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Managing the Manager/Employee Relationship

By August 8, 2022August 15th, 2022No Comments

Given that 57% of workers say they have quit a job because of a bad boss, a focus on effective communication in the workplace as a retention strategy can have a broad impact.

The relationship between a manager and an employee is unique, and it needs to be mutually beneficial and managed daily. Understanding each other’s communication preferences and earning a boss’s respect with stellar work will improve the employee’s chances for accolades, raises, and internal promotions and help put the overall relationship on solid ground.

A few tips for working toward a mutually beneficial relationship between manager and employee are:

Aligning goals

Managers and employees should be working toward the same goals. The micro-decisions employees make daily will either ensure they are on the right path or derail them. Having regular meetings will help ensure that priorities are in line.

Knowing what, how, and when

Clarifying details and due dates will prevent ambiguity. Redoing work isn’t fun for anyone, and it usually costs the company time and money. Being proactive is great. Employees should have all the details needed for a project before they dive in.

Being open to feedback

Encourage a feedback loop that is an ongoing versus the annual review process that often occurs in organizations. Removing emotions and focusing on what is being communicated can help create a regular cadence, with space for both people to deliver feedback.

Exceeding expectations

Encourage and celebrate proactivity. Providing clear context around goals and empowering employees to act creates an environment where expectations can be exceeded. Employees will seek to do what needs to be done without being asked by their manager.

Keeping each other informed

Communicate early and often. Managers do not like to be blindsided and employees like to know the part they are playing in the overall organizational mission. If employees are struggling or at risk of missing a deadline, bringing a manager into the loop as soon as possible and working together goes a long way toward building trust. Likewise, if priorities shift, keeping an employee informed so their daily work can be adjusted builds trust in the relationship.

Recognizing that everyone is human

Think “How can I help?” not “What is your problem?” Recognize that there may be something else going on. Often, people who are seen as not offering enough information, being absent-minded, or inconsistent, may in fact, be super stressed and dealing with unseen issues they may be unable to share. A simple shift in mind-set can strengthen relationships more than you know.

Don’t forget that employees are also watching how you are taking care of employees being laid off.


501 offers members complimentary reemployment coaching packages, through NextJob, to help your laid off employees land jobs much more quickly. Contact us for more information on job search packages.

(Image by Olivier-le-moal from Freepik)

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