6 Steps to Stronger Employee-Manager Relationships

The voluntary turnover struggle is real, and managers are typically to blame. With 75 percent of turnover attributed to relationships with managers, “Oh, that’s just how Gary is...” is no longer going to cut it.
There’s no need to panic or go on a manager firing rampage just yet. Here are six ways to strengthen the bond between worker bees and their supervisors:
Take it from the top: A little help for managers
Most people are born with the managerial prowess of Michael Scott from “The Office,” so a little help from some friends in HR and leadership could go a long way in improving the dynamics between managers and their direct reports. And by help, we mean:
1.) A somewhat formalized performance review process
Annual reviews simply aren’t working for many companies, and nearly 10 percent of Fortune 500 companies have done away with them. But managers need another option in place to ensure employees feel they will have a chance to have their performance reviewed.
Develop a performance review process that is simple enough to actually be used and standardized enough to provide apples-to-apples comparisons. When managers know exactly what the process entails, they are more likely to participate.
2.) Tools for seeking peer input
Even the best managers don’t have all the answers when it comes to individual worker performance. Give them the tools they need to seek peer assessments and obtain a more well-rounded perspective of your team’s players.
Like a bat using sonar to get a quick “lay of the land,” a manager can get a quick pulse on individual workers and the entire crew with the help of human capital management (HCM) solutions like Bridge, making it easy to determine performance and trajectory of an employee.
3.) Analytics to drive smarter decisions
While data may not be the most exciting part of the job, having access to the numbers that allow for meaningful feedback and track employee progress can definitely deepen employee-manager relationships. From 1:1 frequency to skill assessments and corporate goals, the more managers know, the more they can help improve performance (and communication) at the employee level.
The win-win: what workers and supervisors want
4.) A platform for providing ongoing, consistent feedback
Keeping the lines of communication open is the first step in improving the relationships that can make or break a team. By developing a 1:1 employee check-in process you can ensure regular, constructive feedback, encouraging employees to stick around and kill it in their roles. Feedback in these 1:1s shouldn’t be one-sided — managers can flip the script and ask their direct reports for feedback on their performance to further enhance communication and collaboration.
5.) A platform for tracking and recognizing wins
Managers have more than enough to keep them busy without chasing down intel on employee progress and goals. And most employees do not enjoy bragging about themselves to their managers.
It’s much easier to link performance to compensation and recognition when it’s right there in plain sight. Use an HCM solution like Bridge to keep track of all the important worker wins in a central location: KPIs, goals set during employee 1:1s and even Salesforce data.
With Bridge’s employee journey feature, not only are the wins (and losses) there for managers and workers to see, if the manager leaves, employees have a proven track record to show their new supervisor.
6.) Support and training so they can do their jobs better
Two in 10 people exhibit some characteristics of basic managerial talent and can function at a high level if their company invests in coaching and developmental plans for them. Commit to developing courses to help managers sharpen their people skills and consider other ways to support them, like assigning an experienced manager as a mentor.
Millennial or not, career development is always top of mind for the modern worker, so make it easy for managers and their direct reports to discuss training and development opportunities, set goals and work together to ensure employees are always progressing in their career path.
Even on a good day, managing employees is like herding cats. Give your supervisors the tools they need to wrangle positive team vibes through regular communication, feedback and transparency. All you need is the right human capital management (HCM) solution. Discover what Bridge can do.