Any organization knows that its most valuable asset is its own people. The businesses that create the most impact are those that recognize their employees and encourage them to succeed. When employees feel valued, they align themselves with the company’s mission, actively contribute, and strive to achieve organizational goals. However, if employees feel their worth, work, and ideas are not valued, they will walk out.
Creating and maintaining a strong employer-employee relationship can be the key to any organization’s success.
Here are guidelines and ideas for creating strong relationships between employers and employees:
Trust is pivotal. When employees don’t trust their managers, they don’t communicate openly or actively collaborate with their peers. To build trust, employers need to be transparent by sharing relevant information and giving accurate feedback. One way to do this is by holding an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA).
AMAs are exercises that help employees better know their managers and peers. At DZone, we hold an AMA every Thursday during team lunch. Everyone can ask a selected employee about his or her current projects, interests outside of work, and more. The purpose of the AMA is to create transparency within the organization and build stronger relationships among employees, despite their title.
This is a critical step to getting the best from your employees. Make sure you clearly communicate employee expectations, including performance and behavior. When employee expectations align with the department or organization’s strategic goals, innovation, and productivity increase. How can your employees be sure they’re meeting expectations and contributing to goals? An easy way is to make a Scrum board.
At the beginning of the month or quarter, meet as a team to create a scrum board. Outline the expectations of each employee and categorize projects as “nice to have” and “need to have”. Regularly track project progression and move items from “in progress” to “complete”. This visual clearly outlines employee expectations, monitors progress, and showcase accomplishments.
Feedback is essential to an employee’s success. Through constructive criticism, employees will have a clear direction as to what is working and where they can improve. As they progress towards their goals, feedback can lead employees in the right direction and help them increase performance.
Also, when employees pitch a new idea or offer a suggestion, take what they have to say into consideration and ask questions to better understand their thought process. Open dialogue strengthens work relationships and encourages employee ideation.
Try scheduling weekly one-on-ones with your manager or if you’re a manager, schedule a meeting with each employee on your team.
Managers should set time aside each week to meet with employees to review goals and progress. Take this time to also brainstorm ideas and encourage employees to take on new projects that will benefit the company and allow them to grow professionally.
Collaboration drives creativity – encourage your employees to engage with one another through brainstorms. Together employees can discuss challenges or ideas and work to come up with a solution or project plan. When team members are encouraged to share ideas and work together to accomplish a goal, they sense that their worth is essential to the success of the organization as a whole.
For example, the physical environment of your workplace has a big effect on productivity, creativity, and performance. At DZone, we have “Tea Time” every Friday in an open space where employees can play games, hold activities, and meet to discuss current projects. This creates an atmosphere of learning and allows employees to collaborate with peers who may hold different perspectives and who they don’t regularly work with.
Recognizing employee success is an effective way to motivate employees and increase their job satisfaction. Recognition can be delivered in monetary and non-monetary forms, such as flexible hours, extra days off, trips, pay raises or bonuses.
Try holding a competition between teammates or departments. A competition will push employees to expand their skill sets and increase productivity, both at individual and organizational levels. Hold a monthly co-opetition to reach one common goal – a sales milestone, increased website traffic, or a piece of new content – and have a reward at the end of the month acknowledging employee success.
People are a strong resource for companies; most creative ideas come from your employees. However, building relationships with your own employees first is critical. A healthy relationship between company and employees will allow for an innovative and creative atmosphere, which will move the company in the right direction as it works to achieve success.