As we set out to build relationships with our people, it’s vital that there is every opportunity to make progress. And sometimes, you can be in the driving seat to make that happen…
Managers need the support of their people to build teams that will have positive impacts on the running of the business – and the outcomes that are necessary.
To make the most of this, good managers create valuable one-to-one relationships with as many employees as they can, such that rapport builds and creates win-win opportunities, where both sides get positive benefits from the interactions.
Where there is repair work to do – as new managers often find when they take on an existing team – perhaps where the previous manager has underperformed, the progress to rebuild trust can take a little time.
Employees who have suffered consequences of poor management relationships will by pretty shy when it comes down to exposing themselves to more painful experiences in the future.
So, this is when the manager really starts to earn their crust. Their efforts at this time will really need to demonstrate a changed workplace environment for the better, through the immaculate way they interact with their people.
There are many ways to rebuild relationships. There are ways to start them off too, but the key impact when things haven’t gone so well in the past is the white flag of peace to offer. Sometimes this can be enough for those forgiving types in your team.
Others will be less easy to turn around. They may be scarred more badly and will need real evidence of goodwill on your part, to accelerate the healing that will need to take place.
Managers can position themselves to make upfront gestures towards their people to more rapidly progress their collaborative input. Small actions to show their willingness to move relationships forwards are hugely valuable.
Be it a small gesture of thanks; an idea shared to help a learning need; simple trust building activities; remembering the name of an employee’s child; recognizing when they need to listen much more than speak.
Taking the first step to enhance a relationship with small gains for your people will quickly start the ball of a bond rolling. Once that happens, there are short-, medium- as well as long-terms gains to be enjoyed, on both sides.
The most interesting aspect of this is that although a manager is offering small gains to their people as a constructive activity to develop the relationship between them, make no doubt about it, this investment is one that will pay off over time for them too.
The key to building effective relationships is that both sides see benefits for themselves, whilst – and this is significant – allowing the outcomes to make the business more effective, efficient and organizationally valuable too.
So there are winners all the way round, just from a manager being prepared to stick their neck out and offer upfront value to a maligned bunch of employees.
And changing their views of the possibilities that can come from good management forever.