Strong relationships are the hallmark of good business practices. The best leaders hold relationships at a premium and invest in their relationships as aggressively as many invest in their 401ks and retirement plans.

By taking a few simple steps that might not be obvious, you can boost employee and team morale. In doing so, you’ll also see an increase in productivity.

Simple Tips for Building a Better Employee Relationship

Incorporate these ideas with each team member you manage. The key is to base your interactions on these three simple values.

Be Fair

Treat everyone in your organization equally. Take a fair and balanced approach to setting workload, schedules, and even time off. Set reasonable expectations that are not impossible to reach but will challenge employees.

Treating employees fairly shows that you value them as people who have a significant role to play – not only at work but in their communities and with their families and friends.

Be Honest

Honesty should be something you’re already practicing. Answer your employees’ questions as truthfully as possible, especially when discussing changes. Encourage two-way discussion whenever you can. If a matter comes up that cannot be shared, like another employee’s evaluation, you can say that it’s confidential. Open communication in the workplace is invaluable.

Any honest communication must also be specific and targeted at growth. For example, if an employee executes an amazing design that’s over budget, take the time to point out what made the design exceptional and then provide suggestions for staying on budget. Specificity and transparency will boost morale and performance.

Be Available

Employees have questions, and at times, you’ll be the only one who can answer them. While you’ll still have to get your own tasks done, carve out the time you can set aside for your employees.

For example, by establishing open-door office hours on Monday morning or Thursday afternoon, you have some dedicated time that employees know they can use. Other times, if an employee catches you in between open-door hours, either accommodate the request if it’s possible or schedule a time you can devote to your employee.

Avoid a boilerplate approach to communicating with your team. Individualize interactions for each employee. Remember that you set the professional tone.

Employee Relationship Boosters

Fairness, honesty, and availability are the keystones of establishing a work culture that values its employees.

However, you don’t have to stop there! Think about some of the other strategies that show employee appreciation, such as:

  • continued training and professional development,
  • freedom to make job-related decisions, and
  • recognition and rewards.

Use these simple tips this week, right now. The sooner you start to build a better employee relationship, the sooner you’ll see an improvement in productivity and team morale.