As a manager, we sometimes find it hard to connect with our employees. This leads us to not being able to understand them in the way we want to, which leads us to want to fire them. There could be many reasons why, but the most evident is managers don’t feel like the employee is a good fit.

However, you might not have to go to such extreme lengths if you take some steps to personally connect with your employees. By doing so, you’ll get to the root cause of your employees’ pain points and fix them. As a result, you’ll see greater job satisfaction and higher productivity from your employees.

These seven tips can help managers better personally connect with their employees.

Find out what your employees’ pain points are

The first step to personally connecting with your employees is to figure out what your employees’ current pain points are. Have a meeting to figure out what’s been bothering your employees and why. Have an open mind to hear your employees out and listen to what their concerns are. While it could be issues with management, it could also be the workplace or the type of work they are doing. Finding this out through conversation can help managers work to find solutions for their employees.

Make an effort to engage with them

Gone are the days of the boss-employee relationship. Nowadays, managers not only have a professional relationship with their employees, but also a personal one. That being said, managers need to make an effort to personally engage and connect with their employees. Maybe it’s taking interest in their hobbies or asking what they did over the weekend. Managers need to show their employees that they care about them as a human being, not as a dispensable worker.

Make employees feel valued

One reason that employees want to leave a job is that they don’t feel valued by their managers and co-workers. As a manager, make an effort to make your employees feel like they are a valued part of the team. This can be giving praise for their work or assigning them a large project. Either one of these tactics, among many more, can make your employees feel like they are valued by the team and the company.

Money isn’t everything 

For some employees, compensation isn’t everything. Think about what else you can offer employees to make them stay. Maybe they want the flexibility to work from home or maybe they want to pursue a master’s degree. See what you can offer your employees to encourage them to stay — within the company’s limits of course. This can make a significant difference in an employee’s morale, especially when their boss takes their needs into consideration.

Identify what’s making for a toxic workplace

Sometimes it’s not the manager that employees have a problem with, but the workplace. Maybe employees are dealing with toxic co-workers or an environment that doesn’t foster productivity. As a manager, you have some control over the environment of the workplace. By identifying your employees’ workplace needs, you can create a solution that will help create the ideal workplace for them. Maybe it’s giving them a quiet workspace or letting them work from home a few days a week. Either way, these are a few things a manager can do to improve the satisfaction of their workers.

Find a mentor within the company

In most cases, your employees want to grow with their careers, using the company as a stepping stone. To make the company a place where employees can grow in their careers, suggest they find a mentor within the company. This is someone who can help guide them both at the company and along their career path. Personally connect with your employees to figure out what they are looking to gain from their career. Once you have a sense of your employees’ career goals, you can connect them with a mentor that would be a good fit.

Tap into employees’ other skill sets

Oftentimes, your employees get stuck doing the same job day in and day out. Employees who are bored have lower productivity and lower performance quality than those who are excited about their job. One way to combat this is to offer your employees projects that can tap into their other skill sets or an area of interest for them. Personally connect with your employees through conversation to learn what their hobbies are and what other skills they have to contribute. Doing so will make your employees happy again, giving them a newfound passion for their work.

Your employees are the core of your company. Their pain points can translate into lower productivity and dissatisfaction. Take the time to hear your employees out and figure out what you can do to better serve them. Sometimes all it takes is a little communication and consideration to make for happy employees.

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