Perhaps you long for a healthy relationship with your employer. Or maybe the thought of a tighter relationship with your boss is the last thing you want.
However you feel, a good employee/employer relationship doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be best friends. It simply means you work well together and share a mutual respect. Here are six ways to achieve that perfect balance.
1. Practice open communication
It’s not uncommon for an employee to believe it’s inappropriate or even impossible to approach his or her employer with a complaint or problem, particularly when that complaint or problem relates to the boss. Open communication is the key to a good relationship between employers and employees, however.
Your employees should be able to approach you with respect to discuss the concerns they have regarding anything at work. Your job is to listen without judgment or a predetermined opinion and work with your employee(s) to create a solution to any issue that arises.
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2. Practice expressing gratitude at the office
Your employees probably treat you with respect by using good manners and gratitude, but many employers forget to do the same. Simply because your employees are paid to do their jobs doesn’t mean you are exempt from appreciating their work.
When an employee does a good job, thank the person. When he or she goes above and beyond, express recognition of the fact. Gratitude goes a long way toward improving the relationship between employers and employees.
3. Be friendly without being invasive
Nothing makes an employee feel quite as nervous or put off as an employer who wants to be everyone’s best friend. By keeping in mind that your employees are not your best friends, you should remember that being friendly is a must but being nosy is not.
One way to gain the trust of your employees without scaring them off, and thus improve your relationship, is to let them take the lead when it comes to personal matters. When you try to be too involved in their personal lives, it confuses them.
It’s fine to ask about their children if they bring them up; otherwise, stick to business.
4. Build trust
You cannot have a good relationship with your employees if you don’t build trust. One way to start is to do something kind, such as make it a policy to provide lunch for your employees on Fridays, or to close the office at 3 instead of 5 on Fridays.
This starts your employees off feeling they can trust you. However, you must maintain that trust at all times if you want to keep your relationship in a good place. This means being honest and upfront at all times.
5. Offer bonuses
Nothing makes an employee feel more loyal or comfortable with their employer than being offered incentives such as a cash bonus or a vacation bonus for being productive. It shows your employees that you value their hard work, and their hard work shows you that they value the company.
6. Find out what needs improvement
An anonymous survey of your employees is a great start to improving your relationship. By allowing them to anonymously tell you what’s in need of work, what they dislike, and what they feel needs improvement, you are listening.
By taking their advice and implementing change that responds to their input, you prove to them that you want to improve inter-office relationships.
Good employer-employee relationships are not difficult to build, and they only benefit the office. When your employees feel they have a good relationship with you, they’re less likely to disappoint you, make mistakes, or become disloyal to your company. All you have to do to achieve this is to ask where you need to start.