Too much of appreciation could result in a situation where the superior is well liked and considered a likeable supervisor though not necessarily a respected one. However, as the manager must aim at building up a long term working relationship with his subordinates, respect matters more than being liked.
If there is one facet which is of paramount importance for a good and healthy relationship between a manager or supervisor and his subordinates, it is communication. Good communication between superiors and their subordinates can be a source of mutual confidence and which in turn can smoothen out numerous day to day problems. Communication need not always be in the form of conversation. A letter of congratulations, birthday greetings, monthly newsletter etc. are also forms of communication. Being seen amongst subordinates is also an oblique form of communication from the supervisor. There are several other effective methods of developing communications. A few of them are given below:
1) It is very good practice for the supervisor or manager, to make a note of the personal details of subordinates – their names, likes and dislikes, family, schooling and other such details. This information is available from the office records and from periodic conversation with the employee.
2) The manager must go on rounds and speak to his subordinates. The frequency of rounds can vary but it is strongly urged that the must make occasional rounds of work and converse with people. The aim of all this is not so much to sort difficulties, but to promote an element of rapport.
3) Religious functions also give an opportunity to informally interact with people. Such occasions are nice opportunities for identifying with the workers or subordinates and thereby encouraging mutual respect and rapport.
4) Since an employee’s personal life and work life cannot be entirely segregated, his domestic problems and worries are bound to show up in this work. Hiring of a welfare officer can be of considerable help in attending to employee’s family or domestic problems. Cases of heavy absenteeism, alcoholism, indebtedness in workers have often been successfully analyzed and solved with the help of welfare officers.
Setting an Example:
It is not easy for a boss to invoke the respect of people, if he does not practice what he preaches. All methods and attempts at communication will not achieve their purpose if the manager or supervisor does not set an example to his subordinates. The manager cannot expect people under him to come punctually in time every day unless he does so himself.
The average worker these days is reasonably well read and is conscious of what is happening around him. He considers himself equal to all other employees in terms of his rights and responsibility and so is less likely to obey instructions unless the manager follows them himself.
The inherent love and respect that a supervisor or manager has for his subordinates is irreplaceable. This goes to say that a manager who genuinely likes his subordinates is much better placed to lead a successful management career as compared to one who has to create a façade of relationship in getting work out of others.
Most of the principles in the manager subordinate relationships are drawn form the human relations approaches. It would be useful for us as future managers to understand the concepts in Human Relations Management.