Being a great manager can be challenging, sure, but it doesn’t actually require grand gestures. In fact, research confirms it’s often the little things that have the biggest impact on employees. One report shows that managers who simply say hello and goodbye to their employees each day not only garner more trust, but also keep their teams better engaged.

This report shows that managers who took the opportunity to greet their team members or ask them about their weekends were better able to open “a line of informal communication,” as well as a “springboard” for longer conversations that give way to employees’ ideas, concerns, and personal lives. And while participating managers didn’t immediately see an uptick in their “management support scores,” their sustained efforts to engage their direct reports were shown to pay off six months down the line. 

So, if you’re a manager, make a point of dedicating a few minutes each day to greeting your team members. Maybe that’s sending everyone an individual message, or taking a quick lap around your workplace, first thing each morning to see how everyone is doing — and doing the same on your way out each night. It goes without saying that you should be engaging with your employees beyond a morning hello and evening goodbye, but taking the time to acknowledge them at the start and end of the day is a great way to demonstrate that you care, and create an atmosphere of psychological safety on your team. A workplace that offers psychological safety, or as Amy Edmondson, Ph.D., a professor at Harvard Business School, has explained, one that encourages individuals to speak up and be heard without fear, generates honesty, productivity, and genuine connection.

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