Improve working relationships

Five easy tips to improve relationships between management and team members

To help you and your organization avoid the management-team disconnect, we put together five proven tips to help improve 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 five 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.

Need help or want more information? Contact Carrie Cox using the information below.

Carrie Cox

Vice President
HR & Org. Development Services

Carrie has experience in a variety of human resource functions, including labor laws, compensation structures, employee classification, benefits administration, performance management and human resource best practices. She has served clients in a number of industries, including manufacturing, construction, banking, government, and not-for-profits. Carrie is a member of the national and local chapters of the Society of Human Resource Professionals (SHRM) and serves on the Wichita chapter board of directors.

She is a certified practitioner for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and the Hay Group’s Emotional and Social Competency Inventory. Her additional certifications include Certified Professional Coach from the Academy of Creative Coaching, Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute, and SHRM-CP designated by the SHRM.

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