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Six Strategies to Improve Employee-Manager Relationships

Image Source: Photo by Christina via Unsplash


6 Strategies to Improve Employee-Manager Relationships  

Employee well-being is crucial to building and sustaining a good work culture. This, in turn, helps employees stay productive and involved. After all, most of us spend the majority of our days in the workplace or interacting for work. It’s essential to have friends at the workplace whom you can trust and share the way you feel without fear of it getting leaked. This is surely a way employees feel motivated and enjoy going to work daily without taking frequent leaves and striving to live up to the expectations of the management. It is vital that the employees are friendly with each other and avoid criticism and backstabbing at work. 

A manager’s role, therefore, is critical, as you can easily use your leadership skills to establish and maintain a healthy work environment for your employees. This provides the conditions for building a good manager-employee relationship, which has a positive effect on every person who is part of the business.

Each person has an individual approach to creating and maintaining relationships with the people around them. The bottom line is that disgruntled employees will impact performance and lead to attrition, which is overall more costly for the company. On the surface, employee relations is a simple concept. But going deeper, there’s a lot you need to consider when putting together a strategy. Here are some ways to improve the employee-manager relationship: 

1. Make your one-on-one matter:

It’s important to check in regularly with each of your employees, but the key is to make the meetings more productive and collaborative. One-on-one meetings are good avenues to take on big strategic questions and problem-solve. This will help you ascertain if you’re focusing on the right things, shift focus if necessary, discuss pain points, and show your employee that they can trust you to make the best choices and keep their interests in mind.   

#Key Tip: One-on-ones can be a good opportunity to help your team members be more thoughtful about their careers and lives. Also, don’t spring it up out of the blue. Give employees a heads-up and the time and space to think about what they want to express. 

2. Promote a safe working environment: 

A safe work environment is about more than just preventing injuries or the spread of disease; it is about making employee well-being a priority. A safe workplace is one where employees feel secure and enjoy a safe space and a positive co-working environment that encourages respect for everyone. It means having policies that comply with state law and provide a clear direction for your company’s day-to-day operations. It means having zero tolerance for behaviors that fuel conflicts, such as discrimination and harassment. Having the correct policies and procedures in place helps your business comply with employment laws and regulations, as well as provide redressal to employees in case of greviances.

 #Key Tip: Managers must lead by example, encouraging a supportive and learning culture, promoting a “no-blame culture,” and tracking and monitoring the progress of grievance redressal to help the employee receive closure.

3. Encourage collaboration and teamwork:

A workplace has to be more than just warm and welcoming; you also want it to be functional and highly productive. Collaboration helps you achieve this. At the heart of the matter, focusing on engagement, morale, and relationship building promotes a happy workforce and creates the right environment for collaboration. Shying away from things like communication, team engagement, and transparency will not bring any results, but rather, it will drive them away. 

#Key Tip: Managers have to be present and available to team members in order to foster a transparent and inclusive team culture. 

4. Set up a good process for two-way communication: 

Good leadership goes hand in hand with effective communication. A fine example of this is prioritising engagement by giving employees the information they need to succeed in their jobs and ensuring they know where to find additional resources. Communication through all channels, whether it’s regular in-person gatherings, emails, messaging boards, or apps, must be systematic, regular, and planned. Two-way communication offers an outlet for employee concerns and exchanging ideas; it improves trust and promotes collaboration, and any ambiguity about roles and responsibilities is reduced. 

#Key tip: Managers need to acknowledge good work from employees as well as offer constructive feedback. Highly engaged employees believe they can influence the success of companies. Also, using good technology platforms is key. 

5. Promote a healthy work-life balance: 

Employees will be much more likely to resent management if they feel they’re overworked. People want to work for a company that respects their life outside the office, and they’ll be quick to leave if another organisation offers that balance. So, let employees leave work at work. Don’t bombard them with late-night or weekend emails. Don’t instant message them when they’re not in the office. Allow employees to work remotely when possible. And if your team has hustled and stayed late all week to finish a project, let them take a long lunch.  They’ll appreciate it, and it’ll encourage them to work just as hard on the next project.

#Key Tip: As a manager, it is critical to have the right attitude when faced with employees’ dilemmas. This will make all the difference. Even if an employee often values the chance to work from home, this doesn’t mean you should ask them to take unfinished work home. Working from home also means work is expected during a normal working day.

6. Last but not least, create an employee relations policy:  

This means institutionalising all / any of the points we have discussed above (and others that would suit your company and culture). Clear employee policies provide employees with knowledge about what is expected of them vis-à-vis behaviour and performance standards. It helps provide a consistent and clear response across the company in dealing with situations and makes sure employees are treated fairly and equally. The way you engage employees across the organisation is fundamental to its ability to attract the right people, retain current employees and motivate them to achieve success for their business unit and the organisation as a whole.

#Key tip: Communicate with employees about the policy or any changes or updates made, and ensure every employee has read it at least once.

 Career growth opportunities, the right tools for learning, and reminding everyone that they’re essential to the company are all equally important. However, in my experience, employee relations can make or break the workplace climate. The goal is to both reinforce your company’s culture and make sure that employees can be productive and get along with each other. This is the secret of a successful business.

 At Yellow Spark, we can design and implement an employee relations policy suitable for your company. To learn more, write to us at contact@yellowspark.in

 Author Profile: Aparna Joshi Khandwala is a passionate HR professional. She co-founded Yellow Spark to work with like-minded people who believe in the power of leadership, which is the only business differentiator in today’s world.