Articles

5 Easy Tips to Improve Relationships
Between Management and Team Members

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Improve your work relationships

No matter what size company you work for, you have probably seen a disconnect between management and team members. Although most organizations work hard to avoid this, it can happen for various reasons. To help you and your organization avoid this disconnect, we put together 5 proven tips to help improve work relationships.

Clearly outline goals

It all starts with managing expectations. To make this happen, first help your team members understand their goals and then write them down. Encourage them to reinforce their goals by reading them daily.

Improve feedback (both ways)

It doesn't matter what your position is in your organization; it's always good to give everyone honest feedback ... even your manager. To help make sure it's received positively, give feedback respectfully and in the spirit of helping the person or the overall organization. Are you on the shy side? If you are, it might be helpful to have a one-on-one meeting with your manager. If there is an employee communications channel, such as a (real or electronic) suggestion box, you can even drop a confidential note in it.

Involve everyone in the communication loop

Many team members may work on a project as a group; however, it can sometimes lead to a breakdown in communication when people are not kept in the loop. And by default, this can cause serious fragmentation in the team, loss of motivation and back-stabbing. To avoid this, plan your project meetings accordingly, send out follow-up emails after each meeting, and make sure everyone has a say in the project's goals.

Delegate responsibility for problem-solving

It pays to spread responsibility throughout the team. Selecting one or two people to solve a particular problem without involving any other team members can reduce the chances that the tasks will be completed in a timely manner. Involving others can add ideas and insights that will result in a better solution.

To increase retention rates, develop and train key staff

Face it; replacing good employees is difficult and costly. In fact, it can take up to six months to train a new employee. Create an employee retention/ succession program with the HR department and you will see dividends for years to come.

Executive summary

By considering the tips mentioned above, the relationship between management and team members can improve. Remember, make sure that goals and expectations are clearly outlined. As well, involve multiple people in problem-solving, to bring many ideas and insights to the problem solving process. Also, make sure that everyone appropriate is involved in projects; keeping employees out of the communication loop can have negative effects on relationships. Another consideration for building positive relationships is to provide positive feedback -- the key word here is positive. Lastly, train and develop staff, and focus on what needs to be done to retain these employees.

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Cindy McSwain

Senior Vice President
Outsourcing Services

Cindy McSwain leads AGH’s outsourcing services group. Her team provides payroll, accounting, funds disbursement, controller, and other financial outsourcing services to numerous clients throughout the U.S. Prior to directing the outsourcing group, Cindy served AGH’s audit clients for 10 years, working with a wide range of middle-market, closely held and family-owned clients.

Her current clients cross many industry sectors, including manufacturing, distribution, restaurants, retailers, medical, and not-for-profit. She has participated in numerous SEC filings and public registrations and has experience in mergers and acquisitions. Cindy is a certified public accountant and a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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