Do you need to work on boss-employee relations?

Published 10:50 pm Friday, September 1, 2017

The relationship between boss and employee is important to company productivity and success. Relationships are built on trust and can grow over time. A good relationship built on understanding can make the employee and manager more efficient. A poor relationship that lacks cohesiveness will dampen productivity and have a negative effect not only on the manager and employee but also the company as a whole.

Following are traits of great leaders that foster successful relationships.

1. Teamwork — Both the manager and employee have responsibility to make the relationship effective. Commitment to teamwork is essential. A team is made up of people with different talents and abilities that complement each other.

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2. Mentoring — Ensuring the type of leadership that adheres to the company’s vision and culture is a manager’s responsibility. Career guidance and development, training are all a part of the mentor’s position. Be a role model.

3. Communication — Communicating upward and downward on a regular and consistent basis is essential. Providing feedback and evaluations on performance with follow up ensures a fruitful and growing relationship.

4. Integrity — Display rock solid integrity by keeping your commitments and promises. Walk the walk to back up the talk. This is a fundamental value in all relationships.

5. Cooperation — Set the example of working together to unite employees in a common purpose.  Focus on competing with your competition in the business instead of competing with others internally.

6. Coaching and teaching — Helping others develop through providing opportunities for training, cross-training, learning new skills will pay off for the employee and business. Be a coach for the team members.

7. Inspiration — Painting a picture of how things will be better is the best kind of inspiration a leader can provide. The best bosses don’t just push employees, even though that is a necessary part of management in specific circumstances. They also are effective at rolling up their sleeves and pitching in with the team when needed.

8. Have a vision — Being future focused in involving employees so they also clearly understand where the team is going and how they will get there sets up more teamwork. Without inclusiveness employees will get frustrated and become dissatisfied. It is the manager’s responsibility to communicate goals, objectives and vision.

9. Acknowledge employee contributions — Listen to employees’ feedback and recognize them for their contributions. Taking their ideas will do more for the team effort and reaching the team’s goals than anything else.

10. Set the example to make changes — There is correlation between a leader’s likability and the extent to which they can ask for and take action to make needed change. Utilizing employees’ feedback to make improvements in products and services results in being successful in making positive changes.

Manager-subordinate relationships take work. They are like any other relationships that require understanding and appreciation of each other and their roles. 

An appreciation of each other on a daily basis positively affects interactions that impact the entire team. 

It is possible to be an effective manager and also be likable at the same time. It is said that it is “no personality contest” and that may be true, however you don’t have to be a jerk to be the boss. 

Be positive, enthusiastic and optimistic. It will pay dividends for the entire staff and the company as a whole.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing