Employee Relationship Management: Are You Breaking or Building Relationships?

Employee relationship management takes intention and effort, but it pays off.

The workplace retains a central role in many people’s lives.  With the average person spending more time at work than on any other daily activity, it is vital that individuals within any organization feel connected and supported by peers, subordinates, and leaders.  ~ Positive Psychology

During these exceptional times when many people are working remotely, maintaining good working relationships with staff members takes more effort.  As we don’t have the luxury of stopping by an office to check in, we have to be more intentional about the ways we develop (or diminish) connection with staff.

Relationships are at the core of productivity and success for any business or organization. The more care and attention that is given to any type of relationship that impacts work, the more likely it is to yield positive results for the entire team and company.  ~Entrepreneur

Here are tips for creating, developing, and maintaining positive working relationships with staff members:

*Notice:  Be Self-Aware and Socially Aware

  1. What’s Your State of Mind Before Engaging Communication
  2. Are you distracted?
  3. What are you thinking about the person (positive, neutral, negative)?
  4. What might be getting in the way of being fully present with the person?

Take a few moments to reflect on the person before the call – what are their strength and positive attributes?  Doing so sets up your willingness to be in the receptive mode and it shapes the lens through which you hear the other person.

  • How Are You Showing Up During the Communication?
  • What impact are you having on the other person?
  • How is he/she responding to you?
  • Are you listening to respond or setting aside your agenda to listen fully?
  • Reflect back what he or she is saying (to their satisfaction, not yours)

People want to feel heard, valued, understood (even if you don’t agree with their viewpoint). If nothing else, this will support positive employee relationship management.

*Responsible:  Be Proactive and Accountable

  1. You’re the Boss – Be the Boss and Take the Lead
  2. Don’t let employees wait to come to you, reach out to them to check in
  3. Regularly scheduled check-in calls (audio or video) can be brief, 15 minutes
  4. When you make the effort to connect, it sends the message to them that they are valued
  5. Ask them for feedback on how you’re doing as a boss… and be open to accept it (good or otherwise)
  6. Make the ask:  what do they need right now to be more successful, to feel more connected?
  • Empathy Goes a Long Way
  • You aren’t walking in their shoes, so you don’t know fully what’s happening in their lives
  • Withhold any tendency to judge them, they’re managing a life that looks different from yours (e.g., kids attending school from home, a spouse also working from home, concern for their parents in the midst of this pandemic, perhaps a feeling of isolation)

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.  ~ Maya Angelou

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