As an owner, how can I maintain a good relationship with my employees?
Can anyone suggest to me the best tips for maintaining a good relationship with your employees? What gifts and/or activities can I hold in the office to get the energy back up among the employees?
How do you build trust?
1. Keep Your Word
The simplest and most effective way to build trust is to get in the habit of keeping your word. If you say you're going to read something over the weekend, read it. If you promise to have that report done by Monday, have it done. If you're going to take the lead on a project, don't let it fall by the wayside.
Someone is always watching. Keep your word, and they will trust you. Break your word, and they will remember you as such.
2. Give The Benefit Of The Doubt
Conflict inherently questions trust. Like animals, we wonder if this conflict is isolated or part of a larger issue. Instead of letting the latter manifest itself, always give the benefit of the doubt and stay positive (until more information is revealed or you've had time to think about whatever happened in depth).
Giving people the benefit of the doubt also subtly encourages them to do the same for you. This builds a trusting relationship back and forth that both parties have positive intentions.
3. Make Eye Contact
Simple, but effective. When you speak, look the other person in the eye. Avoidance of eye contact is, and will always be, one of those things that makes you question the other person.
Remove the variable. Look them in the eye.
When fires start out of nowhere, someone gets blamed. When someone gets blamed, again there is a breakdown in trust--"Can we let that person go off on their own again?"
If you over-communicate what is going on with your team, then when something unforeseen does happen, nobody questions you. They understand, they remember you making note of it well in advance, and if anything they trust you even more for having the confidence to speak up.
Communication is key.
5. Know Your Stuff
Especially if you are in a leadership position, people look to you for guidance. They trust you as a leader because of your knowledge and experience.
That said, trust can be easily broken the moment you start to relax and no longer "know your stuff." If you show up to meetings talking around the topic, or give feedback on a project you've barely looked at, people will know--and they will begin to question your judgment.
Show up, and know your stuff.
6. Be Honest When You Don't Know The Answer
Contrary to the above, the flip-side advice here is to admit when you don't know. It's far more respectable to say, "I'm not sure, but give me a few hours and I'll find out," than to spout off a bunch of meaningless fluff intended to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. Someone out there is a shepherd, and they will know.
Trust is built on honesty. If you don't know, then say so.
And then reinforce your value by stating how you're going to find the solution.
7. In A Crisis, Never Give Up
And finally, the foundation of trust and the reason why it is so important in a business setting is that people want to know you're in it for the long haul. No matter what happens, no matter how bad something gets, never give up on your team and continue to move forward. People want to know they can trust you to make it through the storm with them.
Once you're out of the storm, that's the time to make other decisions. But until then, your primary job and focus should be on keeping the team moving forward--or, if you are not in a leadership position, being a capable and willing participant.
If you can make it through the storm alive, then people will know they can truly trust you--and that's something they'll remember forever.
In order to foster good relationships with your employees, you have to ensure they are engaged in the work that they do. This means ensuring they feel they are valued and they fully understand their role and how it fits in the organization. Your employees need to understand how the work they do contributes to the business and that their work is important and valued by you as the owner. In short, being transparent, genuinely focusing on employee well-being (work/life balance and career development), and making your employees feel valued and that their opinion counts goes a long way.
It is always nice to boost morale with gifts and activites! Food always brings people together.
However, the most important thing for an owner or leader (they are the same thing in my opinion) to understand is that you should essentially be acting as a coach. Great leaders do not micromanage! From experience, great relationships are maintained with your star employees when you give them ability to act on their strengths and help coach them to develop their skills. Your job should be to help sharpen their skills to the fullest.
Moreover, a good rule of thumb is to praise or congratulate your employees 10 times for every 1 time you provide them with criticism. People tend to remember negative remarks much more than positive ones. In my opinion, this will do more to boost morale than any other kind of activity or gift ever could.
As an owner, you must provide people in your organization with a situation and an opportunity to work effectively in a common effort, develop their capabilities, and fulfill their professional aspirations. Moreover, all employees should be able to achieve appropriate recognition and rewards through an employee performance incentive plan.
An owner must place a major emphasis on creating this kind of environment. This doesn’t mean you should seek to make everyone happy or to make tasks easier. But, it does mean that you should develop a work environment that has the following characteristics:
There is absolute honesty and integrity in what everyone says and does. And, everyone feels perfectly free to say what he or she really thinks.
There is open communication up and down and across the organization. Everyone recognizes both the right and the responsibility to be open and constructively critical of things that are wrong or that could be improved.
Supervisors are willing to really listen to the other person’s side and point of view — and are willing to admit “I’m wrong” if facts and logic show that this is the case.
There is a genuine interest in getting problems out in the open.
Everyone works hard and effectively as a team. There is an air of excitement in the organization that comes with the realization that everyone is operating on a winning team.
Employees know that exceptional performance will be rewarded by a fair and transparent profit-sharing plan.
You need not be in their plate to develop a better relationship. Employee and owner relationship is based on giving and take, but at the same time if you add the human touch and emotions in your connections, then it will be helpful.
You can start hosting events where employees can not just talk about company policies but connect socially. Social connections are a big reason why people spend most of the time in one company.
Also, make sure that you give them options to compete and rise without being biased.