Organizations are made of people working inside them. The better the employees and managers in an organization perform, the more successful the organization will become.
However, things aren’t ideal all time and chances are that your company will run into some problems in the future, especially regarding employee-manager relationships. So, how will you fix them?
1. Conduct Weekly Team Get Together
Indeed both employees and managers are working under the same roof, but if there’s no space for honest and comfortable communication, the store will collapse. The management should come up with a provision to dedicate some hours of particular workdays to team-building sessions. This will allow them to overcome any communication barriers and indulge in conversations they might never have while working.
In the weekly meetings, they can have open conversations about their experience working in the store, challenges they face, and even ask questions they might have. Besides that, you can also conduct workshops, seminars, training programs, and more to help employees take a break from the daily grind.
Pro Tip: Keep the communication in meetings informal so that the conversation doesn’t feel forced. Everyone in the team should be given adequate space to speak.
2. Hold one-on-one checks with each employee
Make managers interact with employees on a one-on-one basis too. Why? There might be employees that find it hard to communicate in a group. If you have employees that aren’t comfortable in group communication, you must make managers hold one-on-one meetings.
It helps create a private space for the employees to have an honest conversation. This small but useful window of communication should be used to discuss projects, ideas, challenges, concerns, solutions, and even be used to have friendly conversations.
Pro Tip: From the managers’ POV, the one-on-one meetings don’t necessarily have to be structured. Bear in mind that these communication channels are created to facilitate connection and collaboration among managers and employees.
3. Learn What Motivates Employees
Managers should be encouraged to ask employees for constructive feedback. They should prioritize learning and work together with employees to push through boundaries and make the workplace better. The ability to absorb constructive feedback also gives them the opportunity to figure out issues that are causing a lack of motivation in the employees.
Not only should managers frequently ask for feedback (both formally and informally), they should also go through reviews customers leave about employees on business listings. This will provide them clarity over what is going wrong with employees lately.
Pro Tip: Besides that, managers must come up with ideas to bring the employees together and make work more fun. They can allow casual days, offer incentives like fitness perks, gift cards, bonuses, free lunches, and more.
4. Learn what a manager expects
Employees must also be encouraged to understand what their superiors expect from them. While managers do everything to make it right for employees, it becomes a responsibility for employees to meet the expectations set by their managers.
If you are an employee reading this post, you must connect with your managers and figure out if your way of handling work and overall performance is in line with the set expectations. Don’t wait for the monthly performance review meetings. Take the initiative and learn what your manager expects from you. This helps managers to trust you as an employee. And trust goes a long way in an employee’s career.
5. Keep employees in the loop
Everyone at the store should know about what’s happening inside it. Managers must make sure proper communication channels are followed and everyone concerned is kept in the loop. This might sound obvious, but studies show that employees often feel left out and disconnected when it comes to managers making decisions for the store. Studies also show that 25 percent of the employees often quit their jobs when managers don’t keep them in the know.
Pro Tip: Relationships between employees and managers can only improve when they both trust each other. Make managers keep their employees informed at all times
6. Let employees know their managers more
In any retail environment, where employees have to deal with new challenges every passing hour, they need to look up to someone for help. Employees should be able to connect with their managers and find solutions to the problem.
Overcoming the challenges becomes all the more difficult if managers seem unapproachable and scary. Employees should be encouraged to have casual conversations with managers about issues in the store.
Not just that, they should find it comfortable to discuss any non-work-related issue too! After all, it’s all about employees developing trust in their managers.
7. Use technology to strengthen the relationship
Workplace communication can be made so much better just by providing the right set of tools to employees and managers. Management should introduce tools like chat applications or intranet to make in-store communication more productive and efficient.
Such tools can even match the communication styles of the people involved. While some might prefer informal written communication through chats and email, others might find face-to-face discussions much easier. The idea is to provide adequate tools and an environment to encourage more communication between employees and managers.
Pro Tip: Use new streams. These make it easier for everyone in the store to stay in touch with the new projects, objectives, expectations, and changes.
8. Address and resolve conflicts in time
As we mentioned right in the beginning, things inside your retail store aren’t going to be ideal all the time. There will always be disruptions at work that will later turn into full-fledged conflicts. If you are a manager reading this post, you must prioritize resolving the issues employees experience on a day-to-day basis. However, these conflicts should be resolved rationally and promptly. Here’s what managers are expected to do when resolving an in-store conflict:
- Don’t be quick to judge and jump to conclusions
- Hear multiple sides of the story and keep an open-mind
- Find what was said by the parties involved when the conflict happened
- Clear up misunderstandings and miscommunication that might have occurred
- Come up with team building activities to strengthen the loosening bond
These simple steps will make it much easier for managers to tackle the conflicts and ensure they don’t happen again, at least in the near future. These conflicts are important to resolve because organizations tend to lose employees over them.
9. Make it about performance, not competition
The retail store isn’t going to benefit when only a few employees perform to the best of their abilities. Everyone needs to perform and contribute to the success of the store. At the same time, employees must be made to understand that it is not a competition.
To develop better relationships with one another, employees and managers should be encouraged to serve a common purpose – making customers’ experience in the store better.
10. Focus on mutual career development
Lastly, make the employee-manager relationship about mutual career development. The management should make sure that both managers and employees know that it is invested in their growth and nothing less should be expected.
Once the management sets this tone, managers and employees are able to function together better. The rat race ends and everyone starts focusing on their objectives. In a retail environment, employees often tend to think that they are stuck in a dead-end job. Managers too can sometimes have that thought. But when management assures them career development and keeps its word, it usually results in a healthy work environment.
There you have it. We have the best strategies you can incorporate in any retail environment and achieve the best performance out of your employees and managers. Besides the ten tips we mentioned above, we suggest you make sure these strategies are well-seeded inside your organization to reap its rewards for years to come. Loved reading this post? Don’t forget to check out other informative posts we have on our blog!