Relationships Matter


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When we ask employees what do they want more of at their job, the most common answer is not “money.” The most common answer is “more time with my manager” and “more recognition of my value to the company.” In a world filled with email communications and busy managers, employees are longing for a relationship that recognizes their personal value. It is a simple concept that seems easy to implement but all too often it is not something that we teach frontline managers.

Sure there is the HR training and the insight into how to manage the paperwork and process of “being a manager” but there is little focus placed on helping people build relationships.

How many of us have stayed in a job that was hard or less than pleasant because we were working for a “good” manager. Ask yourself, what were the attributes of that manager? What did they do on a daily basis that made them a “good” manager? On the opposite end of the spectrum, how many of us have left a great company because our manager was just terrible?

I believe that the key attribute of a good manager is the ability to build strong relationships. Since most of our waking life is spent at the office, it seems to make sense that the relationships that we have there are of key importance. So, if you are a frontline manager or someone that manages frontline managers ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you know the personal value of those that work for you? What is there passion in life?
2. How often do you recognize each person in your group for their contribution to the team?
3. Have you ever thought about keeping a “journal” that outlines the hopes and passions of those that report to you?

In our next blog I will share how a waiter on a Disney Cruise taught me a valuable lesson in “tracking your customer” in a whole new way. The concept may just change the way you track your employees…….

Bob Furniss
Bob Furniss' career has focused on improving customer experiences. As the Director of Bluewolf's Service Cloud practice, Bob leads a team of consultants who works with clients in three key areas: Salesforce Service Cloud strategy/implementation; Social Media strategy and implementation in the contact center; and creating vision blueprints to help companies set a new course for their contact centers in the areas of people and technology. Follow him on Twitter


  1. Bob –
    I could not agree with you more about the lost art of relationship building with employees. In a world that is heavy with e-mail and virtual connections, a simple note of thanks can go a long way in a relationship with employees or clients.

    Many managers want to spend more time doing the “smaller” things, but ultimately with the work on their desk and deadlines, they often procrastinate and the “thank you” and “great job!” messages do not get sent.

    As a productivity consultant and professional organizer, my consultants and I research various tools that we can suggest to our clients. One tool that we love is an online system that allows you to send printed cards, in your handwriting, even with a personal picture if you want, in under 1 minute and for about $1 plus postage. Time effective, cost effective and easy to use! You can learn more about this automated service by going to The company’s mission is to change the world one card at a time.

    Since using this system, I have personally contacted many people to let them know how much they are appreciated. I have even gotten thank you notes for my thank you notes! The system makes it easy and personal at the same time. Click send and they print, stuff, address, stamp and send your card on the date that you want. Want a card sent for everyone’s birthday or anniversary? Schedule it now and the system will send them on the right date or give you a reminder.

    I’d be happy to show anyone interested this great system — I can also show you how to get a FREE account so you can try it for yourself.

    Stephanie L. H. Calahan
    Author, Productivity Consultant & Coach
    T: 309-825-7833
    E: [email protected]


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