Make Yourself More Approachable to Employees
R.G. Greenawalt, owner of the five-location New York MSO Auto Collision & Glass, says that the importance of working together is the backbone of the shop’s culture. The former Division 1 hockey player says that he’s constantly throwing in sports analogies about teamwork and is always asking what he can do to help out the rest of his team. When he was prompted for this article to ask members of his team the thing that they found most memorable about his leadership skills, the response was overwhelming—his approachability.
Greenawalt shares his tips for encouraging employees to open up.
Never Underestimate the Power of a Smile.
“When you walk around with a smile on your face, it’s a simple tool that you can use to let people know that you’re approachable,” Greenawalt says.
When employees do come in, they need to know that they’re actually being listened to, Greenawalt says.
“Whatever they come in with, it may not be important to you but it’s important to them so you have to make them feel heard,” Greenawalt says.
Many shop owners say they have an open door policy or to contact them anytime, but they may not actually mean it or make their employees feel like it’s true. Greenawalt makes it clear from the very beginning that he means it.
“During the interview process, I give out my personal cell number,” Greenawalt says. “They can call or text with any problems or concerns that they have.”