How to Build Rapport With Your Employees

[This article was written by Craig Middleton.]

It happens all too often. A business owner or manager is focused on meeting deadlines and achieving goals but doesn’t take the time to build a rapport with their employees. Not doing this can often have negative results. It could result in a high turnover rate as well as poor performance, harm employee morale and more. The most successful business owners regularly make the effort to build rapport with their employees and experience the many benefits associated with it.

Interests Outside Work

It’s important they discuss things going on in an employee’s life that don’t involve work. A few minutes a day discussing hobbies or weekend activities can build a positive relationship. Avoid talking about general things like the weather or road conditions. When a conversation is specifically focused on an employee’s life, it will make them feel as if they are a person and not just an employee.

Acknowledge Employees

This can take the form of simply saying hello or goodbye each day. In the morning, it is a way for a business owner to let the employees know they want them to have a good day. When leaving for the day, it will show the business owner cares. These are two simple activities that can be done quickly but provide very positive results.

Praise And Positive Feedback

When an employee is trying but is getting frustrated from lack of success, it is important to speak with them about it by first giving praise for their efforts or saying something positive. This will make an employee relax and not be defensive. They will be more open to hearing what is being said to them. Taking the time to tell an employee they are doing a good job and their efforts are appreciated can help build a good rapport.


It is important business managers make certain they are available to their employees. It is best to have an open door policy. All concerns or questions from employees should be welcome for discussion. This is a way to build rapport but also provide a good opportunity to coach an employee on how to problem solve in the company.


Employees will work better for a business manager who is not their buddy and doesn’t engage in gossip and more. They will want a business manager who is a leader. It’s important they be the person who inspires trust and confidence in employees. Rapport will be easier to build when employees know they are working for someone who can set specific boundaries as well as be depended upon to be fair as well as compassionate.

Emotional Intelligence

This will require a business owner to know how to recognize the emotions of their employees as well as the emotions in themselves. Being able to understand the emotions and unspoken feeling of others is an essential part of building rapport with employees. This can involve being able to recognize the meaning behind certain facial expressions, body language and more.

Ask Questions

There are many benefits to doing this with employees. It will show them the company owner is interested in them and provide an opportunity to coach as well as learn about employees. It’s a chance to build rapport but also help encourage a positive work environment. This is also a good way to inspire loyalty. This should be part of a company’s outplacement services. It provides a way for a company and a departing employee to end their relationship on good terms.

Shared Values

It’s important for a company and its employees to have similar values. When a business owner and their employees agree to value certain aspects of a business like customer service, sales support and more, it will build a rapport between them. It will also provide a positive benefit to the company’s customers. These values will create a relationship and create an environment where everyone understands why they will benefit from successfully working together.

It has been proven that building a rapport with employees will result in increased productivity as well as a lower turnover rate and more. Doing this provides a way for employees to feel as if they are really part of the company and not just workers doing a job. A business will always benefit when a strong connection exists between it and its employees.

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