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Jan 15, 201802:26 PMOpen Mic

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If you’re a manager, most employees say they don’t need you

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Both qualities involve building relationships. To start down the path of building (or improving) the relationship between managers and employees:

  • Admit mistakes. Managers will make mistakes and should learn from them rather than defending them. Admitting mistakes will also help build trust.
  • Communicate openly and honestly. Managers can’t be totally transparent because they can’t share confidential information, but they can be honest about what they share. Dishonesty will quickly damage trust.
  • Reach out to team members. The survey also found that more than half (57%) of managers wish their team members were more willing to share their concerns. If managers rarely approach their employees, they should not expect employees to approach them. Managers should ask what motivates employees, listen attentively, and regularly provide feedback.

Becoming an approachable leader isn’t about making friends, it’s about listening, showing genuine interest, and demonstrating understanding. In other words, it’s about building a relationship with employees.

Ed Zalewski is a certified professional in human resources and an editor at J. J. Keller & Associates. Zalewski specializes in employment law topics such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, employee benefits, and discrimination and harassment. For more information, visit and

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