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The communication level between employees and managers affects your business in several ways. It can impact productivity, morale, retention and more. So it’s vital to have healthy relationships and break any type of employee-manager barrier that may exist in your office. Here are three ways to do so.

Provide Consistent Feedback

Feedback has always been an important part of running a business. However, traditionally, companies have only offered it intermittently. Take the once or twice a year performance review, for example. Lacking ongoing feedback can take a toll on your business and usually means that employees won’t reach their full potential.

It’s especially important for younger workers. A 2016 Gallup study found that millennials crave consistent feedback. Unfortunately, “only 19 percent of millennials say they receive routine feedback,” Gallup reports. “An even smaller percentage of millennials (17 percent) say the feedback they do receive is meaningful.” So this is definitely something to focus on and can create a more inclusive workplace environment.

Have One-on-One Meetings

Regular group meetings certainly have their value. But there can also be a lot of distractions, and you may find that only a small percentage of employees do all of the talking. You can eliminate this problem by opting for one-on-one meetings where you speak to employees individually. This is a great way for managers to connect with employees on a more personal level and get everyone’s input — even the people who may not always want to share in a group setting.

Encourage Coaching

Many employers are finding the traditional manager-employee relationship doesn’t work well when there’s a noticeable power difference. When the manager is “the superior” and the employee “the subordinate,” a lack of harmony often ensues. And this can create a rift where employees may feel resentful.

That’s why a growing number of companies are working to develop a coaching culture instead. It’s more of a partnership where managers guide employees and help them learn rather than just delegating tasks. Research indicates this has numerous benefits, including increased productivity, tighter relationships and improved employee knowledge.

Friction between employees and managers is toxic to your workplace. Using these three strategies should help break down any barriers and result in deeper bonds. In time, this can have a powerful impact on your company’s bottom line.

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