The employee and manager relationship is important to company productivity. A relationship that is built on perceptiveness and trust can make the employee and manager more skillful. A bad relationship that lacks strength will diminish productivity and can lead to high rates of employee turnover. There are several elements that make up a manager and employee relationship that need to be considered by both parties for the relationship to be yielding.
Some of the characteristic of employees who are unskilled, skilled and over skilled are mentioned below –
- Unskilled –
- Not at ease with their managers.
- May be stressed in manager’s presence.
- May not be open to coaching or guidance from managers.
- Problems dealing comfortably with management.
- Poor manager relationships get in the way of working effectively.
- Skilled –
- Reacts and relates well to managers.
- Would work harder for a good manager.
- Is open to learning from managers who are good coaches and who provide space.
- Eager to learn from those who have worked there before.
- Easy to challenge and develop.
- Is comfortably coachable.
- Overused Skill –
- May be too much dependent on managers for advice and suggestions.
- May rule out other sources of feedback and learning.
- May pick the wrong manager as role model.
Causes of Conflict Between Manager And Employees –
Workplace conflicts arise from many causes. Conflicts between manager and employee intensify when both parties cannot see beyond their own points of view. That’s where a mediator comes in to help them find a common ground by taking the time to view the conflict in a more objective way and to consider the other party’s perspective. People are different and there is nothing you can do about it. Sometimes conflict occur because of personal characteristics of the people.
As a manager your goal is to create a positive environment, promote tolerance to one another and teach people to communicate even if they are different. Before attempting to resolve any conflict, it is always important to determine exactly what is causing it. Understanding what triggers can cause conflict makes resolution easier to reach and conflict easier to avoid in the first place. There are an infinite number of reasons why conflict can occur in the workplace, however a small number of causes are most common.
Before attempting to resolve any conflict, it is always important to determine exactly what is causing it. Understanding what triggers can cause conflict makes resolution easier to reach and conflict easier to avoid in the first place. There are an infinite number of reasons why conflict can occur in the workplace, however a small number of causes are most common, and we have looked at them here –
- Conflicting Resources –
- Employees depend on accessing resources, such as technology, office supplies and meeting rooms, to perform effectively. Unfortunately, it is not always possible for everyone to access the resources they wish to at all times. If the reason someone cannot access the resources is that someone else is using them then this can lead to conflict. A manager’s job may then be to decide who has the rightful access to the resource and how it will be distributed in the future.
- Conflicting Styles –
- No two individuals will work the same. Different methods of organization, communication and timekeeping are very common in any organization. This is generally effective as everyone should be allowed to work in their own style. However, when it comes to team tasks this can become a problem as some individuals will have to compromise on how the work is done. A manager can avoid conflict occurring here by selecting teams based on their similarities and strengths.
- Conflicting Perceptions –
- Different perceptions of what the organization’s goals are, the methods used and who is responsible for what can often lead to conflict. Open and transparent communication is the key to avoiding this happening.
- Conflicting Goals –
- Often different managers will set targets and goals for the same individual and this can often lead to conflicting goals being set. For instance, it is hard to deliver on both speed and quality and hence setting both these targets may cause issues. The conflict here may be between the individual and on or both managers and between the managers themselves.
- Conflicting Pressures –
- Conflicting pressures are like conflicting goals, except they usually exist over a shorter space of time. Individuals may be pressured to complete two different tasks by two different managers before the end of the day and this can lead to conflict.
- Conflicting Roles –
- Often employees can be asked to perform a task that they are not usually responsible for. This can cause conflict as either the individual feels the task is not appropriate for them or another individual believed it was for them. Whilst this can be avoided by delegating the same tasks to the same individuals, differentiating your team members’ roles can be a good opportunity for learning and development.
- Different Personal Values –
- Personal values determine the way we behave and the work we produce. Often, individuals will disagree about the actions they should take due to their personal values and this can lead to conflict. As a manager, you can ensure your team members are never put in a position where they are asked to compromise their values. Big gap in skills leads to disrespecting and undervaluing each other.
- Unpredictable Policies –
- Rules and policies are not always communicated across an organization effectively. This can lead to a poor understanding of them and confusion amongst team members. It is important to ensure policies, and particularly their changes, are communicated effectively throughout the organization to avoid conflict like this from occurring.
