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Remember the saying,  The customer is always right?  What about your employees? Getting feedback from your employees can be valuable in helping you understand what you need to make your company better for everyone. Personalizing your relationship with employees will let them know that you care about their professional life. Following are some examples of strategies successful employers used to make sure their employees knew they mattered.

Rick Sapio, CEO of Mutuals.com in New York may not have time to get to know each of his employees, but he values their concerns. He introduced Hassles, an email box where employees can post their concerns. Problems are acknowledged and resolved as soon as possible. Anything from being too far away from the printer to wanting a new function programmed into the database are valid concerns for the Hassle box. And when employees need some time to voice a more private concern, Sapio designates time every week to sit in an empty conference room and receive employees who need his personal attention.

Marc Albin, CEO of Albin Engineering, also wants to know how to make his people feel appreciated. He believes that different employees want different rewards. Instead of second guessing, he asks his employees directly how he can best recognize their talents and efforts. He comes to understand what they think of themselves and their abilities. Each person is different; some want to be recognized for the quality of their work and others for quantity. Perhaps someone appreciates being recognized individually while another prefers to be recognized in a group. In his experience, everyone has gladly given the specific feedback he was looking for. No one ever said,  Reward me for anything I do well. 

Following are simple tips any employer can use to improve his or her managerial relationships.

    Recognize   Recognize your employees  efforts and genuinely give positive feedback. Your employee will understand which behaviors are most valued and you will easily see the potential he or she has.

    Use employees' strengths   Mold job titles and descriptions around the strengths of your employees. Look for ways to fill needed talents and not just open positions.

    Ask   Ask your employees what they feel their strengths are and how they can best benefit the company. You may discover talents or desires you were not aware of.

    Use a game-plan   share a clear vision and action plan with your employees so you are all targeting the same ultimate goal.

    Associate the game-plan with individuals   show employees how their individual responsibilities can help the company achieve its ultimate goals.

    Communicate   Use appropriate communication skills with your employees. Pay attention to your word choice, voice tone and personal space boundaries.

    Celebrate   Achieving goals and performing well deserve credit. Recognition for good behavior motivates future performance as well.

It's also important to keep track of the time your employee's are putting in! Check out our Time Card Software Review.

References:

Walters, Jamie (2001, April). Six Coaching Strategies You Can Apply in the Workplace. Retrieved July 3, 2006, from Inc.com Web site: http://www.inc.com/articles/2001/04/22404.html

Walters, Jamie (2001, March). How To Uncover Employee Potential. Retrieved July 3, 2006, from Inc.com Web site: http://www.inc.com/articles/2001/03/22371.html

Buchanan, L. (2001, October). Managing One to One. Retrieved July 3, 2006, from Inc.com Web site: http://www.inc.com/magazine/20011001/23479.html

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