10 Steps: Building a dynamic manager-employee relationship that works

A couple of days ago, just after publishing my post on “Next Generation Employee”, I was talking with Ms. Oana Cipca, Alumni Officer, Maastricht School of Management. Once again, she came up with a brilliant topic idea for my blog, “Manager-Employee Relationship”

Many of you will be amazed to know that, No #1 reason people leave their jobs is because of their managers. Yet, organizations often neglect to emphasize on this issue. Even many managers don’t even realize the importance of it.

We all know, customer is the most important thing when it comes to business for any company. But, companies should also realize that manager and employee relationship equally important as well. So, here’s my view towards building a successful manager and employee relationship that works.

Managers should be a role model

A manager should be a perfect mixture of a boss and a friend. He/She should not be rude or harsh to the subordinates.  If you are a manager and reading this right now, try to build your image in such a way that the employee looks up to you in future.

Managers should be accessible

I have heard from a few of my previous colleagues that, he/she is unable to reach or communicate with the respective manager. The outcome was nothing but frustration for the subordinates. It was because the manager had put himself in such a position that, his team members were unable to approach him. One way of delegation never brings good outcome in the long run. The managers should remove such invisible wall and must create an image that employees can liberty to walk up to their respective managers in case of a doubt and clear things.

Managers should communicate openly

Many times confusions among the team members arise when communication is done on a one to one basis between the manager and subordinates. If a manager wants to build an effective employee relationship, he/she should try to communicate in a transparent manner regarding what is expected out of them and what their colleagues are up to. It’s very crucial to hold open communication forum at least a month having all the team members on board.

Even more importantly, the manager should give feedbacks to the subordinates. It can be positive feedback; even it can be a negative feedback. But, without communicating the mistakes of the subordinates, the manager should not expect improvement in the work of the subordinate. Open communication about mistake and positive feedbacks will make the life of a manager easier without losing his/her ground.

Managers should get involved with the team members

Personal-Professional relationship can get works done faster than just having professional relationship. Managers should try to organize lunch out or evening out with all the team members in order to build a relationship outside the office. The point to be noted here is, a manager should not mix business meetings with a team lunch or team evening out. It should be a fun activity with the employees. A proper balance between professional and personal relationship between the employee and manager is the success recipe for success.

Managers should give empowerment

Empowering the subordinate is one major challenge faced by the managers. Well, in my view, it’s not only the manager to be pointed at. Empowering employees might require some time, as it depends on “Trust” factor between both the parties.  But, in many cases, many managers are unable to empower his/her subordinates even after working with them for a number of years. This type of relationships results in frustration for employees. Such type of managers should try to figure out the skills that the subordinate is strong in and should delegate the work that will communicate with the subordinate openly about the importance of the project.

Successful Manager Employee Relationship

Successful Manager Employee Relationship

Employees should understand the manager

It’s not the managers who should work to build a successful manager and subordinate relationship; rather subordinates should build and gain an understanding of the boss. A subordinate should learn to appreciate the manager’s goals and pressures as well as his/her strengths and weaknesses. An employee should try to figure out following question:

  • What are the pressures from the organization?
  • What are your boss’s long suits and blind spots?
  • What is his preferred style of working?
  • What’s his personal goal and objectives?

Employees should be a good supporter

Personally, I believe a subordinate should adjust his/her working styles in response to their manager’s preferred method of receiving information. Based on an article published in “timesjob”, “Peter Drucker divided Managers into “listeners” and “readers”. Some Managers like to get information in a report so that they can study it others like it better when information is presented to them so they can ask questions. So the implications are obvious (says Drucker) if your manager is a listener you brief him/ her in person then follow up with a memo. If your manager is a reader you convert important items in a memo and then discuss them. “

Employees should be a communicate openly

It’s not only the manager who should communicate openly; but also it’s the responsibility of the subordinates to communicate openly with the respective manager. If a subordinate’s faces problem or having dissatisfaction at the work place, he/she should communicate with the manager rationally. It’s the two way communication that builds a good manager-subordinate relationship.

Employees should manage expectation

Managing the expectation of the manager is definitely a skill that every subordinate should master. End of the day, the burden falls on the subordinate to find out what the manager’s expectations are. From day one, a subordinate should make clear him/herself that what his/her manager expects from him and it’s also important that the subordinate doesn’t give false hope. Otherwise, a manager might have high expectation from a subordinate, and unable to meet the expectation will result with nothing but negative score in the evaluation scorecard in the end of the year.

Employees should build dependability

Let’s be practical, No one is intentionally undependable. A commitment to an optimistic delivery date may please a superior in the short term but become a source of displeasure if not honored. It’s difficult for a manager to rely on a subordinate who frequently misses deadlines or unable to improve him/herself based on previously given feedbacks. Therefore, a subordinate should try to live up to his/her words and should learn to improve from feedbacks given by the manager.


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