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“People-Knowledge”: A Form of Knowing that Impacts Every Business

Odds are, your favorite manager knew more about you than your name and job duties. Can your team members say the same about you? 

As a manager, your primary responsibility is to lead your team effectively, ensuring they reach their full potential and contribute to the organization's success. A multitude of college degrees exist to teach business knowledge, but there's one often-overlooked aspect that can significantly impact your team's morale and productivity: simply knowing your employees. How can I do it and why does it matter?

Building Stronger Connections

Knowing your employees beyond their roles and titles can forge stronger bonds within your team. When you take the time to learn about their lives outside of work, such as their hobbies, interests, and family, you create a sense of belonging. Recognizing personal milestones like birthdays and anniversaries adds a human touch to your leadership, making your team feel valued beyond their job functions.

Boosting Morale and Employee Satisfaction

Celebrating birthdays, work anniversaries, and asking about personal interests shows your employees that you care about their happiness and well-being. This simple gesture can boost morale and job satisfaction, leading to a more positive work environment. Happy employees are often more engaged, productive, and less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Fostering a Sense of Appreciation

Acknowledging employee milestones is a way to express gratitude for their contributions to the organization. When an employee reaches a significant work anniversary, it signifies their dedication and loyalty to the company. Recognizing these achievements helps employees feel appreciated, which can lead to increased motivation to continue giving their best.

Improving Retention Rates

In today's competitive job market, retaining top talent is a constant challenge. People quit managers. On the flip side, managers that know their people retain their employees. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are less likely to leave their current positions. This can save your organization both time and resources spent on recruitment and training.

Leading by Example

As a manager, your actions set the tone for your team. Demonstrating the importance of recognizing personal interests and celebrating employee milestones can influence your culture positively and create a workplace where appreciation and acknowledgment are valued. Individuals are far less likely to “check out” when they feel camaraderie on a team.

Personalization Matters

It's essential to remember that personalization matters. Generic, one-size-fits-all approaches may not have the desired impact. Track your employees' preferences through new hire forms or random surveys. Ask your employees’ spouses or friends for ideas on how to celebrate them. Or even just ask the employee directly and make a quick note for later. 

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