Build Lasting Relationships With Your Employees

Joe Weinlick
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In 2018, the average length of job tenure is under five years, and employee job changes happen with increasing frequency. In this job climate, building better relationships with your employees is essential to encourage your best workers to stick around for the long term. Here are a few tips to get you started in growing lasting relationships to improve employee loyalty.

Avoid Making Snap Judgments

Sometimes, your best workers don't look the way you expect. A great employee might be nearing traditional retirement age or just out of college. Quality workers come from all different types of backgrounds and parts of the world. When you meet workers, try not to make any judgments based on their appearance or other superficial qualities that don't relate directly to their positions. When managers have good relationships with everyone on their teams, it sets a great precedence for good relationships between co-workers. This is especially true when it comes to workers from different generations.

Build a Culture That Emphasizes Engagement

Engaged employees tend to be loyal employees. Get everyone involved with your department in meaningful ways and be sure to throw some fun into the mix. Then, immerse yourself in that same culture. Create regular social events to make it easier to build better relationships through conversation. Being transparent about company policies helps to grow loyalty through a sense of shared interest. Make sure that all employees have some autonomy in their positions to promote a sense of equality where everyone is working together for the good of the company. Be sure to involve freelancers in the company culture, too. Better relationships with contract workers leads higher quality work and long-term partnerships that benefit both parties.

Focus on Growth

No one likes criticism, so be sure that your employee review system doesn't become a list of problem areas with general admonishments for workers to improve. Instead, show your employees that you value their real contributions to your workplace. Then, work in partnerships with them to help them develop in weak areas and move their careers in the directions they desire. This shows your employees that you care about their futures and builds better relationships based on mutual respect and concern.

Make Communication Easy

Better communication is an important key to better relationships at work. Don't make the mistake of thinking that an open-door policy is all that is needed for great manager-employee communication. Instead, be proactive in opening many channels for communication. Start by spending more time with your staff letting conversations flow naturally. Then set up a schedule of regular email contact or phone calls with the members of your workforce. Be sure to listen carefully to what your workers are saying. Ask questions to find out what employees need and give regular feedback about improvements you are implementing so that everyone feels heard.

Building better relationships improves productivity, creates company loyalty and creates a more positive working environment. Spend quality time with your team and move your company culture in a direction that encourages employee engagement. Most importantly, develop your communication skills, and add more opportunities for communicating to your schedule to grow better relationships and a happier, committed workforce.

Photo courtesy of Steve Grady at


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