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Once upon a time, the threat of job loss or a pay cut from upper management was all it took to influence employees and keep them on the straight-and-narrow. Today, however, the employee-manager relationship depends more on collaboration than it does on top-down ruling. Person-to-person, emotional connections are essential for engaging and inspiring employees in today’s workplace, says workplace coach Jay Forte.

Some see this new management tactic as a fancy way to describe "handholding," but Forte argues to the contrary. “Actually building a personal connection with employees is one of the most significant ways managers can activate performance and inspire loyalty,” he writes on Human Capitalist.

How should managers add a higher level of emotional intelligence to their employee relationships? Make the effort to understand each employee and share information that will help improve performance.

He offers a sample letter for managers to send to their employees, asking them to keep improving not only in their day-to-day tasks, but also as people. The letter encourages them to improve: their work, their contact with customers, their workplace culture, their communities, the planet and finally, themselves.

“Do more than just manage your talent: Engage and inspire it,” Forte says.

Want to connect with your employees and raise their personal standards? Read the full letter on Human Capitalist.