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What’s your number one staff members' hobby, and why it matters?

As a manager of people, do you know the answer to this question? How about, the name of their partner or child? Knowing this serves a number of purposes.

Firstly, we conduct business with people, emotional and compassionate people. Building a connection, forms trust and a desire to conduct more business with that same human.

Secondly, it contributes to creating a more human centric environment in your organization, one where people care for the success of individuals, teams and the organization.

Thirdly, you expect staff to be committed to your business, to go above and beyond for the betterment of the company, even when they’re not shareholders. I argue, how can you expect this from them, to be their most creative, most effective and work overtime, if you don’t show any interest in their personal equity? I’ve found, by knowing a little about your top performers, showing interest in their equity, increases their commitment and engagement.

Ok, you in, now how do you do this? If you the CEO, luckily it’s all on you as you set the culture of the organization. Attend the office social functions or weekly afternoon drinks. Engage not only with other C-level staff, but also with every number one staffer per team. FYI, they crave to connect with you, their leader, and you have an opportunity to strengthen their commitment to your organisation. You show interest in them, you build loyalty. Furthermore, this unstructured space presents an opportunity to discuss matters and questions related to work, often leading to great insight. Just for that, it’s a good enough reason why the C-level should regularly attend and engage with employees these events.

In Summary: Next time you see a number one staffer in the coffee queue, instead of asking her how’s revenue (which you’ll discuss anyway in the afternoon meeting) ask her how her hobby’s going or how her partner is. You’ll see an instant light up in her and you one step closer to her working even harder for you.

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