Employee-Manager Relationship: What Do Employees Expect from Their Managers?

Performance Management

Inspiring leader, quick problem solver, empathetic person, multi-tasking colleague and compassionate mentor are some of the qualities that employees generally expect in their employee-manager relationship.

For instance, some employees admire a hands-on boss who is always concerned to ask his team members

“How are things going?” While others don’t wish to see their boss, except for annual performance reviews.

Well… dear managers…. you may find this strange, but it is true that each employee expects to see a unique quality in you! And unless you have a magical spell or you’re a mind reading expert, you may not know what exactly your team members expect from you.

Many human resource experts believe that maintaining a healthy employee-manager relationship can be a key to successful team. Strong employee-manager relationships encourage employees to be more productive, efficient, loyal and committed towards organizational goals.

Now consider this and think for a moment…

Does your team excel brilliantly in each project?

Are your team members working at their full potential?

Or do they hesitate in sharing new innovative ideas?

…Is it due to weak employee-manager relationship?


If you are in a similar (or even worse) situation, here are some proven ways that may help you win over your staff.

Set Clear Goals

Employees often show dissatisfaction towards their supervisor’s feedback and performance evaluation ratings. This happens due to difference in understanding of goals between employees and managers.

To eliminate conflicts and give a sense of purpose to your team members, be sure to mutually set clearly-defined SMART goals. You should make efforts to regularly define measurable, time-related, specific and obtainable goals such that employees can fulfil them using their expertise and skills. This eliminates confusion regarding goals and employees put efforts in achieving ‘what is really expected’ from them.

Know Your Team

Assigning goals could be a challenging situation, but it is also necessary to show trust in your team. Understand their needs and expectations and don’t be too harsh on them.To maintain competitiveness, learn to share equal responsibilities amongst your team members.

Help new hires to adjust well in the work culture by familiarizing them with company values and objectives. Allow your team members to maintain work-life balance.

Provide Regular Feedback

Managers need to understand that supervision is a two-way street where employees too have expectations.To let everyone in your team know how they are doing, managers should be like a coach and provide continuous feedback to improve performance.

Providing meaningful feedback not only improves employee-manager relationship, but it also builds a work culture that encourages motivation and high performance.

Conduct Fair Performance Evaluation

Performance goal setting simplifies the way each employee is evaluated. However, some intangible elements like manager’s favouritism become an obstacle in employee performance assessment. In such situations, employees may count performance reviews as superficial or forced activity.

To win confidence of employees and make them valuable contributors for an organization’s success, it is needed to fairly evaluate their performance at each step and appreciate their effort.

Offer Employee Development Opportunities

An employee’s career growth partially depends on the training and development opportunities he comes across. Therefore, managers should identify training needs for each team member and take employee development initiatives seriously.

Prioritize Employee Recognition

There can be nothing better than employee recognition and rewards to improve engagement. Whether it is verbal praise or increase in compensation, employee recognition goes a long way.

A manager requires to encourage top performers and link pay with performance to show that their contribution is appreciable and valuable.

Embrace Equality

Irrespective of the size of an organization, open communications and transparency in business decisions is admired by each employee. Employees should know where their organization is going. When critical information, like organizational initiatives or company profit, is shared openly with employees, it impacts greatly.

Open communications enable employees to walk across cabins of their supervisors and share their concerns anytime. It surely develops good rapport between employees and managers and encourage equality in the work culture.

Many researches have concluded that ‘A happy workforce is a productive workforce’. Since managers are responsible for taking care of employee interests, they need to put effort to develop an efficient work environment. With the help of integrated online performance management tools, managers can surely reach their aim and strengthen employee-manager relationships!

TAGS: Employee Reward, Goal Setting, Motivation, Performance Management

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