70 percent of American workers would take a pay cut if someone would fire their boss”, said Bob Hogan, co-founder of Hogan Assessments. “People care more about how they’re treated than how they’re paid.” Hogan, of course, has the data to back up his blunt assessment.

It’s a fact that the quality of the relationship between manager and employee predicts employee engagement, productivity, customer satisfaction, and overall organizational performance. Therefore, managers have to figure out how to improve those relationships.

What does that mean?

That can mean showing appropriate empathy; it can mean emphasizing fairness; it can mean improving inclusiveness and making sure everyone feels heard; it can mean acknowledging contributions; it can mean highlighting unsung heroes–the people that work hard behind the scenes that normally don’t get the spotlight or the accolades. It can mean providing honest feedback and helping people succeed; it can mean giving people purpose and a sense of meaning in the work; it can mean remembering the last conversation you had; it can mean inspiring them to give their best by showing you believe in them; it can mean making them feel safe around you, to take risks, to offer ideas. It can mean listening intently; it can mean mentoring and sponsoring people. It can mean coaching and developing talent.

So many opportunities to improve relationships. We just have to mean it.