First impressions count. When your department has a new employee starting on Monday, designate a co-worker to call the new hire over the weekend and introduce himself. Say something like this, "Hi, this is Mike and I will be working in your department. We are looking forward to you starting work here tomorrow. I'll be at the office at 8:00 to meet you and will show you around. Also, a couple of us would like to take you to lunch on Monday, so don't worry with bringing your lunch." This will help a new employee become engaged quicker and show them that they matter.
Blab away. According to Zig Ziglar, one of the prime needs of employees is "being let in on things that are going on in the company." After all, we all want to feel part of the "in" crowd. You don't need to share company private information with employees - but make it a practice to share and involve employees in specific short and long term goals, the direction of the company, innovative ideas in the works and a few tidbits that you ask employees to them to keep to themselves.
Catch people doing something well. Many times when employees are doing something well it goes unnoticed because we assume they are just doing their job. Go out of your way today to reward a co-worker or employee for doing something right. Compliment them, buy them a cup of coffee, recognize them at a staff meeting or even jot them a handwritten note acknowledging what you caught them doing well.
Be thankful for problems. General Colin Powell is quoted as saying, "The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."
Reward loyalty. Donald Trump says, "When employees and employers, even coworkers, have a commitment to one another, everyone benefits. I have people who have been in business with me for decades. I reward their loyalty to the organization and to me. I know that they'll always be dedicated to what we're trying to accomplish."
Delegate don't dump. Know the difference between empowering an employee by delegating responsibility to this person versus dumping additional, unwanted work on him. Delegating to an employee means you extend to the person the authority to make decisions about a task and this task helps the receiver grow.
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Susan Fletcher, Ph.D. is a practicing psychologist & speaker on Emotional Intelligence, productivity, performance & leadership development. She is the author of Working in the Smart Zone (2008) & Parenting in the Smart Zone (2005).