What’s The Best Way To Manage Employee Relations?

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Managing a team is a double challenge. You manage people and you manage objectives. The distinction between the two exists only in theory. You’re never able to completely separate the two.

Working with people is messy business. Personality traits, emotions, abilities, behavior, actions, you can’t separate them and come up with an algorithm into managing relations. However, a bit of structure always helps.

Employee relations are a key element of workplace happiness and employee engagement. People thrive when they have a social support system and that goes for their working environment too.

TYPES OF EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

VERTICAL RELATIONSHIPS

We’re talking about employer-employee relations, or better yet manager-team member relations. They’re often classified as a sensitive topic because, sometimes, human nature contradicts clearly established HR rules.

As a manager, you want to know where you stand with your team and you’re open to receiving feedback.  But, sometimes, having a team member disagree with an action you took might put a knot in your neck/keyboard. It’s human nature to have all these emotions interfere with our rational interaction rules.

What you need to keep in mind is that you’ll always feel a certain way. That’s how relationships work. You don’t need to block your feelings so that you come off as the perfect manager. There’s no such thing as a perfect manager. You need to act and come off as an involved manager, who does his very best and trusts his team.

Some key points:

  • Get to know your team, on an individual level
  • Keep communication channels always open
  • Ask for their opinion
  • Listen to their arguments
  • Encourage them to stand their ground
  • Build these relations on common rules and values
  • Don’t keep your distance, be part of the team

If you’re interested to find out the secret to becoming a more likable leader, Jack Zenger gives you 7 Ways To Improve Employee/Boss Relationships.

HORIZONTAL RELATIONSHIPS

It may not seem like this is within a manager’s responsibilities, but fostering work relations depends on management as well. Employee interactions in the office are strongly influenced by the workplace atmosphere, company values and management actions. Having good relationships with coworkers is one of the top 3 happiness drivers.

Here’s how you can help them thrive:

  • Build a company culture of trust and honesty
  • Encourage social interactions
  • Don’t be an office tyrant
  • Create opportunities for people to connect
  • Work in dynamic teams
  • Have at least one team communication channel
  • Encourage them to give and receive feedback

EXPECTATIONS SETTING

You should always hold an expectations setting meeting, as part of your onboarding process. You’ll want to talk to your soon-to-be team member and set some ground rules that will make your relationship a lot more clear and easy to manage…

Source: Blog – Hppy

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