A strong working relationship is one that not only has the standard professional aspect, but also an understanding of each other on a more personal level. Getting to know your employees can be a challenging task whether you're a new manager to the company, have a new team or just never took the time to get to know your team. While you do want to establish a more personal relationship, you also want to still be respected as their manager. Try out a couple of our favorite ways to bond with your employees while still maintaining the employee/manager relationship.
Treat your employees to lunch and talk about things besides business. Getting out of the office can help everyone relax a bit and provide a much needed change in scenery and make your employees more likely to open up and chat about fun things. You can use this time to learn a bit more about their life outside of work and their background before they came to work for you.
Team building doesn't have to be something both your employees and you dread. Try mixing it up beyond the typical trust falls to get to know them better and get them excited to participate. A great way to do this is to figure out what your employees enjoy doing and incorporate that into it. If many people on your team enjoy giving back to the community, consider organizing a team-building volunteer day. Check out some more ways to change up team building here.
One way to bond with your employees is to be working to a common goal. Meet up with your employees individually over coffee and learn about their career goals and what you can do to help them achieve them. Doing this not only shows your employees that you have a vested interest in their goals, but also help you get to know what they value and what they want to achieve better.
A manager with a constantly closed door doesn't encourage your employees to have open communication with you. Instituting an open door policy not only shows your employees that you want to have open communication with them, but can also make them more likely to communicate questions or concerns they may have. Another good thing to go along with having an open door is to put in time to find out how both you and your employees prefer to communicate with each other and trying to follow that as much as possible.