Valentine's Day. It's a day when flowers, candy and good feelings abound for many. It's a day when we think about our relationships. Though for most, it's really about their significant other.
But since you spend half your waking hours during the week at work, we decided we wanted to talk about another relationship you have - the one with your manager. You've probably had your fair share of managers with a variety of relationship styles, but you never forget the ones who really connect and show they care.
Managers give to staff in so many different ways. Big ways and small ways. Fun ways and serious ways. Supporting your professional goals and supporting you in your personal life.
Since we've talked before about how our customers show people they care, I decided to ask my Halogen colleagues what their managers do to show they care. Here are some of the things they shared with me:
They say hello.
My manager stops by my desk to say hello every morning.
It's such a simple thing to do and it means a lot. To take a few minutes before jumping into work to visit your team and ask about their weekend or evening is such a nice way to start the day. It puts people first and it shows trust that the work will get done. And it's a great way to build a lasting connection.
They want you to be safe.
My manager encourages me to stay safe (and warm) at home during heavy snowstorms.
With Halogen's global headquarters being in Ottawa, we're all thankful for a flexible work culture, particularly during the months from December to March. Of course, no matter where in the world you work, there can be weather challenges and it's nice to have a manager that puts safety first.
They provide sustenance.
My manager keeps our break room stocked.
The care and feeding of employees - especially around 2-3 p.m. when you're in need of a boost (preferably chocolate, right?) - is so critical. One of our managers even brought in pumpkin waffles last fall. They were amazing. We can all be thankful for managers that put a high priority on keeping staff energy levels up with food.
They make thoughtful changes.
When my manager took over our team, she had big shoes to fill but she didn't just make changes for the sake of putting her stamp on things.
Going from being an individual contributor to being a manager is a challenging transition, but some managers nail it, as this one did. Getting input from the team, whether you're new or not, is a great way to show how much you value their feedback. And it strengthens the relationship between employees and their manager.
They support you through major life changes.
My manager let me work from home for the first two weeks after my daughter was born.
Work is a huge part of your life, but we also bring our life to work with us. It doesn't stay behind when we walk out of our homes each day. Having a manager that understands this and supports making work fit into life inspires so much gratitude. Caring managers support staff when they have illness in the family, personal crises and other challenges that come up outside of work.
They talk to you.
My manager's door is always open.
Being able to ask questions and get feedback on work in between one-on-one meetings can make a huge difference in how long it takes to finish projects on time, on budget and on point. Managers that make themselves available keep the workflow steady and send the message that helping people is important to them.
They make 1:1s a priority.
My manager meets with me regularly.
I have to ‘fess up: This one's mine. It's made such a huge impact on me to have a manager who's so engaged in helping me learn, develop and challenge me to do more. Since I joined Halogen, I've talked about my goals and development more than ever before. I'm a better employee for it and it's helped me look forward to coming to work every day.
Managers can make all the difference
It's no secret that managers have a big impact on how engaged employees are, and as you can see, even small actions can leave a lasting impression. Even as people's expectations change in the ever-evolving workforce, it isn't cool perks that come up in conversation - it's the effort managers make to connect with and understand the whole person.