Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

How to Strengthen Managerial Relationships

To strengthen the relationship with direct reports, managers need to be able to perform four key skills: build trust, listen, deliver feedback effectively and manage challenging conversations.

Building Trust
To be effective leaders, managers need to earn and keep their direct reports’ trust. In 2010, Maritz Research conducted a poll to better understand U.S. employees’ attitudes toward their employers. The poll found that employees across all industries cite a lack of trust in not only their senior leaders, but also in their direct managers and colleagues. Only 11 percent of employees strongly agree that their managers show consistency in their words and actions. Further, only 7 percent of employees strongly agree they trust senior leaders to look out for their best interests, and only 7 percent strongly agree they trust their co-workers to do so. For positive business outcomes to occur, that has to change. Employees must trust their managers, co-workers and employers.

That’s easier said than done. But essentially, for employees to trust their bosses, managers must have an established track record of using fair practices and following through on promises. Eventually, as leaders’ actions align with direct reports’ expectations and the organization’s overall processes are seen as transparent and just, trust will emerge. As a result, employees will become more willing to take risks and innovate.

In the absence of trust, developing a strong relationship between managers and employees will prove quite difficult. To lessen the perception that managers do not care about their direct reports, they need to be more visible to them on a day-to-day basis. When managers hold themselves accountable for the same high standards they demand of their direct reports, regularly share good and bad news about the company, and are transparent with their decision-making processes, employees will more readily build a rapport with them and trust them to do what is right for the organization and for their own futures.


Rebuilding Trust After Layoffs

The distance separating managers and their direct reports can be the biggest productivity and performance drain in an organization.

Article Keywords:   leadership   management  


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