It’s All About You: 3 Steps Any Boss Can Take to Build Better Relationships

Smart recruiting practices and intuitive employee selection methods help bring good workers to your business.

But, how you treat them once they’re on board determines whether those new hires stick with your company for decades, or, pack up their desks and take their experience to a competitor after only a few weeks.

If you’re a boss, you know that there’s a lot that goes into keeping employees productive and happy, but beyond pay raises and 401(k) plans, the single biggest determiner of employee satisfaction is you. Or, rather, it’s what your employees think of you.

If you’re not the most popular boss in the world but you’re pretty sure you’re a decent person, then the diagnosis is easy: you’re probably forgetting to do a few important little things. These behaviors can have a big impact on the employee-boss relationship over time, and adopting them can change the way your employees feel about working for you.

Let’s take a look at three positive behavioral changes that any boss can make right now.

1. Set clear expectations and recognize accomplishments

Clear communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, and that includes the relationship that you have with your employees.

Clearly define the responsibilities that go along with a worker’s job. Provide details when delegating tasks, and be available to field questions. When your employees follow your instructions and surpass your expectations, let them – and the rest of your workforce – know that the effort is appreciated.

Whether you thank them with something small (like a thank-you note) or with a serious privilege (like a the use of a coveted parking spot), each gesture you make shows employees that you’re grateful for their hard work, and they’ll be grateful to have you as a boss in return.

2. Speak to every employee like an equal

Albert Einstein once said, “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” Luckily for the rest of us, practicing this basic tenet of common courtesy requires no advanced math.

The concept is simple: don’t talk down to anyone. When you treat the receptionist with the same respect as your head of recruiting or even your most valued investor or business partner, you’ll show your employees that each one of them is an important part of your team.

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3. Give employees the things they actually need

Pizza parties and ice cream buffets may temporarily lift morale, but once the break is over and bellies are full, it’s time to get back to work.

Don’t ditch the fun, but every now and then it’s a good idea to invest in things which improve the work experience itself. Surprise the members of your HR program with new human resources software. Replace your sales team’s rickety office chairs with comfortable new alternatives.

New office tools can make the daily grind easier, and every time they use those tools, your employees will think of you.

The simple fact that you read through these tips says volumes about who you are as a boss. It proves that you realize that your recruiting team, your account managers, and your HR staff are real people who deserve your respect. Trying to strengthen your relationship with those people is admirable, and applying these tips to your everyday interactions will help.

Just remember that no matter what you do, there’s always the chance that an employee won’t be your biggest fan. You can win them all — it’s just a fact of life. But when employees see that you’re making the effort, you’ll earn their respect in return.

This article originally appeared on The Resumator Blog.