While the majority of our readers are CEOs, savvy senior execs, and seasoned entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed that we’ve been experiencing a rapid growth of late in readership falling within the ranks of developing leaders. So when Phil Gerbyshack was kind enough to offer to do a guest post I was ecstatic! Phil has established himself as a prolific writer and speaker whose savvy is well beyond his years. Phil is the co-author of Help Desk Manager’s Crash Course and offers advice for new managers at The Management Expert. He currently serves as a vice president for a financial services company headquartered in Milwaukee, WI. You can follow Phil on Twitter @PhilGerb. What I most appreciate about Phil is his passion for improving the lives of everyone he interacts with. I’ll believe you’ll see this shine through is his post below…enjoy!

According to Gallup, at least 7 of the 12 reasons employees are not engaged in their work is because of something their direct manager or leader could have influenced, but didn’t. 7 out of 12 reasons! The good news is you can change that if you’re willing to give your team a little more FACE time.

Yes, investing in your team by simply giving them more of your time can have a huge impact. But where do you start, what should you focus on, and how can you fit more activities into your already hectic day? Instead of just paying lip service to your team with inconsistent and unstructured interruptions, use the following formula to give them some strategic FACE time, maximizing the return on their time and yours.

F – Feedback time
Make time each day to give the members of your team feedback on their performance. Find something positive to say, without shying away from dealing with difficult topics. Invest time to find at least 1 positive piece of feedback for every negative one. Tie the conversation back to your team’s mission, vision, and values. You don’t have to take a long time for feedback time. Just 5 minutes for each person on your staff each week, focusing on specific, personal feedback will be enough to show your team you appreciate them, and will also offer time to make a minor course correction if they have strayed a few degrees off-center.

A – Action time (Time investment: 5-15 minutes a day)
Make time each day for the action time. Do something that moves you closer to your team’s or your personal goals every day. Some days I spend all day in meetings and I forget to do this, and then I feel like I’ve wasted a day. On those days I catch myself before I leave for the day, I make time to do something, anything, to get closer to key goals and objectives.  Doing this helps me feel productive, and helps me move the needle at least a little bit every day. Leading by example is a powerful motivator for high performing team members.

C – Connection time (Time investment: 5-15 minutes a day)
Make time every day to connect with a different member of your team on a personal level. Ask about what matters personally to each person. Take time to really tune them in and listen. Remember the number 1 reason people leave a job is because of their direct supervisors, and in my experience, the reason they leave is specifically because employees don’t feel their supervisors cared about them. Taking a few minutes each day for connection time is a great way to show you really do care about who they are; even when they’re not producing for you.

E – Expectation setting (and resetting) time (Time investment: 5-15 minutes a day)
Make time every day to realign or set expectations about what the most important tasks and goals are for your team to be focusing on. The more clearly your articulate your expectations, the better chance your team has of actually achieving them.

As mentioned above, it’s also important to reset expectations as needed. If a deadline has changed, let your team know this as well, so they can shift their focus onto new critical tasks or needs. Remember that some people like to know WHY the expectation has changed, so include this whenever possible to keep these folks engaged as well.

By investing just a few minutes each day into some FACE time with your employees, you will improve your team’s morale, and in turn, their engagement. This will not only save your firm money but ultimately it will save you considerable time and brain damage as you cut down on employee churn.

The choice is yours: a little FACE time with your team now, or a little face time with your supervisor and the HR department later, when your turnover increases and you’re spending all your time reviewing resumes and interviewing new candidates for your team.

Thanks to Phil Gerbyshak for sharing his insights on how to maximize workplace productivity through better employee engagement.