New Year, Better Relationships

By Eric Woodruff, CPA, CCIFP
Partner, Director of Audit & Assurance Services
Email Eric

As you enter the new year and think about resolutions to make, consider improving the quality of the time you spend with colleagues.

One of the main reasons people quit their jobs is because of an inadequate relationship with their immediate supervisor. Here are some ways to strengthen your rapport with employees:

Make time for small talk. You don’t have to sit down with your colleagues for hours and tell them your whole life story. Just ask how they’re doing as you pass them in the hallway or take a few minutes to chat with them during your lunch break. Focus on subject matters that are important to them. You’d be surprised how much of a difference it makes just to have these short, simple conversations. You open the door to easier conversations when the topics become more challenging.

Openly show appreciation. Studies show that three out of four employees believe their mental health would improve upon receiving more appreciation for their work. The employee recognition software Motivosity is a great place to start. A “social feed full of gratitude,” the Motivosity platform allows your entire business team to recognize members through messages and monetary rewards — users can choose from hundreds of unique gift cards, local experiences or custom company rewards. Building profiles and recognizing employees for their contributions also helps amplify everyone’s voice and visibility, creating a close-knit work community. Another way to do this is through the software platform Slack, where employees can post messages, organize virtual meetings and build a corporate “culture.”

Incentivize feedback. To motivate employees to fill out monthly surveys, give them points toward a prize or reward them with a gift card to their favorite coffee shop. (Here’s where Motivosity can also come in handy.) Or schedule monthly one-on-one feedback sessions, and the reward for their participation in the session is a free lunch or the rest of the day off!

Encourage extra-curriculars. Taking employees out to lunch is a good way to get to know them, but try to engage in activities more specific to their interests as well. If someone’s in a bowling league, for instance, challenge them to a game after work. Or ask your resident movie buff to select an afternoon showtime for your whole team to enjoy. Gestures like this can go a long way in building strong bonds with co-workers.

Provide training / career advancement opportunities. Hosting one-on-one training sessions or a bi-monthly lecture series for employees interested in moving up shows you’re seriously invested in their growth. And it proves you care about their long-term future with the company — you see them as more than daily or weekly contributors. In addition to providing these advancement opportunities, help set goals that both you and your employees can measure, build upon and use toward a future promotion or transition to a different position.

The more you show your employees that you care about them, the more motivated they will be to deliver the results your team seeks from them. Don’t let your relationship with them get lost in the daily grind or flurry of emails. It’s a new year — time for different, stronger connections!

If Sponsel CPA Group can assist you further with achieving success in your business or personal affairs, please call us at (317) 608-6699 or email Eric.