As a leader, you want your employees to know that you value their opinions and see them as people. One of the easiest ways to demonstrate this is to have lunch with them regularly. Managers who eat with their team members receive various potential benefits, such as higher employee retention and improved performance. Lunchtime is also one of the best times to build your network. This is especially true in the C-suite, where relationship-building is extremely important.
Not liking their manager is one of the most common reasons people quit jobs. Taking the time to talk with your employees and demonstrate you empathize with them and care about their success will instantly make you a likable leader. This is why you should never eat alone. Eating lunch with your team members is an excellent opportunity to socialize with them and get to know them on a more personal level. Build a connection with your team so they will want to work for you.
Improve Team Performance
Employees who feel a connection to their team and to their managers are more driven to succeed. When team members eat alongside their managers, they feel seen. By connecting with your team on their level and in an informal setting, you will build trust and loyalty. Eating lunch as a group makes sure everyone feels included, which makes people want to do better and contribute to the group’s success.
Build Your Network
Eating lunch with others is also a great way to grow your professional network. Networking is most successful when it is based on authentic relationship building and isn’t just networking for the sake of networking. Most networking nowadays has moved online, yet nothing is as powerful as face-to-face conversations. When you eat together, you form relationships built on genuine camaraderie and respect. The relationships you create at the lunch table are much more meaningful than ones limited to online communication.
Enhance Your Mood
Another reason you should never eat alone is that it is simply more enjoyable to eat in the company of others. Eating in a large group enhances mood and makes people feel happier. If you always eat alone, you may eventually start to feel lonely and excluded. Even managers need to take a break from constantly thinking about work. Lunch breaks are a chance to give your brain a rest from work stress and to let loose. This can be a lifesaver when it comes to mental health.
While many managers are in the habit of eating lunch alone, a lot of good can come from making a point never to eat alone. On the one hand, this habit will help you build a connection with your team, improving employee retention and team performance. On the other hand, it can help you grow your network while enhancing your mood and reducing stress.
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