What makes a company successful? I’ve heard it all! Sales profit, good marketing, creativity, vision and even an attractive slogan. But the underlining factor behind all of this, the thing that makes all of this possible, is employer-employee relationships.
And why? Because a company is only as good as its workforce. Strong rapport can lead to greater employee happiness which inevitably leads to business happiness and success.
There are things an employer can do in order to maintain, motivate and develop a healthy relationship with its human capital. Here are a few of them:
Let’s face it, when you are spending 8 hours a day with the same colleagues, it’s not really their experiences or education that will determine what type of relationships you will have with them…it’s their personalities!
Let’s begin with the more ethical issues, in other words, the moral obligations. This can be anything from protecting the welfare of employees, to treating them respectfully, providing good working conditions and not abusing their power or discriminating against them.
Of course loyalty goes both ways. Employees should practice professionalism as well, whether it be using their work time effectively, giving notice before leaving or respecting confidentiality agreements. Healthy relationships are a two way street.
I always say the first step is knowing! When you are able to detect the strengths of your colleagues, what comes natural to them, as well as areas where they may be going against the grain, you can begin to align tasks and responsibilities according to these talents. In essence, they will be happier in what they are doing, and ultimately more successful.
A healthy employer-employee relationship begins when you recognize the other person’s strong points and give them opportunities to utilize these strengths. Not only are you creating awareness but also an appreciation for how that person is built. Conversely, knowing what your own strengths are, and discovering the commonalities and differences between you can create an “ah-ha” moment where both parties begin understanding each other’s natural reflexes.
The age-old question: “How can I motivate my employees?” is one that has probably been asked by every single manager out there. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if there was a single direct answer to that question? Unfortunately, as many managers can tell you, there isn’t.
Motivating them the way they need to be motivated
On top of knowing each other’s strengths, “employee-manager collaboration” can drastically be improved when we know how to motivate someone. And what’s even more fundamental, is becoming conscious that what motivates you may not necessarily motivate the other person.
For example, let’s say as an employer, you like competition, beating records and being the best. You are motivated by numbers, ranking and being measured in your work, but your employee is more concerned with maintaining a pleasant work environment, just wants to implicate others in the processes and will even go as far as putting his own work aside to help colleagues. What you might not realize is that putting him in direct competition with others is likely to do nothing but de-motivate that employee.
You might think you are encouraging him by posting a list of top 10 sales advisers in the office when you are actually discouraging him. His motivation is centered on being of service, mutual help and teamwork. As his employer, you need to motivate him with altruistic challenges…it may not be what fires you up, but it can certainly help that employee shine.
Being sensitive to their emotional state
I’ve seen it all too many times: An employer and employee bumping heads because there is a lack of sensitivity somewhere. When people are very resistant to criticism, they sometimes assume that everyone around them are as bullet proof as they are, and as a result, they don’t always choose their words carefully or give the more sensitive people the empathy they need.
There are questions you need to ask yourself. Would it take your employees less or more time to recover from a stressful situation than you would think? Are they receiving the encouragement they need? Do they need that extra pat on the back every now and then?
Maintaining a pleasant employer-employee relationship requires knowing each other’s resistance to stress and sensitivity levels in order to communicate feedback more effectively. Basically it’s all about approaching someone the way they need to be approached in order to bring out the best in them.
Let’s face it: there are certain coworkers who we have more professional affinities with than others, and whom we prefer to work with. Precisely, collaboration problems create serious waste of time and energy and can lead to conflict.
Knowing your management style
When it comes to managing a workforce, employers would gain by understanding what type of management style they are inclined to use and if this method is aligned with the needs of their employees.
For instance, an employer who demonstrates a very directive style has the controlling and dominating temperament it takes to manage a team of tough workers that need someone to put their foot down and give orders. Great! But what if this person was faced with employees that needed more hand holding and support?
You can quickly see how one’s management tendencies can be a mismatch with the needs of their personnel. How do we close this gap? I will repeat my previous statement: The first step is knowing. Understanding your natural reflexes, understanding what comes less spontaneously to you, developing ways to actualize in certain areas when you know you have to handle an employee that is built very differently from you.
Employer-employee relationships are not always easy, but the minute you start investing a bit of time in them, the benefits can have a ripple effect throughout the organization.