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.

Next-Generation Employee: Time to step up !!

Nice title isn’t it?

Last Sunday, after my post regarding “Knowledge Sharing”, one of my very good friends , Alumni affairs officer from my school Maastricht School of Management, Ms. Oana Cipca was discussing about HR culture and knowledge sharing and she requested me to write a post on “Next-Gen employee”, how to be one? What are the characteristics of a new-Gen employee?

It was really inspiring to see and hear from my colleagues and friends suggesting from new posts. So without further ado, after office hours I took my time to read latest articles on HR and clubbed it with my personal view, I started writing about it.

You must be wondering, what do I mean by New-Gen employee? Is it just the age of an employee we are talking about or something else? In my personal opinion the definition of a new-Gen employee or a new-Gen employee should possess the following characteristics:


Gone are the days when you wait for your Manager to tell you what to do, how to do. But, it doesn’t mean that managers will just expect miracles from their subordinates. Managers have to explain what they want out of your KPI, now it’s the employees’ responsibility to think outside of the box and come up with things rather than sit and wait until things come to them. In a nutshell, a next-gen employee has to be proactive rather than reactive.

Works Smart

Nothing can replace hard work. Working hard still the main soul behind success. But, working smart will make life easy for the employee and at the same success will be glorified even more. How can you do that? Simple, with the use of technology, by being organized, disciplined. Don’t waste time looking for files or documents, take a day off and organize everything, sync it using cloud solutions like Dropbox, skydrive between your computer and Smartphones. Instead of starting to work, give yourself 10 mins and sit with classic pencil and paper, and make a mind map. Trust me, this will make your output better than you expect and quicker. Try it?

Active Social Media Presence

Many of you, who is reading my blog right now, came to know about this post either via Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter or Xing. Why am I saying that? Just to show you the power of social media. Just by using it as a tool, I have redirected you to my blog.  Well, that’s just a simple example. What do I mean by being actively present in social media is, If you don’t have an account in professional sites like LinkedIn or Xing, then you better open one today. And secondly, if you have an account already, keep it up-to-date. It’s very important to keep your professional profiles up-to-date, because it indirectly displays your professional characteristics. So, once you read my blog, please go ahead and sharpen up your profile Today.

Enjoys work

Don’t work like a robot !! We are human beings, not machines. Your workplace might be boring but you are the one who has to take the initiative to make it enjoyable.  Take the first step; and organize a small team out on a Friday evening for an hour, don’t wait for your colleague. Make it a fun environment to work, if music motivates you, listen to music while working. There’s many more ways to make your job enjoyable, so what are you waiting for? Let’s make Monday, Funday and Happy employee always bring the best result.

Always goes the extra mile

To be a next-gen employee you have to have the stamina to do outstanding work, push it to the next level.  If you want to be great at what you do and be appreciated by your manager look for innovative ways to outdo yourself. You have to be the best you can be. As said by “Yun Siang Long”, “Even if perfection is elusive, go out and get it. Even if you fall short of perfection, your near perfect would have pushed you further than you would have thought possible.” Most importantly, NEVER STOP Learning. You may be 50+ yrs old, but it doesn’t mean you should give up. Rather, push yourself and get acquainted with the use of latest software’s, online media etc.


Characterestics of a Next Generation Employee

3P(s) – Plan, Prepare and Process

The formula is simple: Plan ahead of time, don’t wait for the last moment. Be ready before your deadline (give yourself room to breathe). Last minute works are never a perfect and quality work. And go from step by step, don’t try to do everything at the same time, do it in a disciplined manner. If you follow 3P(s), your every project will be best project.

Be Positive

There’s two ways of living life (according to me). One is to, Complain about life. i.e. being negative and another way is to, stop complaining and to face the problem and solving it, i.e. Being positive. Once I read somewhere, “God never gave any problem without solution”. So, why worry? Start a day with a mission to contribute positively towards your job and life. Make a short achievable list to do things. Most importantly, reward yourself end of the week for achieving all the to do list. I personally do that, and it works like a miracle for me.

Dissentive voice

A next-gen employee is not the one who complies to every rule. In an organization or your manager may not make the right decisions from time to time, and this is when a next-gen employee comes in and dares to challenge the norm and question authority and becomes an asset. I am not asking you to be a rebel or a troublemaker. Be logical; don’t just raise your voice because you want to. Rather, back your voice with practical, rational and provable justifications. If your dissenting voice is for the greater good of the organization will eventually earn everyone’s respect and trust.

Excellent people skills

Once my previous manager, Head of Customer Acquisition of Airtel Bangladesh Limited, Raihan Islam told me, Amit, instead of sending email, go and have a cup of coffee with your colleagues in the cafeteria, or just pick up the phone and talk with them, you will get your job done from them faster than you could ever imagine”.  And it worked like a magic. Me and my team, we got works done and received deliverables from different departments so quick that other teams started asking us how we did that. Try it, build a personal relationship rather than just a professional relationship with your colleagues.

Knowledge Sharing

A next-gen employee is a person who believes in sharing knowledge. Now, I am not going to write about what knowledge sharing is (again). If you want to know about it, please click on this “Knowledge sharing”.

Now, my dear readers, thank you for reading, and please feel free to write comments if you think, there’s any characteristics also should be included. Keep on sharing and drop me a line, if you want to learn more about any specific topic.