What do your best and worst jobs have in common?
The environment is often a product of whom you worked under – your manager.
It’s truly hard to find a great manager these days. Often, leaders land their positions simply because they were high performers in their previous roles. But this also leaves the question of whether they have the right people skills to manage and lead a team.
Sending new leaders to the deep end with limited training and resources will only result in unrealistic expectations, micromanagement, poor communication, and conflict. Without the skills or incentives to focus on employee management, this phenomenon typically results in disengaged and unhappy teams.
The State of Manager-Employee Relationships Today
A McKinsey study points out that for most employees, their relationship with management was the leading factor in job satisfaction. After mental health, it is also the second most important aspect that determines their overall well-being.
The same study also found that most employees deem their managers to be less than ideal. 75% of participants claimed that dealing with their immediate superior was the most stressful part of their jobs. Other studies backed up these sentiments, with 57% of employees choosing to leave their positions because of their managers and 32% seriously considering following suit.
The reality is that managers rarely have the opportunity to cultivate a positive work culture and environment because they simply cannot due to their workloads, lack the proper know-how and training, or both. More often than not, they are swept off their feet by their deliverables, meaning they have little to no time to spare on the people aspect of their job. Last but not least, most generally have no idea where to begin and thus only dabble or outright never do.
Steps To Bolster Your Manager-Employee Relationships
Nothing of value can ever be achieved if one fails to understand another. Hence, enhancing communication is ultimately the first step to better manager-employee relationships. Encouraging managers to seek ways on how they can more effectively and frequently communicate with their teams will guide them towards the clarity and confidence they need.
A few questions to consider are:
- What sort of questions do you ask your teams?
- What is your tone when interacting with them?
- How do you determine the root cause of your team’s dissatisfaction or disengagement?
Creating productive and engaged teams requires leaders to understand what makes their members tick, motivated, and need to perform better. Sincerely asking the above questions and making it known that the purpose is to improve the members’ working lives will make employees more receptive and honest with their critique.
Consistent and Timely Follow-Ups
Having the confidence to follow through with feedback is critical, which entails upper management empowering leaders to take action in their teams. Putting off addressing input for too long can further endanger employee-manager relationships. After they open up about their challenges, employees need to see something being done about them sooner than later. Consistent and timely action benefits the working relationship between the two parties as well as makes a big difference in performance, provided the insights and data are acted on quickly.
Although the two steps mentioned are undoubtedly vital, it is also important to ensure that managers have the right knowledge and skills to take action. The best, quickest, and most effective way to equip them with these requirements is through leadership development training that nurtures them into becoming more efficient and effective leaders.
Gaining strengths-based leadership skills and the know-how to be confident, meet the needs of their team, and create an environment where they can flourish are just the tip of the iceberg of what they can get out of our StrengthsFinder workshop for leadership development training in Singapore and across Asia.
Although highly challenging, completely transforming the approach and conduct of your management team and creating an environment where they feel empowered and properly engage their own teams can significantly boost morale, performance, and engagement. Hopefully, with the steps above, you now have a better idea of how to improve your organisation’s manager-employee relationships for the better.
At StrengthsAsia, you can rest assured that we will go above and beyond to assist you and your managers in improving their manager-employee relationships and becoming stronger leaders overall. Our development programs and workshops also provide employee engagement training in Singapore and across Asia to optimise the skills of employees. This ensures that they are better equipped to face the many obstacles toward their path to success. To learn more about StrengthsAsia and the courses we offer, you can reach out to us here.