Great leaders don’t just say they care about their team—they demonstrate genuine care for their employees every day. They may regularly set aside time to visit with their team members, or they may encourage their employees to reach out to them. Great leaders prioritize their employees through various positive practices, understanding that for their team to succeed, every member must feel valued.

Best-selling author and keynote speaker, Chip R. Bell, says leaders can show the utmost care by creating a culture that promotes bonding and not just simply connecting. This, he says, is a way to elevate valuing others to its highest level.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we outline Bell’s guidance on three ways leaders can demonstrate obvious and genuine care.

1. Create a huggable culture. Hugs may not be appropriate in every workplace, especially during the pandemic, but the principle remains—only hire people you’d want to hug. Bell recounts a story of a CEO telling a group of new managers that they should avoid hiring someone they’d be reluctant to hug. This is because that when people work with those they truly like and enjoy, this positivity flows into everything they do. You can help show your team you care about them by making wise hiring decisions. If someone doesn’t seem like a great fit for your culture, listen to your gut.

2. Tell stories that demonstrate care. Is your company involved in the community in some way? Does your team volunteer together? Take time to talk about these endeavors. Great leaders are storytellers, Bell notes. They know that traditions, values, and beliefs are communicated through stories. When you’re together with your team or when you hire a new employee, remember to bring little anecdotes of caring into conversations.

3. Treat every employee like a VIP. You can show you genuinely care about your team members by making everyone feel important. In fact, Bell says great leaders treat employees like royalty. When you’re speaking about your team members, rave about them. Bring to light all the good things they bring to your team. Make a point to remember special days like their birthday or employment anniversary. Delivering extra affirmation can go a long way in making your team members feel like you truly care about them.

There’s no one single trick to demonstrate your authentic care for your team members. Creating a culture of bonding requires blending several positive practices, from storytelling to considering your team’s dynamics when bringing in someone new. As a leader, it’s up to you to set the tone for your team. By creating the kind of environment where people feel respected and valued, you can help bolster your team’s productivity, engagement and happiness at work.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Chip R. Bell is an author, keynote speaker and consultant in customer loyalty and service innovation. He has written several best-selling books, including Inside Your Customer’s Imagination, which won a 2021 Axiom Business Book Award.