Having a great relationship with your employees is one of the most important things for any entrepreneur. This determines how well you know them and how much you can trust them. It also helps you fully understand their ambitions, responsibility level and competence level, which can be crucial when it comes to task delegation. Still, the basis for all of this is to establish a relationship based on trust with your employees and here are several tips on how you can do so quite efficiently.
Ask them about themselves
The first thing you need to do is get to know your employees. By showing active interest, you’ll already make a first step towards winning them over. You see, we’re programmed to care about people who show genuine interest in us, which is a tool that a crafty entrepreneur can use to their own advantage. First, you need to ask about their ambitions within your company and beyond. Start with the statement that you know that they won’t stay with you forever and they might just open up about their real aspirations. Some of them certainly dream of becoming entrepreneurs at one point, others may aim at your place. Show admiration towards their goals in either case.
What you need to understand is the fact that it’s a natural instinct of your subordinates to vie for your attention. You’re a person in a position of authority and regardless if they want to extract any immediate or direct gain, they want to be recognized and appreciated. The best way to do so is to take some one-on-one time with every single one of them and, for the duration of this meeting, give them your full and undivided attention. This way, you might even unravel some secrets that they would have never revealed to you in public (like during meetings).
The next thing you need to learn is how to actively communicate with your employees. First of all, you need to understand that the very basic role of communication is to unravel information. However, when your employees do share this information with you, you would do well to memorize them, even if you have to write them down and then read what you’ve written later on. Make sure to memorize everything relevant, regardless if they’re talking about personal or professional matters. For instance, giving them a prepaid visa card on a subjectively important date (birthday or an anniversary) is a nice touch, especially if they didn’t expect you to remember.
Avoid fraternization with them
To a lot of people, the concept of fraternization with your employees may sound like a positive thing. Right? Well, not entirely. You see, you also need to consider how your relationship with a particular employee will affect all the other relationships in the office. Will other people start showing envy towards this particular employee and ostracize them or will they try to suck up to them in order to get in your good graces? Either way, you’re disrupting the delicate balance of interpersonal relationships in the office. Moreover, you’re giving cause to various accusations of favoritism and bias, which are best when avoided.
Always know what’s going on
Speaking of which, you need to keep in mind that, regardless of your own office presence, your employees also have relationships with one another. It’s always handy for an office manager or an entrepreneur to know who goes along well with whom and who the biggest office rivals are. This can affect everything from you assigning teams to organize seating order. The only way for you to learn this is to talk to people, keep your both eyes open and even get an insider or two.
In the end, you need to understand that you are their employer and they are your subordinates. This gap that exists between you is not an imaginary one, yet, it doesn’t have to be an obstacle for developing a great and lasting relationship with them. Also, keep in mind that in order to trust you, they do not have to like you and in order to respect you, they don’t have to fear you. In order to make all of this come to life together, you might want to work on your communication skills, as well as find a way to improve your leadership skills.