As leaders, we are always searching for new ways to build our teams to be more efficient, productive, and engaged in the work environment. After the ‘great resignation’ in 2021, it’s crucial that you create a culture that cultivates harmony and is in touch with the lived experiences of each team member. Most leaders will tell you that managing employees and contractors can be one of the most difficult aspects of our roles. But there are some tested reminders for leaders to consider that can make all the difference.

1. Show an interest in your employees’ lives

It’s more important than ever to humanize your workplace culture. Take a real interest in the lives of your employees and contractors. It will make a difference when they need something from you. You will already know the circumstances they are facing and will have a more complete picture of what you can and cannot do for them. 

 

Also, people like to connect with others who have something in common with them. Chances are, you have something in common with every member of your team. Find what it is, and nurture that relationship.

2. Communicate 

As a leader, you need to facilitate a culture focused on open communication. Most work environments will continue to involve some level of remote or hybrid work which makes your culture of communication even more important. Effective communication is fostered when you communicate with your team in a real, friendly manner. 

3. Lead by example

Make sure you don’t just sit in your office all day and bark orders at your staff. Get in there and do some of the work. Getting your hands dirty with the creation of client work will help you remember why you are in this business, and it will also show your team that you are part of the team, not just the boss.

4. Maintain transparency from the top down

This one can feel tougher, but it’s more important than ever. We’ve always been taught that the leader needs to be positive and only share certain information with the rest of the team. While this remains true to an extent, being more transparent actually brings your team members closer and allows them to trust you more. This trust is especially important to build in relationships that are remote or hybrid. It’s easier to feel distant (and less trusting) when you don’t work face-to-face. 

 

Keep your team updated on the status of the company, even when it’s difficult. Let them know some of the sacrifices you’ve made to make this work, and they will respect you and be willing to do more for you.

5. Hire the right fit.

This one may seem obvious, but consider looking for people not solely based on their credentials. Yes, your new hires will need to possess a certain skill set to do their jobs, but they also need the right mindset, attitude, and interest in working with you. We’re still feeling the ripple effects of the great resignation which means there are more candidates to select from. 

 

Hire people who show a genuine interest in being part of the team and who are positive about the company and your clients. Make sure you look for individuals who enjoy what they do, and who have expressed real enthusiasm for you as a leader, your company, and your clients. Taking time to hire the right fit makes a huge difference.

 

Following these basic ideas can create a company culture of trust and happiness, as well as a true desire to perform well for you and your clients, which not only directly impacts the level of productivity but also elevates the work product.

An earlier version of this article was previously published on Forbes in September 2018.