Tense relationships between employees and managers can reduce the efficiency of your organization. A toxic environment of distrust and contention can choke communication channels and leave important tasks undone. Lingering problems between employees and managers can become expensive regarding lost productivity and sales. Bringing staff and managers together in the following five ways can rescue a company and give everyone involved a chance to move to the next level in performance and improve end results.
Fix Yourself First
Focusing only on the other party in a relationship won’t achieve lasting results. Managers and employees should work to become better team members. Managers that keep themselves in good physical and mental condition have the strength and agility needed to help their employees learn healthy relationship skills such as communication and trust.
Managers should lead by example. To earn trust, they must first trust others. Employees given goals to reach along with general guidelines for achievement can work together to deliver the results their company needs. Autonomy empowers employees by making them feel important and valued. It also opens the door to innovation by allowing employees to use their creativity to solve problems. Managers must learn flexibility so they can accept the solutions their employees create to complete their work. Managers with team building skills will empower individuals and teams learn to solve problems on their own. As a result, managers become mentors and advisors that spend more time managing their business than supervising employees.
Managers must help employees deal with change. In the business world, changes happen as companies react to market changes and competitive forces. Organizations must respond to regulatory and legal actions and make difficult decisions to maintain profitability. Employees that get set in their ways might have trouble changing their behavior quickly enough to meet the needs of their employer. Managers must prepare employees for change via communication and training. During periods of uncertainty and substantial change, managers must prepare themselves to listen to employees concerns with an open mind. Prompt responses to questions and candid discussions of situations that can involve bad news for some employees will help managers diffuse tension and earn respect. Employees need to have confidence that managers won’t deceive them or conceal the truth about the goings-on in the company.
Information provided by managers empowers employees to respond in ways that can benefit or protect themselves. Employers might at first not want to divulge information that could cause employees to begin searching for new jobs, but they do the right thing by allowing employees to make the best possible decisions.
Provide for Growth
Employers should give employees a clear path that leads to present and future success. Doing so will build employee loyalty and engagement that will reduce turnover and increase productivity. Preparation for future advancement requires training and education. Managers that encourage ongoing independent and organized learning improve their workforce while equipping employees for advancement. Managers can also provide mentoring opportunities by pairing experienced employees with the inexperienced to share knowledge and build continuity in the organization. Encouraging employees to form support networks of their own can also help boost individual and team performance.
Feeling like a worthless part of the rat race can drain the motivation from the workforce. Managers must consciously work to make employees feel appreciated by helping them understand the importance to the company and their role in its success. Managers should also express appreciation to employees for their work and recognize their accomplishments. Doing so will build a two-way channel of respect that will unify the company as it pursues its goals.
Bringing managers and employees together will improve the chance for their mutual success. The deliberate effort required to bring such unity requires patience and communication as well as a dedication to company goals and a recognition of the human needs and value of everyone involved.