Do your employees know the people they help? If you want them to achieve at the highest level, maybe they should.

Why? New research shows that managers who expose their employees directly to the people they serve — whether customers or other employees — are likely to see better motivation and performance.

That’s what Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton management school, concluded from a series of studies of employees ranging from engineers to customer service reps.

‘Task significance’
The key? What Grant calls “task significance,” a feeling that can be boosted in employees through face-to-face encounters – even short ones – with the beneficiaries of what they do.

Grant points out that advancing technology tends to isolate employees from those beneficiaries. To counter the trend, managers may want to invite key customers in every few weeks to meet employees, or in large organizations, host sit-downs with the departments that use their team’s work product.

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