How to Build Rapport with Your Employees | Fora Financial Blog
How to Build Rapport with Your Employees
May 03, 2018

How to Build Rapport with Your Employees

You spend a lot of time doing your job; whether it be in the office, on your laptop, or while working from home. If the connections you have with your employees are strong, that will elevate everyone’s working experience. The best teams become like a second family, and are aligned in achieving their mutual and individual goals.

As a business owner, you’re the company’s leader, and should view yourself as the patriarch or matriarch of the family. To make that “family” successful, it’s vital that you learn how to build a rapport with your employees. Even if your business is remote, you must find ways to build rapport online.

If you’re not convinced that building relationships with your employees matters, consider how much more your staff will contribute if they feel appreciated. If employees know you value them as individuals, they’ll be more reliable, will  take on more responsibilities, and will be motivated to go beyond their designated tasks.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, you could increase employee retention. Loyalty is amongst most important currency that a small company can possess. Think about it; you spend a considerable amount of time and money when you on-board new employees. If they have no attachment to you or your company, they’ll be more likely to look for new opportunities.

If your business is struggling with employee retention, creating rapport with your employees is the most logical solution. Plus, it could make your work-life more pleasant and fulfilling, too! Keep reading to learn how you can create strong relationships in the workplace.

Determine What’s Important to Your Employees

Many self-designated team building experts advise business owners to take their teams on a bonding retreat or pursue other somewhat generic ideas.

Although these tips can be successful, you should strive to build relationships on a day-to-day basis. One retreat simply isn’t enough to ensure lasting relationships. Instead, make a consistent effort to get to know your employees on a personal level. Take note of what excites them, and be sure to follow up on those topics in the future. For instance, check in about their sick parent, ask about the latest antics of their toddler, or see how their marathon training is going.

At my company, DistantJob, we talk every day about what we accomplished on the previous day of work. Still, you’d expect that on Monday we’d talk about Friday’s progress, but instead, we chat about what we did over the weekend. Sorry, Friday!

Get Serious About Each Employee’s Growth

If employees are engaged at work, they’ll be more likely to work hard and put forth their best efforts. To ensure that your employees are motivated and interested in what they’re doing, make time to speak to each individual about what they’d like to accomplish within the next year. Then,

Talk to your employees; figure out where they would like to be in the next year, and even as far as the next three to five years. Help them build a plan to achieve that at your company by offering support through training. Whether it’s eBooks and online courses, or pairing them with a more experienced professional who can mentor them, your employees will appreciate that you’re investing in them. Plus, you and your business will reap the benefits of your employees getting better at what they do!

Commit to One-On-One Meetings

Even if you’re confident in your employee relationships and overall company culture, you can always benefit from having consistent one-on-one meetings. There are certain topics and ideas that people will only be comfortable sharing during a face-to-face conversation. That’s why you should schedule a weekly meeting with each employee. In these meetings, you can give them time to share any questions or concerns they have, and it can also be a great time to exchange feedback.

Buffer, a company that provides social media management tools, uses them as the cornerstone of their unique approach to feedback and coaching.

Don’t know where to begin? Here’s a quick template:

  1. Starter: “How was your week?”
  2. Casual time: Ask about the person’s interests.
  3. Feedback: “I’ve reviewed your project and have some tips for next time.”
  4. Growth: “What did you learn this week?”
  5. Counter-Feedback: “What could I do so that your next week is more productive and less stressful?”

Get Your Rapport-Building Engine Started!

Building a bond with your employees remains a sure-fire way to improve retention. It can also increase productivity, and make your business an overall great place to work. Now that you’ve read our tips, it’s time to get to work! Let us know if you have any other tips in the comment section below.

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Luis Magalhães is Director of Marketing and editor-in-chief at DistantJob. He writes about how to build and manage remote teams, and the benefits of hiring remote workers. He's been managing editorial teams remotely for the past 15 years, and training teammates to do so for nearly as long. Get in touch with him via [email protected] or by tweeting @distantjob.