The relationship between employee and boss is important to all parties involved. it is obviously crucial for the employee: his manager can make changes in his role and has significant influence on his progress and success within the company.
however, it is also important for the manager to have a healthy relationship with his employees. This is because having motivated employees who understand and respect the manager’s perspective means better quality work and a more positive and cooperative atmosphere in the workplace. this is still true now even for companies with a remote workforce.
Reading: How to connect with your boss
Having these strong relationships means the entire organization works better. Ultimately, it affects the profitability, reputation and attractiveness seen by customers of that company. however, these complex relationships do not form overnight and require thought and consideration.
Here are six ways employees can improve their relationship with their boss and hopefully reap the rewards of that improved relationship.
1. take the initiative
Senior management always seeks out and rewards employees who are innovative and proactive when it comes to tackling projects. Demonstrating your enthusiasm and fresh ideas will show that you are not someone who just shows up because you have to, but rather that you are adding value to the company.
2. structure appropriate discussion time
Having a quality dialogue with your boss is clearly one of the best ways you can foster a better relationship. however, this doesn’t mean you should “show up” at their office to quickly go over a few ideas when they’re not expecting you. in fact, constant interruptions are more likely to have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for. the best option is to book a properly scheduled meeting with them with defined time limits. this shows that you respect their schedule.
Also, because it’s a locked meeting, the time you spend together is completely focused on the topic you’ve raised for discussion. This could be anything from implementing new collaboration software to hosting a corporate event.
Use meeting time wisely to focus on how you can help them achieve company goals rather than reserving time for “a talk.” be sure to set an agenda. discuss short- and long-term goals and ask lots of questions to get the most value out of the meeting.
3. use personal communication
Using personal communication can be a difficult balancing act. however, if used correctly, it can endear your manager in a way that you just can’t talk business.
this does not mean to be too familiar. there’s a fine line between a few honest questions about your life and making inappropriate comments that can make your boss uncomfortable.
The key here is to express a real interest in his life outside of the context of work, but not to stretch too far into places that would be considered too personal. For example, asking about his weekend or a hobby of his shows that you care without going overboard.
Understandably, this is now more difficult to achieve as the pandemic is still heavily influencing workplaces. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t video call your boss using one of the 8 skype alternatives that won’t break the bank to catch up with them.
4. maintain a positive work ethic
If you’re not the most confident communicator, one of the best indirect ways to improve your relationship with your boss is to work hard. Even if your boss doesn’t regularly visit your team and talk to you directly, the information that you’re an efficient worker will come to them in the office chat or, more specifically, in your performance review. this is more important than ever as some companies are now operating with the majority of their employees working remotely.
This is the perfect demonstration of the maxim “actions speak louder than words”. Your work ethic should also extend to your preparation for presentations and meetings. By coming to these sharing platforms with lots of details and thoughtful ideas, you can show your boss that you are someone to know as a valued member of the team.
5. ask for feedback
asking your boss’s opinion does several things. From the boss’s perspective, it shows that you care enough about the project and your future performance to want to know how to improve. This shows that you are not doing the projects assigned to you because it is your job, but because you are truly committed to their work, which can help the business succeed.
It also shows that you’re moving up, which tells your boss that you’re thinking of moving up and developing. just displaying this intent keeps your name front and center when considering employees ready for advancement.
In terms of how to ask for feedback, again you need to ask for a properly structured meeting time that can generate good quality results. come up with a specific agenda for how you’d like feedback to go.
When you receive feedback, it’s important to actively listen to what they say and take note of how you can improve in the future. this will show that you are serious about this process and that you are not doing it just to check a box.
Finally, show that you understand the feedback by implementing those recommendations in the next project you work on. Showing that you understood and correctly processed your boss’s advice tells them that you not only respect their guidance, but that you are capable of improving.
again, real life meetings are harder to organize these days. however, there are many other communication platforms you can use to communicate this way, including video conferencing.
6. talk about goals
Both employer and employee have things they want to accomplish, both personally with regards to their career and more generally in terms of goals for the company. Making sure you know his boss’s goals and that he knows yours can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your relationship and your career advancement.
Letting your boss know exactly what your plans are and how quickly you see these goals being achieved helps them understand what they can do to help you. Being open about what he wants from the company or from his boss should show them that he is ambitious, honest, and forward-thinking.
Having goals that the boss and employee are aligned on is also good for the employer, as it should drive employee engagement in the company with a more cooperative investment in results.
This exchange of information must go both ways. In fact, it would probably be more helpful for you to know what your employer’s vision for the company is and your own ideas of progress come first. getting a sense of what they aim to accomplish not only gives you insight into their world in general, but also a clue as to how you can behave to align with your goals.
elea is the seo content optimization manager for ringcentral, the leader in global business communication and collaboration solutions in the cloud. she has over a decade of experience in page optimization, editorial production, and digital publishing. she spends her free time learning new things.