With Valentine’s Day at the end of this week, love is in the air. Well, for most of us at least. If you are in a management position, it can feel difficult to foster positive relationships with your employees- much less any warm and fuzzy feelings.

So what? Respect and getting the job done are more important than being well liked by employees, right?


It is important that your team and employees view you, and your management style, in a positive light- especially in Seattle. The Emerald City recently came in third on a list of U.S. cities with the most employees who have quit a job due to having a bad boss. Conducted by Robert Half International, a global staffing firm, this survey confirms that Seattleites are not afraid to leave a company if they are not happy with management. And why should they be? With the unemployment rate remaining low, top talent is able to find new job opportunities with relative ease.

While it may initially feel as though being considered a “good boss” will solely impact your popularity, how you treat your employees can impact turnover and your company’s ability to retain top talent. To improve employee satisfaction and retention, utilize the ways that you can get your employees to fall in love with working for you below.

Follow the Golden Rule

Since childhood we have been told to “treat others as we want to be treated”, but this saying should not be limited to our interactions on the playground. For example, you should always treat your employees how you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes (and let’s face it, chances are that you were at one point in your career). Rather than chastising employees for their mistakes, help them turn blunders into learning experiences.

Set Expectations

Employees thrive on knowing what to expect from you and what is expected of them. Communicate your expectations for employees clearly and frequently. Make your expectations realistic and achievable, give employees the assistance that they require to meet your expectations and hold everyone accountable to the same set of standards.

Communicate Effectively

I can’t reiterate the importance of effective workplace communication enough. Communication with your employees should not be limited to annual reviews or expressing negative feedback; rather, it should be frequent, specific (avoiding generalizations), meaningful and two sided. Be open to hearing ideas from your employees as well as receiving feedback on how you can be a better manager in order to solidify positive relationships.

Provide Tools and Training

Employees want to know that their employer and manager are invested in their growth. Even after you onboard a new team member, continue to develop their skills and fill any gaps in their knowledge with education and training. Get to know each employee’s unique strengths and weaknesses in order to help them achieve success not only in their current role, but also in their future endeavors.

The line between being an “ok boss” and a “bad boss” is fine and subjective; however, the actions above will undoubtedly place you in the “good boss” category. Your employees will fall in love with these management traits, helping you retain your most valuable employees.