There can be much more to a business than the work that gets done there. Often, one of the most important factors in developing a successful business is ensuring that you have a strong relationship with your employees. Not only can having a solid relationship with employees create a more pleasant work environment, but it can have a positive impact on productivity, and the overall success of the company, too. If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your relationships with your employees, here are some things you should try.
1. Make Their Workplace Work for Them
One of the simplest ways you can help build your relationship on a strong foundation is by creating a workplace that makes sense for them, and enables them to do their job to the best of their ability. What this entails can depend greatly on what your business is. For a business that involves factory work, for example, having a clean, safe work environment can be what’s most important to your employees. On the other hand, for an office setting, different kinds of software, like construction scheduling software may be the most beneficial. Either way, making sure that your employees have the tools they need to do their job well can be a good first step in building your relationship with them. They’ll learn to trust you because you’re giving them the necessary tools to do their jobs well rather than leaving them in the dark.
2. Be Respectful
Once you have ensured that your employees have what they need to be comfortable and do their job well, it’s time to focus on how you communicate with them. By making a point to be respectful toward your employees and their opinions, no matter what the situation, you can help build rapport. When you show respect toward them, they will be much more likely to show respect towards you. Even if they aren’t respectful towards you, showing respect towards all employees at all times will set a good example and show that you take your role as a leader seriously. Part of being a good manager is maintaining your cool in different types of situations. Even if an employee is lashing out at you or criticizing your management style, make sure you stay calm and collected as opposed to overreacting. Your upset employee will respect you more this way and you’ll look level-headed and intelligent to the rest of your employees. And finally, on that note, remember to take criticism seriously and professionally rather than personally. If your employees complain about you or a certain policy, take it seriously and see what you can do to improve their situation. Really put yourself in their shoes and come up with a viable solution that can fit their needs, yours, and the company.
3. Keep Things Positive
In addition to being respectful, patient, and mindful, it is also important to keep things positive, no matter what the situation is or how you feel inside. While it may be easy to keep an upbeat attitude when things are going well in the workplace, it can be even more important that you stay positive when things get difficult. This can be particularly true if an employee has made a mistake or if an employee had to deal with an angry customer. By making a point to look on the bright side no matter what is going on, and being positive with employees even when they mess up or had to go through a stressful or unpleasant situation, you can show them that you won’t let small setbacks hurt morale, as well as set a good example for how to handle difficulties in the workplace.
4. Give Them Autonomy
Along with being respectful and positive in your relations with employees, it can also be important to show them that you trust them. One way to do this is by giving them autonomy whenever possible. By letting them make some of their own decisions, you can show them that you trust them and their judgement, and that you believe that they can handle the responsibility of managing themselves. Not only can this help build trust, but letting them take care of certain tasks and projects on their own will help them build more skills and become more valuable employees, too. When employees feel micromanaged, they feel as if they’re not trusted and capable. However, when you let your employees do things on their own and take a certain amount of initiative, they feel comfortable around you and appreciated.
5. Listen To Their Feedback
While what you say to employees is important, how you listen to them is important for maintaining a good relationship, as well. If you don’t take time to actively listen to your employees and their feedback, they may get the feeling that you don’t genuinely value them, their opinions, or the work they do. Whatever it is that you are talking about, taking time to listen well to their feedback can make a world of difference for your relationship with them, and can show them that what they have to say matters to you. For instance, you could set up a weekly or monthly meeting with your employees where they could openly voice their concerns without criticism and you could come up with solutions to their problems. Or you could make this process more anonymous and have your employees submit a weekly or monthly survey on how they think their work process or your management style can be improved.
6. Show Your Appreciation
Along with listening to your employees, finding ways to show them how appreciated they are from time to time is another good way to ensure that you are building a good relationship with them. Showing them appreciation can take many forms, from stopping and taking some time out of your day to say thank you to an employee that has gone above and beyond lately, to throwing parties for the whole office when a significant goal has been reached. In the end, sometimes the way that you show appreciation is not as important as simply making sure that you do it. By simply having regular and day-to-day conversations with every individual employee and checking up on their personal lives can have a big impact on how they perceive you. By taking an interest in their personal lives, you are letting your employees know that you actually care about them as an individual and not as a replaceable worker. By having regular, friendly, and casual conversations with them, it’ll also help your employees biome friends with you rather than viewing you as their difficult, overbearing boss. Rather, they will view you as a respectful friend and have a desire to be a good, hardworking employee.
The Bottom Line
There’s more to a business than the work that gets done there. Your employees, and your relationship with them, can have an impact not only on the workplace environment but also on the overall success of the business. By making sure that you are respectful towards your employees, take the time to listen to them, and show that you appreciate their hard work, you can help to build the healthy relationships that your company needs to grow.