The next time you think you just don’t have time to have meaningful conversations with your team, whether about their role, their careers, or things that matter to them, think again. As you’ll see in our infographic below, there are tangible business benefits from conversations.
We know from research by Gallup that managers and leaders are the biggest factor influencing employee engagement. Relationships between employees and team leaders are built one conversation at a time. What might feel like small talk in the moment can have tremendous benefits in the future.
Organizations with top employee engagement ratings see many benefits to their performance.
Higher productivity, better customer metrics, and lower rates of absenteeism are just a few of the benefits of an engaged workforce.
Conversely, unengaged employees feel disconnected from their teams, and therefore have high turnover rates and low productivity.
To engage your team and better understand what truly motivates your team, engage them in regular conversation. You’ll begin to get a picture of their lives outside of the workplace, and can design assignments and rewards that matter most to them. Learning more about career aspirations can help you find training opportunities that will engage and excite your team. Chatting with an employee about their family life means that you are able to offer benefits that align to meaningful events and stressful situations. Even something as small as connecting over a television show, podcast, or book, can deepen connections and help the team be excited to come into work and discuss something that they are interested in. These types of conversations will strengthen relationships and improve engagement.
The data is clear: teams in the top-quartile of engagement see higher customer metrics, higher productivity, higher profitability, and lower absenteeism.
It may feel counterintuitive—improving the quality of work despite the fact that the conversations you are having are not specifically about the work itself. The next time you think “I’m too busy to take time for ‘small talk’ at work”, think about how one conversation at a time, you can influence your business metrics and engagement levels within your team.
You may not always be able to offer financial incentives to your team, but you can always have a conversation with them. By opening up and encouraging ongoing and meaningful dialogue, you will learn about what motivates them, and what challenges they are facing. Your team will repay you with better performance, new ideas, and a renewed spirit of collaboration. Start a conversation today!