The Employee-Boss Relationship Explained

It’s time we tackle the most fundamental and necessary of relationships in the workplace: the relationship that exists between an employee and the boss.

Employee-Boss Relationship - Employee and boss having a discussion - Gretel Company Management Software

We can begin this article with a very real and honest statement that is probably understated: your boss is human. If you define yourself as a boss and you are reading this, you are human. (In case you forgot.)

We say this because it seems there is an invisible divide between a boss and employees. Yes, the former pays the bills. Yes, the former is the employer, and they have a set of responsibilities that are different from those of employees; however, they are human, they deal with the same reality, they have emotions, and they are capable of making mistakes just like anyone else. Moreover, they are also capable of putting themselves in your shoes, and they are just as empathetic as any other human, hopefully.

How does this tie into the employee-boss relationship? Well, quite simply, it’s important to understand the human connection involved in the mutual agreement. A boss hires someone to fulfill a role and expectations that are tied to the business and its success. Yes, there is a responsibility to having an employee, and yes, the employee has a responsibility to accomplish in honor of that social / professional contract.

That distinction of roles and responsibilities does not mean there needs to be a wall erected distancing the two. In fact, the best working relationships (and relationships in general) are the ones where the true voice comes out without fear or apprehension. It is more important to present new ideas openly, or bring up qualms with a certain decision made in an open, respectful manner than to tuck it away and pretend it doesn’t matter, or worse, doesn’t exist.

As an employee, you have a set of responsibilities that should be accomplished, and if they are not met, the person who has to make corrections / address the problem is generally the boss or a manager. This disciplinary action has the potential to create division, because nobody likes to face the music. Nobody enjoys being disciplined, unless you’re into that kind of thing.

The bygone days of having a hard-ass boss are disappearing quickly. People are not as motivated by the old-school, get in your face, intimidation tactics that once were synonymous with this relationship. The same is seen in the sports world. Coaching tactics that involve yelling and punishments for poor performance are not as prevalent as before. People are motivated by connection, people are motivated by genuine engagement, people are motivated by purpose, and people are not as intrinsically motivated by fear.

You don’t have to become best friends with your boss, but it is paramount to establish a human connection with them. We believe wholeheartedly that this pivotal step will not only make the workplace more enjoyable, but more productive as well.

At the end of the day, you’re all playing for the same team. You’re all representing the organization / team with the name on the front of the jersey, not for the personal accolades of the name on the back, and that’s the difference.

Employee Boss Relationship Conclusion

While the aforementioned concepts in regards to the employee-boss relationship are theoretical and idyllic, they can also be put into practice in order to create a measurable effect.

Taking action begins with open communication, and providing the resources to help establish and evolve employee purpose, employee voice, and employee relationships in the workplace.

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