Is it Time to Get Personal?
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Throughout the entire interviewing and hiring process, employers must follow laws and best practices to ensure they are focusing on the roles and responsibilities of the position they’re hiring for and the qualifications of the candidates. The purpose of the process is to find the best fit for the position, it’s not an opportunity to ask personal questions. Various laws exist to help fight against discrimination of any kind, which is a great thing.

But what about connecting with new and existing team members? It is important for leaders to keep connection in mind when facilitating company culture. It can be easy to set the tone for a very sterile work environment. Leaders need to intentionally foster an environment that increases their ability to get to know their team members and connect on a personal or human level.

Gallop’s 2021 employee engagement survey shows that 36% of American Employees are engaged at work. The good news is that the percentage has increased from 30% in 2013. More good news is that globally the number is 20%, so we are far better off than the rest of the world. The bad news is that we still have 64% of our workers who are disengaged or actively disengaged. So, what can we do to improve employee engagement? Get personal. That’s right; we need to get to know our people and make them feel valued. At Live2Lead 2021, Ed Mylett taught us that everyone needs to feel loved, cared for, believed in, and supported by their leaders. Patrick Lencioni stated in his book The Truth About Employee Engagement, the three signs of a miserable job are anonymity, immeasurability, and irrelevance.

The laws I mentioned above are in place to protect against discrimination during the hiring process. Once we have hired our team members, we need to connect with them, or they will never be engaged, and, as we learned last week, they may be looking for a new job within six months. Don’t get too stressed; this is much easier than you think. Start by remembering that your team members are Human Beings, not Human Doings. When you become interested in who they are as much as what they do, the information will begin to flow.

If you would like to hear practical tips for engaging your team members, please join Marisa Norcross and me for episode 242 of The Next Page podcast. It will be time well spent.

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