to the leader as well as the organization.

Host off-site events. These outings allow the team an opportunity to get to know each other outside of the workplace. Creating strong friendships within the team is a proven indicator of higher retention.

Connect via social media. When it comes to social media, leaders can consider following their direct reports on Twitter and connecting with them on LinkedIn, but Facebook is a much more personal platform and it could make for an awkward situation should they prefer to keep it private.

Overall, managers shouldn’t shy away from the conversation or avoid engaging in meaningful dialogue that fosters deep connections with employees. After all, a leader can be an employee’s primary source of inspiration and motivation, and that cannot be achieved at arms’ length.
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