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How to Cultivate Good Relationships with Employees

A group of 4 people in an office congratulating a man. Good relationships with employees

Are managers the reason why employees don’t seem to be as engaged as they should be? According to a Gallup study, this could very well be the case as it revealed that 85% of employees worldwide are not engaged or are actively disengaged in their job. The State of the Global Workplace study of 7,272 workers showed that one in two left their job because of a manager they didn’t get along with.

What is it that managers are doing that give their employees a favorable or non-favorable impression of them? Gallup asked respondents to rate their manager on behaviors related to communication, performance management and individual strengths. The study showed that employee engagement improved considerably when these behaviors were strong.

Here’s how managers can encourage engagement and cultivate good relationships with employees:
  1. Communicate
    All good relationships are based on strong communication, including those between managers and employees. The Gallup study found that consistent communication is connected to higher engagement. The study further found that engagement is highest among employees who have some form (face-to-face, phone, or digital) of daily communication with their managers. Managers who use a combination of these are the most successful in engaging employees. It’s not only work-related communications between managers and employees that employees value. Employees also want their managers to know what happens in their lives outside of work. The Gallup study revealed that employees who feel their manager is invested in them as people are more likely to be engaged.
  2. Motivate
    The best managers understand that each of their employees has different talents and skills. Each person has different successes and challenges both at and away from work. Great managers know their employees as people first. They accommodate their employees’ uniqueness while managing toward high performance. When performance management is done well, employees become more productive, profitable, and creative contributors, the poll found.
  3. Focus on Employees’ Strengths
    Focusing on strengths is a much better management tool than focusing on weaknesses, according to the Gallup poll. In a positive environment, employees produce more and better work, stay with their company longer, and are more engaged. When managers help employees grow and develop through their strengths, they are more than twice as likely to engage their team members. The best thing a manager can do for his or her employees is to give them jobs that let them to use their strengths, skills, knowledge, and talents.

If managers focus on these three areas, they will have good relationships with employees that are engaged and will work productively for the organization.