Building Successful Relationships with EmployeesNatalie Lewis
Managing employees can be frustrating at times but also incredibly rewarding when you’re all working to the same vision.
I often get calls from business owners and managers asking me to ‘get rid’ of an annoying person in their business or team. Whilst I can certainly help with that process, it can be really time-consuming and damaging to the business.
I’d like to help prevent you getting to the end of your tether by providing you with a different perspective… So if you’re currently struggling with one or more frustrating employees or you want to improve your relationships with employees (and others), read on…
Everyone talks about this thing called “relationship”, right?
When you encounter a struggle such as your employees don’t follow your instructions or they disappoint you by not turning up, taking a sick day, spend all day texting or chatting on Facebook etc. all you hear from coaches and HR people is that “you need to develop a better relationship with your employees”. As if you don’t feel stressed enough already!
The struggle might be your employees not applying attention to detail, not following instructions, forgetting to fill in that form, being more brusque than usual with a client on the phone, forgetting to do a task that you set them earlier in the week etc.
The truth is…
…these are all perfectly normal everyday management struggles!
Relationship is the bridge between the specific training, tasks and goals that you give to your employees and the real world choices they have to make day-in-day-out in REAL life.
It’s the special cement between the individual building blocks that create that strong structure, usually built on shared values and the company culture.
So how do we develop relationships? How do we BOOST relationships?
Let’s consider ‘relationship’ like a bank account, one that you can pay into or withdraw from. The healthier the balance in the account, the healthier your relationship.
Increase positive interactions with your employees – like giving positive recognition, providing training and experiences, saying thank you, giving regular feedback and even giving them treats like pizza on a Friday. All these pay into that all-important account.
Decrease negative interactions with your employees – poorly timed feedback or criticism, frustration with processes or systems, upset, anxiety, disappointment, intimidation (like a dressing down in front of others), lack of recognition. All these withdraw from the account and make the relationship weaker and can damage it.
Very simply, the key is to purposefully and thoughtfully increase the positive interactions, making sure they outweigh any negative interactions and also reduce the negative interactions (whether for you and/or your employees)!
Keeping track of this and considering your relationship objectively allows you to avoid those frustrating moments.
If your relationship bank balance is already low, start by slowly feeding the balance with positive interactions (without overwhelming the recipient and coming across as insincere). Say ‘thank you’ more often. Pick up on small things that were done well and give recognition. Take some sweet treats (or go healthy if that’s your culture) into the office to boost morale. Ask people how their day’s going and genuinely listen to their answer.
Consider the negative interactions you have with your employees and consider how you can minimise these. As with any change in behaviour, it’ll take time and practice and your employees will need time to get used to this new way. But with perseverance, you’ll find some amazing transformations. If you’ve tried this method and you can genuinely, hand on heart, say that you’ve given your best go but you still have a troublesome employee then give me a call on 020 8798 3470 and we can discuss an exit plan!