How Finance Managers Can Salvage a Strained Relationship with an Employee

Managers from every industry, including finance and accounting, need help navigating difficult relationships with employees. A strained manager-employee relationship can decrease efficiency, dampen motivation, and potentially increase turnover. Read on to discover some quick tips for improving your work relationships.

3 Ways Finance Managers Can Mend a Difficult Relationship with an Employee

No matter how tense a manager-employee relationship is, it can often be worked out, especially if the manager is willing to take the lead in mending the relationship. Here are a few ways finance managers can resolve workplace tension:

1) Have a one-on-one conversation with the employee — If you’ve noticed one of your employees avoiding you or heard rumors that they are frustrated with you, take the initiative to approach them for a one-on-one conversation. Ask them if there is an issue and then take the time to listen with an open mind. Perhaps there has been a misunderstanding you can clear up, or maybe the offense is legitimate. Either way, clear, direct communication is the first step to fixing the problem.

2) Ask for feedback concerning your role in the problem — Once you understand what the problem is, invite feedback from your employee about how they feel you contributed to the issue. Getting negative feedback from someone you manage can at times feel like an attack. It can also be discouraging when they seem unaware of the ways in which you support them. Still, it’s important to give them a chance to tell you what they feel you did wrong and what you could have done better. But keep in mind that part of mending a strained relationship is communicating your feelings about what went wrong, as well. 

3) Brainstorm solutions to the problem — Once you’ve identified the problem, accepted the employee’s feedback concerning your role in it, and shared your opinion about the worker’s role in the problem, it’s time to find solutions. A contributor to Torch wrote, 

“Based on your reflections, dive into what you feel has caused the rift, and how you hope to solve it in your role as manager. At the same time, make it clear what your expectations are – you need to have a functional professional relationship with this employee and to know you can trust them to do their job to the fullest of their ability. This should not be an ultimatum, but an affirmation of your goals as a manager and coach.”

With Humility and Tact, Finance Managers Can Turn Workplace Enemies Into Allies 

Once the air has been cleared between you and your employee and a solution has been set in place to correct the problem, you may want to request that any further offense be discussed directly with you. After that, communicate your wish to start your relationship afresh.

“Create an alliance with the person,” stated US News. “Recognize that you’re both on the same side…. Then, create a verbal contract. Emphasize the value of this promise you’re both making. This isn’t about simply ‘saying’ you’re going to do something. You both have to follow through for it to work.”

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