Creating Exceptional Manager-Employee Relationships: A 7-Step Guide

Managers play a crucial role in fostering a positive work environment by establishing strong relationships with their employees. Through leading by example, managers can set the tone for their team and inspire their colleagues to be more engaged in the business. When managers exhibit the behavior they wish to see in their team, it creates a positive cycle of engagement and commitment among employees.


  1. Establish a work culture that promotes support and collaboration

As a business owner and manager, it is essential to demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of employees. To cultivate a corporate culture that encourages mutual support and trust, it is important to start from the top of the hierarchy, with senior management leading the way. To create a positive work environment, it is crucial to provide access to resources that can support employees both emotionally and physically.

The best way to identify these resources is by investing time in one-on-one conversations with employees, if possible, or with representatives of a group of employees with similar interests and functions. During these conversations, try to gain insight on:

  • The emotional state of employees in the office. Are they experiencing feelings of depression? Are there any aspects of the office environment or furniture that are causing discomfort?
  • Ways to improve the already positive aspects of the work environment. For example, does the company offer a buffet with healthy food options and snacks? Would providing a monthly fitness subscription or arranging for group training benefit staff?
  • The scope of necessary changes. How significant should the changes be?

By understanding the needs and concerns of employees, managers can take action to improve the workplace and support the well-being of their staff.

  1. Building Strong Manager-Employee Relationships By Listening

The business world is constantly evolving, and it is essential for managers to stay attuned to the needs and concerns of their employees. Whether it is a significant restructuring or a change to established procedures, these shifts can cause anxiety and disrupt the workplace. Even in the absence of changes, it is beneficial for managers to periodically check in with their employees to ensure that their well-being and development are a top priority. This helps to create a positive work environment before, during, and after any changes that may occur.


  1. Identifying and Resolving Workplace Issues

During regular check-ins with employees, managers may identify signs of stress related to the workplace. In such cases, it is important for managers to take action and address the issue. For example, if an employee is feeling overwhelmed due to excessive workload, managers can consider implementing a flexible work schedule or redistributing tasks. Managers can also work with the employee and the team to develop time management strategies and brainstorm solutions.


  1. Managing Boundaries in Manager-Employee Relationships

Just as it’s important for employees to maintain a balance between their personal and professional lives, managers should also establish boundaries in their relationships with employees. For example, if an employee is going through a difficult personal situation, it’s not the manager’s role to act as a therapist, instead, the manager should take a factual approach and focus on how the situation is impacting the employee’s work performance. By doing this, the manager can help the employee stay productive, avoid additional stress related to missed deadlines and failed projects while not getting overly involved in the employee’s personal issues.


  1. Avoiding Broken Promises in Manager-Employee Relationships

When encountering a problem, it’s important for managers to consider multiple perspectives and identify the root cause. After doing so, managers should focus on the things that they can control and think about how they can use them to help the employee. Instead of rushing to find a solution, managers should guide the employees in finding their own solution, as it helps them learn and grow. It’s not always best practice for the manager to solve the problem every time, as it doesn’t foster a constructive approach for either the employee or manager.


  1. Encouraging Positive Attitudes and Opportunities

As a manager, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude and encourage employees to take initiative and find solutions to business challenges or propose new ideas for projects. Reviewing standard procedures and policies and revising or suggesting alternatives can provide employees with the freedom to showcase their abilities and creativity. It’s important to foster a sense of leadership and responsibility among employees by helping them focus on their strengths and providing opportunities for growth and satisfaction.


  1. Providing Training and Preparation for Employees

When possible, provide employees with opportunities for additional training and coaching to acquire new skills or improve existing ones. This can help them better handle change and be more equipped to take on new roles or seek employment in different areas or organizations. By providing access to training and education, managers can help employees stay competitive and adapt to changing circumstances more easily.


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