“Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.”

This sentence has quickly become very popular on the Internet and has spurred countless discussions. But the question is, why do employees keep working in their companies every day, for eight or more hours a day, without ever saying that they think they are not treated properly?

In surveys, managers often assess themselves as good leaders, but over 70% of the employees assess their managers as not good enough in leadership. How is it possible that managers be this mistaken?

Managers often assume that the communication lines between them and their subordinates are open. However, it’s often quite the opposite in reality, and lower-ranked employees decide to remain silent and not to share their point of view.

While discussing this issue in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey uses the expression ‘emotional bank account’. Covey says that each person possesses such an account in which they deposits or withdraw their. What you deposit there is gratitude, keeping promises, understanding, helping in times of need, etc. On the other hand, you withdraw unfounded criticism, failure to keep promises, lack of understanding, etc. The balance in your account depends on deposits and withdrawals, as in a real bank. If your relationship with your employees is not open and constructive, or doesn’t exist at all, then your account goes into the red and you need to deal with your debts. You need to pay them off.

Open and constructive dialogue with your employees is what you deposit on your emotional bank account. If you don’t talk to your employees, or you are constantly cancelling on them due to things of higher importance, you lose your employees’ trust. When there is no open communication, questions go unanswered, frustration comes out and mistakes are inevitable.

Every form of communication is a two-way street. While the majority of managers knows how to give feedback, how many of them are actually prepared to receive it? Receiving feedback is as important as giving feedback when it comes to strengthening your relationships at work.

These are six coaching skills that will help you strengthen your relationship with your employees:

  • Always be available and set up a time and place for a proper conversation.
  • Listen in order to understand. This isn’t only a good way to learn something new, but to really connect with your employees as well.
  • Ask questions that would help you to understand the feedback.
  • Ask for examples or stories that could help illustrate feedback.
  • Summarize what you have previously said so that your employee could see that you are on the same page
  • Never judge. You have the chance to learn something new about yourself and how your actions are seen. Eventually, what you will do with the things that you’ve learned about yourself is completely up to you.

A conversation about how employees feel at work, what they need or whether something is bothering them, is necessary in order to strengthen relations with your employees

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