The supervisor-subordinate relationship should be clearly defined in your workplace. As a manager, you bear the primary responsibility for building and maintaining a good working bond with each employee. Set up specific protocols designed to facilitate manager-worker relations. Hold your staff members accountable in treating you with respect and adhering to the company's policies.

Maintaining Trust

Trusting a subordinate is a decision you make when you hire the individual. In turn, you expect the employee to trust you. Whether you continue to count on each other for the life of your working relationship depends on the actions you and your employee take. It is your duty to act in an ethical, honest, unbiased and reliable manner at all times so your subordinate has confidence in you and mirrors your behavior. If you or your employee breaches the trust between you by telling a lie, for example, the trust will be broken. Restoring trust is extremely difficult but it is necessary for a congenial, profitable relationship.

Fostering Communication

Amicable relations between you and a staff member work well when you are on the same page. This means communication needs to be clear and ongoing between you. Both of you need to be able to express concerns without fear of the other person's reactions, and you need to be open to constructive criticism. Perhaps the most important element of building a working rapport is embracing goals and visions for the future. Encourage your employee to express her desires for obtaining new skills and work with her on strategies to achieve these objectives. Learn to read body language so you can pick up on unspoken problems. Be equally aware of what your own gestures and postures project, as you want them to be positive and empathetic.

Clarification of Roles

The relationship between supervisor and subordinate is defined by their positions in the company. You need to be the leader of your employee, as you have the professional authority and responsibility to embody that role. The subordinate, likewise, needs to understand his role as an employee and be committed to following your directives even if they conflict with his own ideas. This does not mean he should not feel free to come to you with his own concepts, which you should consider, but it does mean the final decision is yours to make as his supervisor. While you want your relationship to be friendly, it is your duty as manager to maintain the clearly defined roles of supervisor and subordinate.

Maintaining Boundaries

Boundaries must be established in your relations with a staff member. It has to remain professional in nature. Even if your company manual does not have a specific protocol forbidding fraternization with employees, you should make it a personal rule not to become involved romantically with a subordinate. This helps protect you and your employee from accusations of preferential treatment – and it protects you from accusations of sexual harassment. You should also avoid becoming too personally involved in a friendship with your subordinate. While you want your relationship to be congenial, it is not wise to extend your relations to personal outings and visits to one another's homes. You do not want to become so involved that your judgment is clouded by personal feelings for an individual.