If you know nothing about your staff other than their job description, if you have trouble having a non-work meaningful conversation with them, and if you do not know their first names, then you have work to do.
Here is a quick plan to correct this:
1. Monday. Ask them how their weekend was and actually pay attention. If you have a lot of employees alternate the weeks
2. Tuesday. Ask how their week is set up and what projects they are working on. Inquire if they need help with any of them. This shows you are paying attention to what they are doing and are available if they need you
3. Wednesday. Send a mid-week pep talk or check in to everyone, make the message about them and their efforts (avoid sarcasm)
4. Thursday. Week is almost ended, check on their projects but most importantly ask what fun plans they have and listen
5. Friday. People slow down on the last day of the week, so this is not the day to be a hard case (but they still owe you an honest day’s work). Do you have a casual Friday dress code or some kind of fun Friday activity? Make sure you say goodbye to everyone before you leave or they leave (you should be last out)
Simple enough right? Then why isn’t this happening regularly?
Lesson from an MBA course.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III