I came across a quote from Oprah Winfrey, interviewed in the Dec. 26/10 issue of Parade :
Everybody just wants to be heard…Do your eyes light up when I enter the room? Did you hear me and did what I say mean anything to you? That’s all they’re looking for. That’s what everybody is looking for.”
In a word, we all want to matter in some way in the eyes of those around us.
This is useful information for managers. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to send out signals to your employees that they matter:
- Ask questions of them and genuinely listen to their answers. Then, ask a follow-up question.
- Discover (i.e. don’t just feign) an interest in their work and their life beyond work, should they wish to share a bit about it.
- Check in with them periodically re how they are doing in their work and their overall state of well-being.
- Notice and acknowledge to them when they perform well in their job, excel in a task (e.g. make a great presentation in a meeting), or go the extra mile at work.
Finally, thank them not just for doing but for being as well. It looks something something like this: “I’m really glad you are part of this team, Tom. I enjoy working with you.”