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How to Build Better Relationships With Your Employees

In the competitive world we live in, it isn’t enough for a small-business owner to be a good boss; for a company to reach its potential, the talent of the employees who work for the boss is nearly as important. Still, there’s a difference between a supervisor who “manages” his or her staff, and one who works with them to get the most out of each individual.

While it’s one thing for someone in management to say they want to build better relationships with their employees, it’s quite another story to actually do it. Here are three tips that should help you better connect with your employees.

Value the Opinion of Your Employees

Most employees spend roughly a third of their lives in the office, and nobody wants to commit that much time to a place where they don’t feel appreciated. As a small-business owner, it’s important to let your staff know that their opinions and thoughts on the company matter. Have open discussions with them, seek their opinion, and make them feel like valued members of your team.

Remember, an employee who feels appreciated will work that much harder for the boss. Also, there’s a good chance they might see a problem differently than a supervisor would, and might offer a solution you’d never before considered.

Offer Your Employees Incentives

Like everything else, employees want to feel like they’re working toward something and to know their work is making an impact. Be sure to incentivize those who are helping to make your company a success.

Year-end bonuses for top performers are something everyone can work toward, and stock options are a fantastic incentive too, if they’re available. Even something as small as a free gym membership can go a long way in making staff members feel appreciated.

Engage Your Employees Outside the Office

The fast-pace of an office can, at times, inhibit an employee’s ability to successfully accomplish the task at hand. The pressure of meeting a quarterly goal is one thing; the pressure of doing it with the boss’s office just 10 feet away is quite another.

When possible, engage your employees outside work. Take them out for coffee, lunch, or just sit with them in the break room, where they’re less likely to be stressed by the grind of work and more likely to open up. Don’t forget: a happy employee is a hard-working one.

Dave Donovan


Dave Donovan has written extensively for the web with a primary focus on articles targeting finance and business.