Here is an interesting question for you: Do employers really want to know how we, the workers, are doing? The answer should be that of course, they will take a genuine interest in the well-being of their employees. But this is the reality. Some managers will have a keen interest, but more often than not they do not even ask. And then there are the occasions that it is more show than honest attention. However, showing interest in your people should never be a trick.
Find out if employers really want to know how you are doing. And if you hate bosses anyway, which so many people do, then switch to the last paragraphs to discover your way out of the corporate jungle.
How it could be
In an ideal world, managers should ask regularly or more often how their employees are doing. This can lead to less absenteeism, believe experts in the business. More than half of the employees interviewed nowadays, do not have the idea that the question is being asked out of genuine interest. While we all want to be seen and heard. Employers in particular do not seem to know how best to approach this in a conversation.
A company had an expert carry out a survey among more than a thousand people into the question ‘How are you?’ Everyone asks it sometimes, but more than half of the respondents indicated that they saw it more as a courtesy question than as a genuine interest. Also, almost all managers sometimes ask how employees are doing, but they don’t always seem to know how to ask the question.
Help for managers
Employers could therefore use some help. Because 56 percent of employees indicated in the survey that they do not feel that they are being approached well on the topic of how they are doing. While there is a need for a good conversation: one in ten respondents says they want to talk to others but are afraid to do so. In an earlier study, it was discovered that a mental cause plays a role in about half of the long-term absenteeism of the respondents. That is why the first step towards less absenteeism is a good conversation between the boss and employee.
Timing and formality
There are a number of factors that play a role: the question ‘how are you?’ has become more of a greeting than a question. As a manager, you sometimes tend to use the question as a greeting. It is also difficult to choose a good time to talk. Managers often use “come by my office” to invite someone, but that doesn’t invite them to be open. A long walk works much better. Then you show that as an employer you take the time and really pay attention to someone. Interest should not be a trick.
Ask the right questions
Here is an example. A lady was recently at the pharmacy and said to the owner: “Hey, I haven’t seen you in a while, how are you?’ With that, she actually said that she had missed him and wanted to know how he was doing. It was a very nice and sincere conversation and afterward, he also thanked her for it. He felt heard and seen. For him, it acted like a button pushed to vent his concerns for a while. It has been a difficult time, many people did not feel seen during the corona crisis. Now that we are allowed more again, we can also start the conversations again. Also at work.”
You should want less absenteeism
Yes, we hope that if more managers but also colleagues start asking the question, it will contribute to preventing absenteeism. Absenteeism and psyche are very important topics in the workplace, especially since Covid. We know that people can go beyond their limits. Sincere attention helps. Worry must be able to escape, otherwise, it piles up and mental problems lie in wait.
But employers also need to realize that it doesn’t necessarily have to go bad with someone before you can have a conversation. That is also possible when things go well, sharing joy together is also important. Working is basically a business agreement, but for many people, it is also a way of life. So you also want to be seen at work. More attention should be paid to that.
Employees want a meeting with their manager
What was really noticed is that 27 percent of the respondents put their manager in the top 3 when it comes to people they go to first when work and private life are out of balance or they are not feeling well at work. They call the manager right after partners and friends. That is a very important person for them. If you can prevent someone from becoming incapacitated for work through a good conversation, that would be very nice. But a manager also has the means to solve it in a different way. For example, he can refer someone to the company doctor.
Here are 4 tips for a good conversation
1. Drop silences. Listen carefully and try not to interrupt the other person, calmly wait for the story to continue. You will be amazed at how much information you can get.
2. Invite someone to tell you more. An ‘Oh yeah? Tell’ is often enough. This means you are showing some genuine interest and your employee will feel freer to tell.
3. Be humble. Do not give unsolicited advice, you are not the expert, at least when it is about personal matters. Otherwise only give advice when asked for.
4. Summarize the conversation. Check whether you have understood the other person correctly by summarizing the problem. Again you might be amazed how many misunderstandings can occur.
Most bosses still do not take the time to really find out about their employees. Employees, every one of them, like to be noticed. One way or the other. If they feel left to their own devices, they might become unmotivated, doing less of a good job, and will be absent a lot. No employer should want that and that is why I have given above some easy ways for managers to do something about it.
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