Improving a Relationship with Your Employees

February 6, 2017 Emma Miller

Tension that lingers around office premises and unsatisfied employees are, unfortunately, a thing more common than it should be. Digging into the problem requires a bit more time and space than we have today, but the truth is that employers are largely responsible for it. Bosses need to put additional time and effort into building strong relationships with their workers. Otherwise, if they neglect them, hover over them too much, put too much pressure on them, and not giving them enough room and sun to grow – they will fail to give their maximum.

Your employees are the bees to your hive. They make it successful because they are the ones that communicate with customers, and customers will feel happy only when the employees are engaged and happy themselves. Building a strong relationship with employees takes time, but you’ll eventually realize that it’s an important prerequisite for the progress of your organization. Trust them and they will trust you and your business. Improve the relationship with your employees by…

#1 Supporting Them

Assistance should be given in any way possible when an employee is facing a personal crisis. Small companies don’t do this as often as larger ones do. However, it adds up to their trust and loyalty when they know that you will do everything you can for them in a time of need.

#2 Doing Their Jobs

Successful leaders have done it to get to understand the work ethics and problems their employees face on the job. It shows that you are a real person, not just someone who sits up in the company’s hierarchy and rules the roost. Leave your office and take part in one of your employee’s position. You will have a clearer picture of how the flow works and have a discussion later about how to improve things.

#3 Not Acting Superior

Yes, you’re in a position of authority, but there is no reason to treat your employees as inferior or underline it in any way. You have the authority because you know how you want to run your business and have put in a lot of work and time to grow it. However, that kind of authority ceases to exist once you leave the office. Instead, take care of your employees, and use knowledge as your authority leverage. Don’t let them be afraid to ask you for help or express their discontent with something.

#4 Dressing Normally

Now, normal is an ambiguous concept. It depends on the industry you are in, and you’ll have to dress for the occasion if you’re going to the bank to ask for a loan. When the circumstances don’t require a formal appearance, simply wear whatever your employees do. This will tell them that you’ve held every position there is and that you’re not your title. Suits and ties can build barriers with people. Make sure that you have specific casual clothes for work, because our clothing has a symbolic meaning for us. Wearing your ‘relaxing weekend clothes’ to work may kill the productivity.

#5 Not Keeping Secrets

Certain things should be kept in confidence, such as business deals that come with confidentiality rules, confidential personnel information, and confidential customer information. As for everything else, secrets shouldn’t be kept from employees. Talk with them about why you’re making the decisions you are, as well as about all the business challenges all of you are facing together. Let them know that you’re not going to hold back on them. Include them when bringing important business decisions, because each of them will feel as an important and valued part of your organization, which they are.

#6 Making Small Acts of Appreciation

Giving them small gifts on holidays or whenever they do pretty well and reach the milestones they’ve set is a great way to show them that you notice every contribution they make. Try to get to know them and you’ll know what to get them. For example, if an employee likes to work with headphones on, a Spotify Premium account would be just right. A coffee mug warmer for the coffee-lovers, add some pizzas or donuts on the office kitchen table, or a simple desk plant for their work area. Use the accessibility of commercial printing services and give T-shirts with prints that are specific, positive, and exhilarating enough to put smiles on their faces.

As a boss, you should be your employees’ mentor, teacher, and coach. You can’t be a visionary by yourself, so ask for a direct and honest feedback, and make action towards changing and improving. In the end, just as a cold or the flue, emotions are also contagious. Your optimism and positive behavior will affect your employees and increase positive emotional connections.

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Emma Miller

Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She's a contributor at BizzMark Blog.