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Personal connection is the gateway to employee satisfaction. Employers who take time to communicate and establish real relationships with their employees will not only experience greater job satisfaction but also notice greater output and higher levels of productivity.

A 2019 survey reveals that 69 percent of job applicants will decline a job offer if they learn that workers are unhappy, and three-quarters of respondents cited a strong company culture as “extremely important.”

Today’s workers are not satisfied with simply being handed a paycheck; given that people invest the majority of their lives into work, it’s crucial for management to ensure the office is a rewarding, socially affirming and stimulating place to be.

Understand the Role of a Leader

Employers may feel they have to hide behind the professional mask of a “manager,” but the truth is that leaders do not need to distance themselves to be seen as authoritative or respectable. Instead, a leader should be an inclusive, active member of a team and sees every employee as a valuable part of their own professional journey. Leaders should embrace their roles and act naturally within them to establish a healthy rapport and social dynamic within the workplace.

Welcome Feedback

An open-door policy makes employers more approachable and trusted by their employees. Rather than staying in an office all day and sending impersonal emails, a good boss needs to reach out, connect, and have face-to-face contact with employees every day.

Team-building exercises should include management; getting to see their supervisors in action can provide valuable learning experience to workers and help humanize those in higher level positions.

Be Authentic

Good managers do not strive to consistently shield themselves from their employees. Instead, a good leader is sincere and shows who they really are. Professional boundaries and work level hierarchy do not dissolve the need for genuine connection and authentic communication.

Often, managers fear that being too nice will result in being perceived as weak by workers. While this is a risk that should be thoughtfully considered, it’s important to remember that people generally respect others when they feel respected themselves. Ruling with an iron fist ultimately leads to fear and anxiety, but being kind, empathetic, and solution-oriented makes workers behave in a similar manner.