By Michael Kanaabi
The relationship between a company proprietor, his management team and other employees can, in most cases, be the difference between the company’s success and failure. So is the relationship between management and staff of an organisation.
Recruitment consultant Joan Nabunya says often times, things such as being too secretive about the progress and state of company affairs, creating no room for feedback from junior staff, excluding the junior staff from decision making of any sort and imposing policies and work plans on employees, can destroy a delicate relationship between owners, management and staff of an organisation.
So, in order to increase chances of success and improve productivity, these relationships must be constantly worked on and improved through a number of ways. Isaac Lukwago, a workplace counsellor, says it starts with the business owners listening
to what their management and staff have to say about the way things are done in the company, what can be done better and what is not going right. “In many cases, when the down-up feedback approach is given room to flourish, so do relationships between staff, management and ownership of an organisation,” he says.
Management should endeavour to create a sense of community in an organisation, by showing personal concern or empathy to employees, especially when they are having some personal challenges. For example, if an employee has a relative who is critically ill, the company could organise a visit to the patient with other employees.
Lukwago says: “This will create a sense of oneness and belonging over time reaping dividends in better coordination and productivity.” He adds that they can engage in voluntary work as a team such as building a house for a needy family as a company.
This kind of corporate social responsibility activity will get the team more time to bond beyond the offi ce, making work easier and faster as a result of improved relationships over time.
Beyond work and meeting deadlines of the organisation, business coach Alfred Kaggwa says the company can create room for personal growth, for example through inviting speakers regularly to share experiences about personal development. Having a financial counsellor come to help employees find solutions to their personal financial problems will make employees feel like they need to return the favour in most cases and give more in terms of input to the company.
Kaggwa also suggests you celebrate the individual achievements of employees in the line of work in a big way. This will not only inspire them to deliver more, but will also push those that have not been rewarded to put in more effort, so they too can be celebrated. If the organisation’s vision or mission says for example ‘we believe in putting customer needs first,’ Kaggwa says employees should see this being practiced from the top to bottom in order to follow suit, otherwise if the employees are instructed to do so while top management and business owners sit back, the returns on that particular objective will be limited.
In some cases, the leaders of a company, like all other human beings, are bound to make mistakes and sometimes costly ones, even against the advice of subordinates. These mistakes impact everyone in the organisation and as a result, managers taking responsibility and leading the drive to correct them will solidify their relationships with the teams they lead and this can only bring better results.
In addition, Kaggwa emphasises that managers and entrepreneurs should live the good customer care talk because their employees are watching the way they handle customers and this is the same way the employees will not only handle customers, but also relate with their bosses.