I’m not going to ask anyone to go out and hug a tree or adopt a puppy.
But if you truly want to develop a strong and cohesive team, and have any hope of keeping that team together, it begins and ends with understanding your people, and caring about how they are developing as people and professionals.
You don’t have to create “forced fun” departmental outings. You don’t have to hold impromptu celebrations for every life event. But, you do have to care, and show you care, through authentic actions.
Know when their parents are undergoing a health crisis. Be aware that their living situation is in transition. If you understand challenges facing your talent outside of work, it should make your workplace communications more empathetic and compassionate. There. I said it. Compassionate.
Because, if you truly want your people to care about their jobs, you start by being a mensch yourself, and demonstrate care for the people you work with.
You don’t have to be creepy, you don’t have to be intrusive – and you can still remain professional.
When you’re attuned to the needs of your team, inside and outside the workplace, you can anticipate potential disruptions and interruptions, and make much better decisions with regard to assignments.
Plus, just being a better person is reward unto itself.
Go, and be you.