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ARTICLE: Is Anyone Getting Along with Their Boss?

Since the pandemic began, two-thirds of US workers surveyed by HR firm Motivosity complain their relationship with their boss has been negatively impacted, and more than half are searching or plan to start looking for a new role because of their manager. This should be a wake-up call for corporate leaders.

Relations between employees and managers have always been delicate, but the latest deterioration comes at a potentially critical time for a lot of firms. With vaccines widely available and businesses returning to more normal operations, many firms are planning to do some rapid hiring. Repairing the rapport between boss and employee takes on a new urgency to stop the best talent from fleeing while the post-pandemic hiring market is roaring.

The most obvious factor behind the strained relations has likely been the move to remote work, which removed in-person contact and left managers to sort out uncharted, new realities on their own. Additionally, as companies struggled to survive, resources were cut for training managers, and many organizations lost a year to help create stronger managers.

Repair is possible. There are software tools that help employees be creative and innovative. Routine check-ins of direct reports—asking how they are feeling, and charting out paths for them to grow—builds trust.

In the coming months, many firms are hoping to bring more workers back to the office, but many others plan to experiment with hybrid home/in-office work models. Schedules that don't coincide could make it harder for bosses to develop and maintain healthy work relationships with their direct reports, so this transition could be challenging. Leaders should be open about what needs to be accomplished, what challenges await, and how each employee will help the team achieve the goals.

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