As the year draws to a close and you spend some time reflecting on the successes and failures you had in 2015, you should also take time to think about the power of the relationships you have built around you.
At CSI International we believe deeply in the power of relationship building, authentic recognition and continuous learning and we live by these values every day.
Through our client work we have proven that the best companies — the ones who are at the top of their respective industries — recognize and reward their talent for their good work day-to-day, minute-to-minute, at every touch point.
Recognition can and should take on many forms – it doesn’t just have to come in the form of tangible gifts and rewards. People want to be enabled with learning and skills that make them more marketable in the future. They want to be looked in the eye and acknowledged for their hard work with an authentic and personalized thank you.
Recognizing your people at every touch point is an authentic and effective way to build your relationships.
By providing skills to your people in the form of learning and training, you are investing in their future — whether it be at your company or elsewhere. Now, you might ask, why would I want to invest in talent that might leave? Investing in your talent’s development from day one, and throughout their time with your organization is a critical business practice.
When your talent are provided with the skills and knowledge to better serve your customers, not only do they feel enabled and recognized, but it creates exceptional experiences for your customers so that they will stay longer, buy more and positively refer others. When your customers are happy, your relationship with them grows, and as a result and you are more likely to have loyal, raving fans – and that’s worth investing in!
Providing skill development to your talent will enhance your relationships both internally and externally.
When you reflect on your success from the past year, how much of it came from the power of the relationships you built with your people? I bet it was a whole lot!
Almost every project you work on is touched by multiple people along the way, whether it be in the planning/research stages, or the final approval stages. In order for this process to run smoothly, you have to develop relationships and communicate openly and effectively with your team members so that everyone is on the same page when the final project is complete. This open communication fosters an environment of sharing and trust so that nobody feels thrown into the deep end without being enabled to swim.
Communicating with your talent openly and authentically is an effective way to build relationships.
A tip for making communication with your talent a habit is to schedule designated touch point meetings at the beginning of a project. Perhaps it is a weekly check in meeting or monthly report review – whatever the form may be, it is important to commit time to one another and honor those commitments.
Building business relationships with your colleagues and clients may seem simple, but in order to strengthen and grow those relationships it is critical to go beyond just the surface level of ‘knowing’ them.
For instance, do you know about your colleagues’ families, pets, hobbies, etc.? Some people may think, there’s no time for the personal in business, but I would argue, if your not getting personal with your team members, your business is losing money and ROI.
Spending the time to have conversations with your talent and getting to know who they are beyond their job, builds a relationship of trust, caring and empathy that will return tenfold to your business – plus it’s just the nice, polite, human thing to do.
Knowing your people beyond the job they do makes them feel valued, acknowledged and cared for, which builds your relationships, fosters loyalty, and motivates them to greater success.
A tip for achieving personal connections with your colleagues is to ask them one non-work related question in every verbal or face-to-face interaction, and more importantly even, follow up with them on stories they have shared with you along the way….“How was Suzie’s birthday party this weekend? Did you enjoy that restaurant you had reservations for? Etc.”
Remember, each person wants to be treated uniquely as they want to be treated.
Creating personalized and authentic relationships with each and every member of your teamwill be sure to strengthen your business practices – and I bet it will make you a better leader, team member and generally a better person along the way.
Happy relationship building in 2016 and beyond!