How to be an engaging manager

Build effective relationships with your employees


It is important that managers have good relationships with employees. If a manager knows and understands an employee as an individual they will be able to better motivate them to perfrom well and meet organisational goals.

How to build effective relationships with your employees

Establishing good relationships with your staff can be done by:

  • staff interests - taking an interest in team members' interests outside of work
  • informal discussions - making time for informal discussions outside work discussions eg catch-ups over coffee or at social events
  • keep in touch with staff - regularly visiting or holding conference calls with any employees based in different locations or satellite sites - by making sure you are in contact they will know they are involved and supported
  • social events - holding social events before or after business meetings helping you get to know individual team members and colleagues get to know each other - for example - monthly breakfasts or lunches after meetings
  • social events for family and friends - for example, annual parties or open days

Importance of communication with staff

Managers also need to communicate with employees and give them the chance to share their views and to contribute to defining the business' goals. You could consider:

  • Regular business update meetings - with a set date, time, location and agenda to brief employees on business developments, answer their questions and discuss team objectives and activities.
  • Sharing ideas - suggested by colleagues or examples of good practice you have seen within the team to recognise the individuals and inspire others to follow suit.
  • Team Q&A sessions during which employees can come and talk to you about any issues or ideas, eg at lunchtime discussions or surgery sessions.
  • Encourage feedback - posing regular team challenges, asking for staff views and encouraging team members to collaborate on ideas.
  • Responding to feedback - by acknowledging suggestions or concerns, explaining your view - whether you agree or not - and involving employees in developing actions to address emerging issues. Taking action on issues identified and sharing the steps you are taking so that employees know their voices are being heard - establish employee voice in your business.
  • Talking to individual employees on a regular basis to check their understanding of objectives or key issues and inviting them to raise any questions or concerns they haven't discussed.