Most employees have trouble with their managers. It is very difficult to stay with one manager for a long period. It may be best to try and wait for some time, there might be a reorganization shortly. Try to learn from the experience. Conflicts help you to see the problem in the work process. Thus, if you successfully resolve it, the overall situation in the workplace improves and productivity will increase also. Healthy employee’s manager relationships can improve employee’s morale and productivity, and ultimately, it can boost their career.
- Drive Down the Rocky Road –
- The purpose is to manage the difficult relationship, so it leaves behind the least amount of long- term noise for you and the organization. Focus on the key issues and keep your head down. Try to keep your conversations with the manager directed at these key issues. If you think the manager is stopping you, approach your network for performance help, think of ways to accomplish anything and try them all.
- Watch Out for Rumors –
- Unless the cause is related to violation of ethics or integrity, don’t gossip about it with your colleagues. Your manager expects your loyalty and support on issues of work and performance. If he/she gives you a task you view as unfair, it might have been dumped on him/her, which is nothing unusual. Reset your priorities and keep your eyes on the goal. Though it’s fine to discuss difficulties you’re having in performing with others, it is not wise to question why you’re having to perform it at all. All things you say have a way of coming back again. If there is an integrity issue involved, take it to the proper authorities. People who go in with huge issues like integrity, philosophical differences, or the utter incompetence of a person usually fail to back up their charges. Go in with specific events.
- Learn to Depersonalize and Be Neutral –
- Try to separate the person from the manager role he/she is in; try to modify the situation. Someone made her/him manager for a reason and you are never going to please everyone. Reason out why you dislike your manager so much. Do the people who have a favorable impression of your manager share any common interests with you. Take a look at his good points. Whatever you do, don’t mention what you think. Put your judgments on hold, nod, ask questions, summarize as you would with anyone else. Be observant so that no one is able to tell whether you’re talking to friend or foe. It’s always better to talk less and question more.
- Try to Learn from The Situation –
- Try and figure out the part you played in contributing to the rough relationship. What could you have done differently to make the situation more bearable? What will you do next time when you see the first signs of trouble like this? Even if your manager would be condemned by many, you are responsible for your reactions. If you respond with anger and blame, you’re not learning to do anything different. In fact, you may end up reflecting your manager.
- It Could Be You, Too –
- Get some feedback from those you trust about what they think about you. Realize your real strengths and weaknesses. Have a clear understanding of the situation. Get advice about managing and improving on the relationship from a trusted person. After all, maybe it’s you as well. Try to find out what drives your manager and do not indulge in unproductive values debates. Avoid using words that set the manager off. Work on all such situations to avoid conflict.
- Find Your Triggers –
- Keep a note on what the manager does to irritate or bother you to make sure that when you get promoted, you won’t be guilty of the same behaviors. Once you know what provokes you, learn to manage these tense transactions better. If your manager gets angry, listen but don’t react at once. Remember that it’s the person who retaliates who usually gets in the most trouble. Even if the manager attacks, separate the person from the problem, take a break and then return to the problem.
- Know Your Manager –
- Try to objectively describe the manager in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Even bad people have strengths. In confidence, get someone else to help you. Try to determine why the manager does what he/she does, even though you may not agree with the logic or wouldn’t do it that way yourself. How would you act in the same circumstance?
- Careers Are Made or Broken in Hard Times –
- Even if your manager is a bad one, opposing the situation directly usually fails. The best approach is to view it as a conflict situation.
- Facing the Manager –
- If possible, try to have a series of informal relaxed discussions with your manager about what the problem might be, leading with your contributions first and then give him/her an opportunity to add to the discussion. Focus on how to accomplish work better. If you think the manager is restraining you, ask for his help in getting this done.
- Strike A Bargain with Yourself –
- Dedicate yourself in trying to please the manager in his/her role as manager by doing your best and not getting distracted by the noise of the relationship. Try to manage the situation in the best way possible. Your career will continue past this manager.
Productive and respectful employee manager relationships is key to any company’s success. While the manager’ top priority is likely to have hardworking employees, who fulfill his vision for the company, it’s a safe bet that he’d also like to have a trustworthy relationships with the people he works with every day.
After all, he probably spends more time with his staff than he does with anyone else. Of course, there’s something in it for employees, too: The manager plays a key role in advancement opportunities, so the more he knows his employees, their work, and their work ethic, the more likely they are to be rewarded.