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4 Ways To Have A Great Relationship With The Team

Utter the word ‘boss’ and not many people will have good things to say! In fact, it is rare to find someone who is entirely happy with their boss. The relationship between the boss and the team isn’t an easy one to handle. There needs to be mutual respect, understanding boundaries and a genuine interest in seeing each other succeed.

The major role of setting up a winning relationship is of the superior. Superiors can influence the direction that the team can take, help them take charge of their careers and have fun doing it. They can even become valuable mentors for their teammates. This, in turn, has a tremendous effect on the performance of the organisation too. Don’t believe us? Have a look at these statistics.

Several such statements go on to prove that if you get a ‘bad’ manager, you are setting yourself up for failure. So where do you start? Here are a few tips that can help.

4 Ways To Strike The Right Chord With The Team

Let’s look at some simple ways to ensure a lasting and productive relationship with the team!

1. Start Right At The Top

Company behaviour is primarily governed by its culture.

Setting up core values starts with the top management. While it isn’t easy to approach management with changes, it’s great to set the tone right by citing benefits. For example, a happier employee ratio can mean that the company may be eligible to apply for the ‘Best Places To Work’ certification. It will improve the ‘employer brand’ and attract better talent in the process.

Management can then be led by example. Once you start asking questions like ‘How can we improve work-life balance for our employees?’ or ‘How can we encourage ownership and autonomy in our employees?’ you’ll be able to define a set of practices that can run through the length and breadth of the company right to the latest intern.

In addition to this, you can also define employee happiness as among your core values. After all, happy employees are more vested in your company’s success and often go above and beyond to increase customer, client and partner happiness quotient.

2. Encourage An Open And Respectful Relationship

Being respectful towards colleagues and the team is considered to be a given quality that anyone in the organisation needs to have. Yet, you’ll hear many employees complain that their boss does not treat them well. This disconnect can happen especially when expectations aren’t set right.

As a superior, a lot of this part will be in your hands. You can have an open discussion about the job responsibilities, what is the expected outcome to be targeted at the end of the month and the ways to go about achieving it.

You can also offer to help out and lead the way where necessary. Beyond this, you can let your team know that they are free to experiment and see how they can get the desired outcome.

Be sure to praise them in front of colleagues when they meet or exceed expectations. Call out to them and ensure that they receive credit for their work. Do the exact opposite when you want to share feedback. Do it in private. Let them know that you appreciate their work but think that a few things can be improved with another iteration.

One great way to convey your support would be to recommend a team member’s names for a Star Performer Award.

3. Ensure That Your team Maintain A Work-Life Balance

It is important to recognise that everyone has a life outside work.

There are pressing responsibilities like children and elderly who demand attention. A lot of it may be unexpected too. Sometimes employees request a day off without prior notice which can throw things off gear. It is important to empathise with their situation and not penalise for circumstances which are out of anyone’s control.

New mothers often have to juggle a lot just to stay afloat and come to work. It isn’t an easy situation for anyone. At such times, getting all team members to pitch in will build a team spirit.

While it is an employee’s duty to complete their responsibilities during work hours, don’t expect them to stick around the office until you leave. It is also unreasonable to expect them to work from home after office hours or work during the weekend. Of course, one-off exceptions are bound to happen, but it is best not to make it a habit.

Some companies mandate that employees take time off for a few days every year so that they don’t experience burnout. Some allow workations that allow a right mix of work and vacation when travelling for business. Some even offer paid holidays as a bonus for a job done well.

4. Invest In Your Team’s Success

As a boss, your success is defined by your team’s success. Your primary job is to help them achieve their goals by extending your support when they need it, lead by example and provide mentoring in skills that can move their career forward. Let them know through your actions that you are on their team and not a step apart. Encourage them to come to you directly with their problems and show genuine interest in resolving them.

None of the management practices can be learnt or implemented in a day. It needs to be done consistently over a period of time to be successful.

The one change that you can start making right away is to tweak your hiring process at multiple levels so that only people who show the right cultural fit are recruited in the first place. This fit evaluation needs to be much tighter for people joining in managerial positions. Getting the right people is 90% of the job done.

For the remaining 10%, put out practices that encourage opportunities in delighting employees as much as your customers.

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