How the Best Leaders Build Rapport with Their Employees

Why Building a Good Rapport with Employees is Important?

Building and maintaining rapport with employees is hugely important. Employees who feel they have a comfortable relationship with their managers are usually happier in the workplace. This is hugely important, as a study by the University of Oxford found that happy employees were 13% more productive!

A more positive workplace where employees have strong relationships with managers increases:

  • Engagement
  • Loyalty
  • Motivation
  • Openness to Suggestions and Feedback

How the Best Leaders Build Rapport with Their Employees?

If you ever ask yourself, “why does my team have such a low engagement rate?” or “why does productivity keep dropping?”, it is most likely that you have not built good rapport with your understudies. However, there are many simple solutions to resolve this matter. A few ways the best leaders build rapport with their employees have been outlined below:

1. Create a Collaborative Environment

By creating a collaborative environment, employees are more likely to be confident with their approach at work and express their opinions more openly. A collaborative environment can be achieved in many ways. For example:

  • Socialise with employees out of working hours
  • Recognise collaborative behaviour through rewards and celebrations
  • Emphasise the importance of each employee’s role and link to the organisation’s strategy and goals
  • Encourage feedback, input and ideas from employees at all levels
  • Create and maintain a transparent working culture

2. Practice Active Listening

Active listening involves listening with all senses. It allows leaders and employees to fully comprehend what their colleagues are saying in conversations and meetings. Six key active listening skills include:

  1. Paying attention
  2. Withholding judgement
  3. Reflecting
  4. Clarifying
  5. Summarising
  6. Sharing

3. Check Your Body Language

Leaders should always observe the body language of their employees as well as their own. Checking for open or closed-off body language is important as it has been suggested that body language constitutes more than 60% of what we communicate. Closed-off body language can indicate hostility, unfriendliness and anxiety. Whereas open body language can suggest friendliness, openness and willingness.

Examples of closed-off body language:

  • Crossed arms
  • Crossed legs
  • Looking down or away

Examples of open body language:

  • Natural gestures
  • Good eye contact
  • Open arms
Approachable managers correlate to better engaged employees
Source: /

4. Be Authentic

Authenticity is significant when leaders want to build a good rapport with employees. Through transparency a sense of trustworthiness and honesty is present. This allows colleagues to recognise you as a genuine person hence building a straightforward real relationship that will likely last in the long term.

5. Communicate Expectations

The clear role and expectation of each employee should always be communicated as it is essential for them, to work efficiently. Having straightforward expectations, team members are able to acknowledge their importance towards collaborative work. Through this, employees are less likely to encounter conflict with others in the workplace as they have a clear view of their position and work.

6. Provide Assistance Programmes

Everyone wants to feel like they have somewhere to turn to when they need help. Employees spend a large amount of their time in the office, so it is only right the organisation/manager provides all the support they need. Implementing an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to help them is a great way to keep employees happy and give them a feeling of genuine care.

Looking after your employee’s mental wellbeing is key in building trust and confidence between the two parties. Boost loyalty, openness, and productivity with a custom-designed programme that helps empower and foster employees. A good EAP provider should offer flexible services to address the different challenges each company faces. With many different service providers, you should consider programmes that can be tailored to your budget, your employee needs and business ethos.

An EAP is an investment in your company’s culture and helps build the identity of your organisation. This is crucial as a survey conducted by Glassdoor found that 77% of people would consider the company’s culture before applying for a job there. Not only do EAPs enhance relationships with current employees but it also helps attract future employees!  

Are you looking for an Asia-centric Employee Assistance Programme designed to promote Asia-based employee wellness? Learn more about how Links International’s EAP can help reduce staff turnover, absenteeism, and help boost engagement.

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Links International is an industry leader in innovative HR outsourcing with services such as payroll outsourcingvisa applicationPEO/EOR Secondmentoutplacementrecruitment and more! Contact us for more information on how we can help leverage your HR function.

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