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The relationship between a manager and his direct subordinate is bound by two contracts. The first contract is what is common to all employees—the job description. The role of the employee is indicated in this written contract, and it also explains the expectations and ways for him to succeed. The second contract is what psychologist and pioneer in workplace culture, Harry Levinson calls the “Psychological Contract,” which is based on the mutual trust and respect between a manager and his subordinate.
The Psychological Contract
The Psychological Contract encompasses three ideas about the manager-subordinate relationship. First, it teaches that the relationship is a true partnership. Managers see their employees not as mere subordinates but instead as the unique individuals they are. They are willing to work with their employees while helping them develop their skills without minding the possibility that they might leave their position or company for a better opportunity.
Next, it says that the relationship is honest. The best managers are able to encourage their employees to remain honest at all times. Their employees are not afraid to voice out their thoughts even at times when they have to disagree with their managers.
Lastly, the Psychological Contract suggests that the relationship involves acknowledging that both parties are human beings. Managers do not just acknowledge the output; they give regards to the process that led to the results whether good or bad. They care about the people who contributed to the tasks.
Going above and beyond the contract
Managers’ schedules are almost always full, but this is not enough reason for them to not allot some time to pay attention to their employees and establish a good rapport with them. Get to know your team on a personal level. Go beyond the topic of work, and ask them about their weekend. Acknowledging your employee’s progress can also give them encouragement so they do better. When you notice something good that your employee has done, do say so. Aside from that, reminding them of the importance of their roles and the impact they have on other people and on the company makes them feel valued.
It is important for an employer to build a strong relationship with its employees so that together they grow as individuals and as a company. Remember that your employees are not merely order-takers but they have a stake in the success of your company
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