Employees are like cogs in a well-oiled machine. If one doesn’t do its job or goes missing, it could spell disaster for both you and your business. That’s why you need to build (and keep) healthy work relations with your employees. Not only will it help you grow your business, but it will also help foster a positive work environment.
Improving your relationship with your employees is like any other relationship. It’s a slow and steady process that requires time, empathy, communication, and, most of all, effort. When employees feel like they’re being cared for, they are more likely to stay in the company and be motivated to do their best. This sounds difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.
Manager vs. Leader
The first step to improving employee relations is starting with yourself. Are you a manager, or are you a leader? Managers generally have a hard set of rules. They want employees to follow and want things done a certain way. They control, organize, and look to solve problems as quickly as possible, no matter what the cost. On the other hand, leaders know how to influence and inspire others and embrace each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. They take risks and innovate by finding different ways to move forward.
However, you can’t be one or the other. You must learn to balance both to become an efficient boss. To influence and motivate others, you have to build good relationships with the people you want to influence.
Utilize these strategies to develop work relations and empower your employees:
Employees want to be treated like people, not machines. At a time when the current global situation has many people struggling, it’s important to let your team know that you care about them. You don’t have to be their best friend, but it helps to be genuinely interested in their personal lives to an extent. Ask them about their weekend, hobbies, interests, and even families. They’ll appreciate the time you’re taking to know them better, and they’ll feel more motivated knowing that the company they’re working for cares about its employees.
Prioritize Work-Life Balance
91% of Filipino employees highly value work-life balance.
Help your employees achieve work-life balance by introducing policies that let them live balanced lives outside of work hours, especially for employees working from home. These include paid vacation and sick leaves, flexible working hours, and even company-sponsored team and family activities. One good practice to have is a policy where no employee should be working or talking about work during meal breaks. This will allow employees to take a proper break from work and connect. Having lunch with your employees is also a good way to increase your rapport with them.
Improve Employee Benefits
There are many potential options to include in these packages, like paid time-offs, free meals or snacks in the break room, paid gym memberships, or even group life insurance. Depending on your budget, improve on your employee benefits packages and make your employees feel that they are well taken care of and that you are concerned about their financial security.
It’s also essential that you take time to clearly communicate these benefits to your employees and be willing to listen to their suggestions. Create an environment where these employee benefits are the norm, increasing employee morale and loyalty.
If an employee asks for your feedback on their work, be honest, and give constructive criticism. Telling your employee “good job” or “that’s wrong” doesn’t help as it doesn’t give the employee any information as to what they did right or wrong. When you’re more specific about what you liked about their work or what they can improve on, they will know what they should avoid or continue doing in future projects.
Another way to be transparent in the workplace is to promote written forms of communication like e-mails to avoid any miscommunication or leaving out employees. Ensure everyone is included in the mailing list regarding ongoing and future projects, agendas, meetings, and any important issues.
Effective communication strategies like these will ensure smoother processes, fewer misunderstandings, and better workflow.
When you do good work and it gets recognized, you feel good, and the same goes for your employees. Gallup cites that one of the major reasons that people leave their jobs is lack of recognition. If you want to retain your employees and keep them motivated to do good work, show your appreciation for their job well done.
A simple “thank you” will go a long way, but if your company’s budget permits, try adding an incentive or rewards program whenever an employee goes above and beyond in accomplishing the job. This will motivate your employees to do better, but they will be more likely to take the initiative to solve problems in innovative ways.
With these tips in mind, you can create a positive work environment with empowered employees who feel like they are making a difference in your business.