Managers are busy, running departments, seeing the big picture and any other number of major tasks. Spending time with employees may fall to the wayside, yet leaving the corner office and putting in some face-to-face time can boost department morale. Employees can work to connect with their manager, building a healthy rapport and a mentally sound workplace.
Jeff Haden, business guru and Time Magazine contributor, finds incredible bosses provide quality time when it matters most. He says managers can help employees who have “fallen from grace” as the result of a public meltdown or a decrease in work quality, for example. The boss can sit down with the worker and figure out the issue as well as the solution, boosting employee morale.
“While that employee may desperately want to ‘rehabilitate’ him or herself, it’s almost impossible. The weight of team disapproval is too heavy for one person to move,” Haden writes. He believes managers should remember they also started from the bottom of the totem pole at one point.
Susan Shapiro, author and professor at New York University, provides ideas for employees who are trying to connect with distant managers. People in authority positions often have less time to deal with minutiae, so employees should get to the point of their inquiry as soon as possible during meetings.
Those hoping to establish a dialogue should consider combining the one-on-one time with another activity, such as coffee or lunch. Doing so can add a comfortable tone to the business and allow for more casual conversations.
Outside of these instances, Shapiro advises sending simple emails regarding small issues that require a manager’s input. This allows for more time to address the issues that can be smoothed out with one-on-one interventions. Managers will appreciate the economic use of time.
Another way of saving managers’ time, Shapiro says, is “spreading the love” when asking for advice. Coworkers and other sources of mentorship will do when the manager is too busy or unfit for certain kinds of advice. Remaining too dependent on a manager for career goals can be a bad sign for some authority figures.