Leaders will benefit from an emotional connection with team members

Most leaders would claim they’re in the business of creating relationships with their customers.  Indeed a great deal of effort goes into creating an emotional connection with their customers.  Yet there are not many businesses which put in the same effort to connect with their people.  What follows are 6 factors which can help you as a leader to create that connection your employees so sorely need.

1. Value your team

Your team are your biggest and most important asset. They can make or break your business. They can certainly help you to build a more profitable business.  Create a state of mind where you feel and express real gratitude to them for the part they play in your success.  Only when you feel that state will the fact you truly value them, be who you are and help create an emotional connection with them.

2. The reward needs to be more than monetary

As a leader, you have a responsibility to get the best out of your team. Your role is to serve your people so you can help them achieve their potential. This isn’t accomplished by simply paying big salaries and bonuses.  While there is an optimum level of monetary reward, which takes people out of survival mode, once that level is reached you need to develop alternative ways of rewarding them.  Thanking them for their service in several ways is key to creating an emotional connection with them.

3. Care for them

People need to feel they’re valued and loved. This means caring for them and making them feel wanted in the workplace. This certainly doesn’t mean pampering and drip-feeding them daily though! Set high standards and then do all you can to help your team achieve those standards. A personal connection with them will help you get the best out of them.

4. Treat people right

All too often it is said ‘Treat people how you want to be treated’ – wrong! You have to treat people how they want to be treated. There’s a big significant difference. We’re all individuals and we need to be treated individually.  Some people need an arm around their shoulder from time to time. Others need regular praise and encouragement. Some just need a push and nudge!

Your people will serve you better if you take the time to understand how they’re wired. This means getting to know them personally and understanding their behaviours and traits. If you treat your people with care and affection then they’ll treat your customers in the same way, it’s a win-win!

5. How do you make them feel?

Relationships and trust take time to develop. You want to ensure you’re investing that time in creating the right type of relationships. Connection helps create a strong bond. The way to connect with people is to emotionally tap into their subconscious. This can only be done if you empathise with them. Make an effort to understand their sense of purpose, their values and their feelings.

People never forget how you made them feel. In simple terms, you can make them feel good or bad. A bad feeling results in bad behaviour, bad results and bad relationships. Good feelings lead to trust, comradery and respect.  Genuinely making people feel good creates a strong emotional connection.  This leads to better results, bigger profits and strong team culture.

6. Reflect on your impact

Take a step back and think about how much time you’re investing in building relationships with your team. Do they feel like you’re a leader who they want to serve? Or do they just turn up to work because they need their paycheque at the end of each? Learn, listen and then lead. Creating that emotional connection may just change your business for the better.

7. Active Listening

Active listening involves fully concentrating, understanding, responding, and then remembering what is being said. Leaders should practice this by giving their undivided attention during conversations, showing empathy, and acknowledging the speaker’s points. This approach not only makes team members feel valued and heard but also helps leaders understand their team’s needs and concerns better.

8. Regular One-On-One Meetings

Personalized attention through regular one-on-one meetings can significantly enhance emotional connections. These meetings provide a private space for employees to voice concerns, share ideas, or discuss career goals. Leaders can use this time to provide individualized feedback and support, fostering a sense of belonging and appreciation.

9. Transparent Communication

Transparency in communication builds trust and respect. Leaders should openly share company news, updates, and decisions, including the rationale behind them. This openness makes team members feel included and respected, fostering a culture of honesty and mutual trust.

10. Empathy And Compassion

Showing empathy involves understanding and sharing the feelings of others. Leaders should strive to be empathetic towards their team’s challenges and personal struggles. This could mean offering support during difficult times or simply being understanding about life’s ups and downs.

11. Sharing Personal Experiences

When leaders share their own experiences, challenges, and learnings, it humanizes them and makes them more relatable. Sharing stories of failures and successes can inspire and motivate the team, while also building a deeper emotional connection.

12. Encouraging Team Collaboration

Promoting a collaborative environment helps build strong interpersonal relationships within the team. Leaders should encourage teamwork, facilitate group activities, and create opportunities for team members to work together on projects. This not only fosters a sense of unity but also allows for emotional bonds to form.

13. Providing Constructive Feedback

Constructive feedback is essential for growth and development. Leaders should provide feedback in a way that is helpful, specific, and focused on behaviour rather than personal attributes. This approach helps team members improve and grow without feeling demoralized or criticized.

14. Supporting Professional Development

Investing in the professional growth of team members shows that leaders care about their career progression. This can be through training programs, workshops, mentoring, or providing opportunities for new challenges and responsibilities.

15. Flexibility And Understanding

Being flexible and understanding about work-life balance is crucial. Leaders should recognize the importance of personal time and be accommodating of reasonable requests for flexibility. This understanding can greatly reduce stress and increase job satisfaction among team members.

16. Creating A Positive Work Environment

A positive work environment is key to emotional well-being. Leaders should strive to create an atmosphere that is friendly, supportive, and inclusive. Celebrating diversity, encouraging open communication, and maintaining a positive attitude are all important aspects.

18. Fostering A Culture Of Innovation

Encouraging creativity and innovation makes team members feel valued and empowered. Leaders should create an environment where new ideas are welcomed, and experimentation is encouraged. This not only drives progress but also helps team members feel more engaged and connected.

19. Showing Consistency In Actions And Decisions

Consistency in leadership builds trust and security. Leaders should be consistent in their actions, decisions, and the way they apply rules and policies. This consistency helps team members know what to expect and builds a stable, reliable work environment.

20. Promoting Work-Life Balance

Leaders should advocate for a healthy work-life balance by setting an example and encouraging their team to take time off when needed. Respecting personal time and not expecting work outside of regular hours helps prevent burnout and shows that leaders value their team’s well-being.

21. Involving Team In Decision Making

Involving team members in decision-making processes makes them feel valued and respected. Leaders should seek input and feedback on decisions that affect the team, allowing for a sense of ownership and a deeper connection to the work and the organization.

  • About the Author
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The driving force behind aa Chartered accountants; Shahzad had two principle aims for the firm: to realise his dreams and aspirations for the future and to enable others to do the same.

He is passionate about and completely committed to business growth, whether it’s his own or his clients. He lives and breathes the business principles he shares with his clients; well knowing they will unlock true potential and profitability. He is hugely experienced in both accountancy and advanced taxation practices and has been instrumental in improving the fortunes of many businesses.

Shahzad is dedicated to changing lives, both those of his clients, colleagues, friends and family, but also those less fortunate than himself. As a company, he has been a supporter of the “Buy one Give one” charity and is personally involved in a local charity, transforming the educational aspirations of secondary school students.

Outside his career, Shahzad is a committed family man with two young sons to keep him busy and is a keen follower of cricket and motorsport.