Employer-employee relationships are a tricky thing. And no, I don’t mean romantic relationships; I mean professional relationships between a boss and his or her employees.
There is fine line that needs to be held between being the friend of your employee and being his or her boss. If you appear to friendly to your employee, they are likely not to view you as a serious boss or someone in a position of authority and they won’t listen to your or your instructions.
If you aren’t friendly enough, they are likely to view you are a stubborn, hard-lined boss who doesn’t care about them and only views them as a tool for the company.
Both of these cases are needless extremes that can be resolved with a little bit of effort on the parts of the employee and employer. Let’s take a look at how we can cross this bridge.
Step One: Make Your Employees Care
The first, and probably most important step to having a good relationship with your employees is to make them care about what they are doing. Make it feel important and make them feel relevant and needed.
Chances are, if an employee doesn’t care about their job or they see no value in what they do, they aren’t going to do their best work.
So, make them care about their job. Show them the value of the product or service that you are producing. This is the most important single step.
Step Two: Proper Training
The next step is to train their immediate supervisors properly. In many companies, the most hated group of people are middle management. These are the people that have to do a lot of the dirty work outsourced by upper management, but the employees don’t necessarily know that or care about it.
So, these people need proper training on how to deal with their employees. You might recommend some type of train the trainer program for them or encourage them to get certified in corporate training.
These are all incentive-led programs that will enable them to pursue more on their own and not feel coerced into doing something by the company. It is important for people to feel that they are leading a ship.
Step Three: Have Team Building Sessions
Whoever your company’s facilitation director is, have them plan up team building sessions throughout each quarter. These are great ways to build up morale among your employees; plus, it gives different departments a chance to interact with one another.
I can’t tell you how many places I have been to whose department operate like completely siloed companies. They never talked to anyone in any other department and they have no knowledge of what was going on elsewhere in the company.
That is not good for efficiency and leads to a lot of lost productivity.
With those three steps, you should be able to get a good start on your employer-employee relationship. After you try these, you can try some kind of office wide training clinic that brings in management, employees, office staff, etc.
Create an event that encourages dialogue and involved learning for everyone. That way, the employees don’t always feel as if they are being talked at, but rather they are talking with you.